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1933 – Indiana
Can the invisible walls that separate people ever come down?
In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can’t make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she’s with child, her mother gives her little choice but to leave. Deciding her best course of action is to try to find her father, she strikes out…hoping against hope to somehow redeem them both.
When Anna stumbles upon a house full of orphan boys in rural Indiana who are in desperate need of a tutor and a cook, she agrees to postpone her journey. But she knows from the moment she meets their contemplative, deep-hearted caretaker, Thomas Chandler, that she doesn’t dare risk staying too long. She can’t afford to open her heart to them, to him. She can’t risk letting her secrets out.
All too soon, the townspeople realize she’s not like them and begin treating her with the same disdain they give the Sisters of Mercy–the nuns who try to help Thomas and the boys–and Samuel, the quiet colored boy Thomas has taken in. With the Klan presence in the town growing ever stronger and danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe…and staying to fight beside them.
Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest…
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1806 – England
In early 1800s England, Jess Beauchene has spent most of her life in hiding and always on the move in an effort to leave her past far behind her. But when she learns the family she thought had died just might be alive and in danger, she knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long.
Derek Thornbury loves the past, which has led him to become an expert in history and artifacts. He knows Jess has never liked him, but when she requests his help deciphering the clues laid out in an old family diary, he can’t resist the urge to solve the puzzle.
As Jess and Derek race to find the hidden artifact before her family’s enemies, they learn as much about each other as they do about the past. But can their search to uncover the truth and set history right lead to a future together?
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1890s – Washington
Charlotte Callahan doesn’t know what to get her husband for Christmas! And then she stumbles over his shoddy boots in the half-light of morning. New boots would be the perfect gift! But she doesn’t have enough money. Nor does she know the right size.
Undaunted, she takes Kin Davis’s advice and decides to use her cache of apples to make pies to sell in Dixie’s Boardinghouse. Reagan is so busy tracking down the town’s latest petty thief that he likely won’t notice. But unbeknownst to her, Reagan has Christmas plans of his own for those apples.
When Kin Davis realizes what’s about to happen, will he be able to change the sheriff’s plans without ruining Christmas for both parties?
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1896 – Texas
After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.
Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn’t the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?
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1849 – California
The Daughters of the Mayflower series continues when Olivia Brighton finds herself widowed and working her brother’s restaurant in San Francisco during the height of the rush for gold. Even though she receives at least twenty marriage proposals a day, she will never marry a gold miner. Her brother’s friend Joseph Sawyer has gotten caught up in local politics and the plight of Chinese in forced labor. The more Joseph gets pulled into investigating crime in the city, the less Olivia sees of the compassionate man. And just when she thinks she could love again, a fire threatens to steal all hope.
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1888 – Montana
When French immigrant Zoe de Fleur is forced out of her position as household cook for a high society New Yorker, the pretty and talented chef seizes an unexpected chance to head west for a new beginning. She pursues what she thinks is a prestigious job in the frontier’s “finest kitchen,” but instead finds herself in a matchmaker’s agency . . .
Isaak Gunderson is one of Helena, Montana’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s too focused on running for mayor and his family’s business to think about a wife and family. His twin brother, Jakob, is supposed to be too busy as well, yet sends for a mail-order bride anyway. Isaak doesn’t want to fuel an ongoing rivalry with his twin, but this tempting newcomer can’t be ignored. If only she’d come to Helena a different way and loving her wasn’t a betrayal . . .
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1869 – Kansas
Though she came west in her wedding dress, Deborah Frazier isn’t looking for a groom. She fled St. Louis to escape marrying a man she didn’t love. In Cowboy Creek, she’s found shelter, friends and a job. All that’s now in jeopardy, thanks to a handsome newcomer.
Undercover Pinkerton agent Adam Halloway is hunting for his family’s greatest enemy. The pretty baker at the boardinghouse is certainly hiding something—but is she an accomplice to a criminal? As evidence against Deborah piles up, can Adam trust his heart and make Deborah a bride at last?
In Sickness and In Stealth
1879 – Kansas
Though he’s never declared his love—or his intentions, Doctor Abe Mercer is ready to settle down and plans to propose to Tillie Rogers. However, upon his return from purchasing her engagement ring, he’s met with a different Tillie than he’s ever known. Normally giggly and eager to greet him, she’s secretive and seems to want to avoid him. When pain medications disappear from his office, he suspects that the woman he loves is involved, and he begins to doubt his affection for her.
