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The Centurion by Ken Gire

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The Centurion

30s-60s – Middle East/Roman Empire

An ambitious Roman soldier. A stunning crucifixion. An unlikely romance. A long war and a chance reunion—the moving parts that make The Centurion a gripping story of love, duty, and sacrifice.

Lucius has always dreamed of military conquest and Roman glory. Little does he know how a routine crucifixion will change him forever.

Curious about this “King of the Jews,” Lucius seeks out His followers and falls for one Mary Magdalene. But all is interrupted when Lucius is called to lead military campaigns. There the hardships of war, year after year, wear him down to nearly nothing.

When Lucius finally returns to Rome, the city has lost its allure. A chance encounter tests his allegiances, and he must decide who he is, what is real, and what is worth dying for.

This work of historical fiction includes an extensive annotated list of sources.

Friends & Enemies by Terri Wangard

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Friends and Enemies

1943 – Germany

Aiding downed enemy airmen is punishable by death in Nazi Germany, but he’s an old friend. How much will she risk to help him?

Widowed seamstress Heidi Wetzel finds new meaning in life by caring for evacuated children on a farm in war-torn western Germany. Never a supporter of National Socialism, she takes pleasure in passive resistance, but must exercise caution around neighbors who delight in reporting to the Gestapo. Having lived in the United States, she wonders about her friend Rachel. Flying cadet Paul Braedel’s wife dies while he trains for the U.S. Army Air Corps. Following bereavement leave, he joins a navigation class. He’s lost his zest for life and heads to England, not caring if he lives or dies.

When he and his crew are shot down over Germany, he evades capture and, for the first time since Rachel’s death, hears the voice of God whisper guidance. “Find Heidi.” Heidi meets a man she recognizes from her high school days in America. Aiding a downed airman is punishable by execution, but she agrees to help.

She takes him to the farm to pose as a convalescing German soldier. Through her brother’s underground contacts, Paul acquires German ID papers. Before he can journey along an escape route, they’re betrayed and the Gestapo comes calling. Together, Paul and Heidi flee across Germany in a desperate journey for Allied lines.

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The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

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The Painter’s Daughter

1815 – England

Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists–including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley’s responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host’s daughter in serious trouble.

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother’s, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage “in name only” to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn’t come to regret it?

A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar

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A Thousand Shall Fall

 1864 – Virginia

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off–only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.

Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally–and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert

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The Girl from the Train

WWII – Germany, Poland, South Africa

Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Aushwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks.

As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.

Gretl is the only survivor. Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her in. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family.

But she can’t stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families—so long as Gretl’s Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.

Separated by continents, politics, religion, language, and years, Jakób and Gretl will likely never see each other again. But the events they have both survived and their belief that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome.

Leveraging Lincoln by Stephenia H. McGee

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Leveraging Lincoln

1865 – Mississippi

“All we have to do is kidnap their President….”

Four years of war have reduced the South to near annihilation. Homes lay smoldering and men become desperate. Amid the shadows of fear, a clandestine group waits for an opportunity to change the course of history.

Harlot, liar, spy…
On the threshold of losing her plantation, Annabelle Ross finds a cryptic letter on a dying soldier and seizes the opportunity to get out a message of her own. She never dreamed her plan would brand her a suspected spy… or worse, an unwilling conspirator.

Deserter, traitor, accomplice…
When Matthew Daniels’s brother is taken captive, he finds himself caught up in a plot to gain leverage on the Union. The lines are drawn in blood, and the risk is there for the taking. But will his reckless gamble cost him the woman he had determined not to love?

She wants to save her home. He wants to save his brother. Together, they may just save a nation.

Part one of the Liberator Series, a trilogy following the adventures and romance of Annabelle Ross and Matthew Daniels as they play a part in the dramatic conclusion of Abraham Lincoln’s life.

Promise to Keep by Elizabeth Byler Younts

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Promise to Keep

 1946 – Delaware

World War II Marine Joe Garrison returns home from war longing to be a father to his deaf daughter, Daisy, only to find that she is attached to Esther Detweiler, the Amish woman who has raised her since his wife’s death in this touching historical romance.

Orphaned as a child, Esther Detweiler is used to caring for herself and her ailing grandmother. They made the best out of a hard life and poverty without asking for help. They even take in her shunned cousin’s deaf daughter, Daisy, when her mother dies and her father goes off to war. When Esther’s grandmother dies, Daisy is all she has.

When war veteran Joe Garrison returns, all he can think about is recovering from the horrors of war and building a relationship with his seven