Tillie Rogers is a relative newcomer to Cedar Bluff, Kansas. The townspeople know her as the sweet, light-hearted cook at the town’s only boardinghouse. However, when a man she thought was dead shows up and threatens to reveal her past, Tillie finds herself a partner in crime.
When her true identity is discovered, will she be able to make Abe understand?
Will Abe be able to forgive her, and at last declare his love?
The Baker’s Daughter – Braving Evil In WW II Berlin
1943 – Poland
While chaos reigns over WW II Berlin, seventeen-year-old Liddy returns to her family’s bakery only to be confronted by a new customer — Keppler, a Nazi officer. Marek, a young man with a secretive past, labors just a few paces away in the kitchen, but where do his loyalties lie? With the Nazis? With Liddy?
Liddy’s father, Klaus, secures a night job as a prison guard where anti-Nazi dissident, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is being held. Klaus smuggles out the pastor’s letters, but tensions rise as Keppler establishes a tenuous relationship with Liddy’s young brother, Willy. Does the Nazi officer wish to recruit Willy, or is Keppler there to spy on Liddy’s family?
From air raids to the Hitler Youth, Liddy becomes enmeshed in a world of spies intent on betrayal. When Liddy makes a critical mistake that endangers a loved one, she faces a decision that puts her own faith on the line and her family’s safety in jeopardy.
Messenger by Moonlight
1860 – Missouri
Orphaned Annie Paxton and her brothers may have lost the only home they’ve ever known, but they’re determined to make a better future in St. Joseph, Missouri. Annie dreams of a pretty house with window boxes, and having friends, and attending church every week. But then her brothers spot the ad for a new venture called the Pony Express. “Wanted,” it reads, “Young, skinny fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders and willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.” Sure enough, both her brothers land jobs as Express messengers, and Annie puts her dreams on hold to work as a cook at Clearwater Ranch, a station along the Pony Express route.
Annie struggles to adapt to her new job–work made all the more challenging when she has so many to feed and few ingredients. The gruff station owner, George, doesn’t seem inclined to make her life any easier, or at least not at first. But slowly a friendship builds between them. When Annie attracts the attention of a refined, dashing lieutenant from the nearby fort, she’ll have to learn how to trust her instincts and follow her heart, even if she’s conflicted about which way it’s leading her.
Hearts Tightly Knit
1875 – Texas
Orphaned at age ten, Ellie Stafford and her twin sister Mae made a vow—to stick together and never marry. Now in their mid twenties, they are bucking convention in Calder Springs, Texas, as women with respectable occupations who can take care of themselves. Ellie works at the Good Fixin’s Diner and spends her evenings knitting garments for The Children’s Aid Society. When a handsome local rancher shows up searching for a cook, she’s hardly tempted, despite his good looks.
Luke Rogers owns a spread just outside of Calder Springs. It was running as smooth as cattle going through a chute until his cook up and marries and high-tails it back east. With no cook and a bunkhouse full of ranch hands ready to revolt, he persuades Ellie to temporarily fill in until he can hire someone else. He should have known better than to get tangled up with another woman.
Instant Frontier Family
1866 – Washington
Maddie O’Rourke’s orphaned half brother and half sister have arrived safely in Seattle—with a man they hope she’ll wed! Though Michael Haggerty’s not the escort she planned for, Maddie allows him to work off his passage by assisting in her bakery…and helping care for her siblings. But she’ll never risk her newfound independence by marrying the strapping Irishman—or anyone else.
In New York, Michael ran afoul of a notorious gang. Traveling west was a necessity, not a choice. The longshoreman grew fond of his young charges, and now he’s quickly becoming partial to their beautiful sister, too. So when danger follows him, threatening Maddie and the children, he’ll do anything to protect them—and the future he hopes to build.
The Cactus Creek Challenge
1888 – Texas
Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts
Love’s Unfading Light
1880 – Michigan
Tressa Danell is finished with men—from the wastrel who left her a widow, to the smelly trapper who keeps proposing, to the banker who wants to repossess her bakery. Every hour is spent working to pay off her late husband’s debt and keep a roof over her son’s head, though it’s doubtful she can do both for very long. But one thing’s certain—she’ll never be beholden to a man again.
Tired of living in a small town that blames him for actions his father committed ten years ago, Mac Oakton is scheduled to leave Eagle Harbor. So why does the pretty widow at the bakery keep tugging at his heart? He can’t get involved in her predicament when he’ll only be around for two more weeks.
But when Tressa’s burdens overwhelm her, they both face a decision. Can Mac set his own plans aside to help? And can Tressa accept his support if that means giving up her independence … and being obligated to a man again?
The Fruitcake Challenge
1890 – Michigan
When new lumberjack, Tom Jeffries, tells the camp cook, Jo Christy, that he’ll marry her if she can make a fruitcake, “as good as the one my mother makes,” she rises to the occasion. After all, he’s the handsomest, smartest, and strongest axman her camp-boss father has ever had in his camp—and the cockiest. And she intends to bring this lumberjack down a notch or three by refusing his proposal. The fruitcake wars are on! All the shanty boys and Jo’s cooking helpers chip in with their recipes but Jo finds she’ll have to enlist more help—and begins corresponding with Tom’s mother.
Step back in time to 1890, in beautiful Northern Michigan, near the sapphire straits of Mackinac, when the white pines were “white gold” and lumber camps were a way of life. Jo is ready to find another life outside of the camps and plans that don’t include any shanty boys. But will a lumberjack keep her in the very place she’s sworn to leave?
A Hero in the Making
1869 – Texas
Nate Bohannan won’t let anything stand in the way of his grand plans in California. Even if it means traveling there with unreliable huckster Robert Salali. But after a destructive bender in Simpson Creek, Texas, the unscrupulous Salali runs out, leaving Nate to carry the blame—and the debt. He can fix broken furniture…but can anything fix the despair in café owner Ella Justiss’s eyes? When her café was destroyed, Ella felt sure she’d lost her dreams along with it. Yet somehow Nate’s cheerful care and optimism fill her with hope again. Painful secrets from her childhood make Ella wary of men. When danger threatens, will Nate be the hero Ella can finally trust—and love?
While Love Stirs
1910 – Minnesota
After graduating from Fannie Farmer’s School of Cookery in 1910, Charlotte Gregory is ready to stir things up. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to travel, lecture, and give cooking demonstrations on the very latest kitchen revolution–the gas stove–and certainly doesn’t mind that the gas company has hired the handsome Lewis Mathis to perform at her lectures. Lewis encourages her work, especially her crusade to introduce fresh, appetizing, nutritious food to those convalescing in hospitals. But young hospital superintendent Dr. Joel Brooks is not convinced any changes should be made–especially by this outspoken young woman. When Charlotte and Joel are coerced into planning a fund-raising gala for the hospital, will this combustible pair explode? Fan favorite Lorna Seilstad is back with a breezy, lighthearted love triangle that will keep readers guessing. Attention to historic detail adorns the timeless story of a young woman looking for true love and making her way in a rapidly changing world.
Plots and Pans
1872 – Texas
Order dictates Tucker Carmichael’s life—his orders. On a cattle drive, a moment’s hesitation can mean death. The Chisholm Trail is dirty, dangerous, and no place for women. After years at school, Jessalyn Culpepper has come home and is determined to show everyone that a woman can manage everything from cooking to cattle—whether they like it or not! Tucker tries to manage his partner’s headstrong sister, horrified when she wants to join the cattle drive. But when they need a chuck wagon cook, Jessalyn seems the only solution. Will God stir up love along a trail filled with their Plots and Pans?
Love’s Sweet Beginning
1868 – Missouri
It wasn’t Cassie Haddon’s fault that she had managed to reach the age of twenty-five without possessing any useful skills. Until the war, she had always had servants to wait on her. Since then, she and her widowed mother had moved from place to place, relying on family to care for them. Now she’s forced to find work to support them both. What isn’t in her plans is falling for Jacob West, a local restaurateur and grocer. She needs a job and he needs help. But what they both need is love. With her signature sweet romance, Ann Shorey weaves a tale of two people from very different backgrounds finding common ground and the hopes of a bright future together.
1871 – Wisconsin
Quaker Rachel Woolsey dreams of having her own bakery and her own homestead. But the odds are stacked against her—until the handsome ex-soldier she nurses back to health offers to help her. Like Rachel, Brennan Merriday is an outsider. But he’ll be the temporary ally she needs, and her foolish attraction will fade once he’s gone. At first, the only thing Brennan wants to know about Pepin, Wisconsin, is how fast he can leave it. Perhaps in Canada he’ll find peace after a bloody war. Yet repaying his debt to the pretty baker offers unexpected solace. She saved him once. Now he longs to rescue dreams of family—for both of them.
Fired Up (Trouble in Texas)
1868 – Texas
Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can’t let his guard down for a moment, which is a challenge, since right now he’s trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna. Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she’s determined to care for her son and daughter on her own. She wants to believe Dare Riker is as decent as he seems, but she’s terrified to lock herself into another marriage. She plans to support her small family by opening a diner–never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent. The men in Broken Wheel, Texas, are so desperate for home cooking that they seem willing to overlook dried-out beef and blackened biscuits. Glynna can’t help but notice that danger follows Dare wherever he goes. There’s the avalanche. And then the fire. But things really get out of hand when someone plunges a knife from Glynna’s diner into Dare’s back. Are Flint’s cronies still plotting revenge? Is Glynna’s son engaged in a misguided attempt to protect his mother? Is a shadowy outsider still enraged over past injustices? And can Dare survive long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?
The Bride Next Door (Texas Grooms)
1895 – Texas
After years of wandering, Daisy Johnson hopes to settle in Turnabout, Texas, open a restaurant, perhaps find a husband. Of course, she’d envisioned a man who actually likes her. Not someone who offers a marriage of convenience to avoid scandal.
Turnabout is just a temporary stop for newspaper reporter Everett Fulton. Thanks to one pesky connecting door and a local gossip, he’s suddenly married, but his dreams of leaving haven’t changed. What Daisy wants—home, family, tenderness—he can’t provide. Yet big-city plans are starting to pale beside small-town warmth….
1870 – Indiana
Orphaned sisters Maggie and Fiona O’Keefe are on their own in a new country. In Wabash, Indiana, the nineteen-year-old Maggie struggles to balance her business – a bakery specializing in Irish pastries – with caring for her three-year-old sister. One day, Fiona disappears. Wabash sheriff Simon Masters, assuming Maggie to be a careless young mother, soon joins the search. Simon has a particular distaste for negligent parents and informs Maggie that he questions returning Fiona to her custody when – and if – the child is found. As the two butt heads, they find they have more in common than the disagreement between them.
Colorado Courtship: Winter of Dreams\The Rancher’s Sweetheart
1899 – Colorado
Winter of Dreams by Cheryl St.John
If Violet Kristofferson had known that her new employer was the town undertaker, she might never have come to Carson Springs as his cook. Yet she needs a fresh start away from scandal. And Ben Charles’s unflinching faith could be her path to something truly precious—a new family.
The Rancher’s Sweetheart by Debra Ullrick
The cowboys on her uncle’s ranch show Sunny Weston no respect—except for foreman Jed Cooper. A riding and roping contest is Sunny’s chance to prove herself. But now that she’s falling for Jed, will she find courage to take the biggest risk of all, and trust her heart?
The Ride of Her Life
1906 – Iowa
The only man pragmatic Lilly Hart needs in her life is a six year old. Widowed two years ago, Lilly leaves the shelter of her intrusive in-laws’ home to stand on her own and provide for her young son by working for the summer as a cook at Lake Manawa. However, her in-laws find that life utterly unsuitable for their grandson, and when a row ensues, a handsome stranger–who designs roller coasters, of all things–intercedes on her behalf. Still, Lilly is not about to get involved with any man, especially this cocky (though charismatic) gentleman. Little does she know she is about to begin the ride of her life.
Filled with delightful characters and the romance of summer, The Ride of Her Life is another supremely entertaining story from the witty Lorna Seilstad. Readers will laugh out loud and sigh contentedly as they spend the summer of 1906 in Lake Manawa.
1932 – Florida
Her four stepchildren are thrilled when they learn an ice cream shop will be opening in their small Amish community. But widow Pleasant Obermeier isn’t so pleased. Spending time with handsome shop owner Jeremiah Troyer is too much for a woman who’s only ever been wounded by love. And now he wants to use her baking skills in his shop? Out of the question!
A harsh childhood left Jeremiah convinced that family life wasn’t for him. Yet something about the Obermeiers moves his heart. If he can win Pleasant’s trust and learn to trust himself, then he may gain the ultimate blessing—a lifetime of love.
The Measure of Katie Calloway
1867 – Georgia
The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway’s Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he’s hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love.
With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era. From the ethereal, snowy forest and the warm cookstove to the rowdy shanty boys and the jagged edges of the saw, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting the reader back to the time when pine was king, men were made of iron, and rivers were choked with logs on the way to the sawmills. Readers will have a hard time leaving the Northwoods when they turn the last page.
Livvie’s Song (River of Hope)
1920s – Indiana
Life is far from a breeze for Olivia Beckman, owner of Livvie’s Kitchen, a favorite of locals in Wabash, Indiana. The widowed mother of two is struggling to make ends meet–no simple feat, especially when her cook turns in his resignation. Yet she’s determined to pull through on her own, just as she did when God failed to save her beloved Frank.
Newly released from a ten–year prison sentence, Will Taylor is ready for a fresh start. With harmonica in hand–the only possession he values, aside from his Bible–he makes his way to Wabash, where a late–night meal at Livvie’s Kitchen turns into a job opportunity when the outgoing cook learns about his restaurant experience. What he doesn’t know is that the “restaurant” was a prison cafeteria.
But Will became a new man behind bars, thanks to a Christian friend, and he credits God’s providence with landing him a job he loves. Soon, he cooks and bakes his way into the stomachs of his customers–and the heart of his employer. Both are hesitant, though, still healing from past hurts. A recipe for love between them will require sharing secrets, braving dangers, and believing God for a bright future.
1880s – Colorado
Newly married Carina DiGratia Shephard longs to make a home for herself and her husband, Quillan, in the rugged mining town of Crystal, Colorado. Quillan, however, has turned away to confront the haunting pain of his troubled childhood. Out of her loneliness, Carina opens a restaurant, and through its success soon attains the independence and identity she has long sought. When Carina is attacked in retaliation for her kindness to the destitute families of miners, everything changes. Will Quillan exchange his bitterness for the forgiveness of God in time to save their marriage?
Whispers Along the Rails (Postcards from Pullman Series #2)
1893 – Illinois
Olivia Mott finds herself juggling two jobs: her assistant chef position at Hotel Florence and her undercover work for the Pullman Rail Car Company. Olivia thinks the suggestions she relays to Pullman’s town manager are being used to improve conditions for workers and save the company money, but is something much more sinister happening behind the scenes? Several months have passed since Lady Charlotte fled to Chicago, leaving her infant son in Olivia’s care. Now Charlotte’s money has run out. A kindly woman offers her a place to live and secures her a position at Marshall Field’s store, but Charlotte’s heart can’t forget the past. Dare she return to Pullman to find out what happened to her baby?
In the Company of Secrets (Postcards from Pullman Series #1)
1892 – Illinois
The truth could cost her everything…. Olivia Mott didn’t intend to lie. Somehow, it just happened. And wasn’t it all Lady Charlotte’s fault anyway? Now Olivia’s position as assistant chef at Pullman’s elegant Hotel Florence is dependent upon her keeping her secrets. And sometimes lies have a way of leading to other lies. Should Olivia admit her real past and accept the consequences or keep quiet in order to preserve her comfortable new circumstances? Deception seems to be part of everyday life in the company town of Pullman, Illinois, where the grand Pullman Palace Car is manufactured. Samuel Howard, Olivia’s friend and the town manager, seems to think everything is fine, but Olivia observes something quite different. Could it be that Olivia is not the only one harboring secrets?
The Measure of a Lady
1849 – California
Rachel van Buren arrives in Gold Rush San Francisco with two wishes: to protect her younger siblings and to return east as soon as possible. Both goals prove more difficult than she could imagine as her brother and sister are lured by the city’s dangerous freedom and a missionary-turned-gambler stakes a claim on her heart. Rachel won’t give up without a fight though, and soon all will learn an eloquent but humorous lesson about what truly makes a lady.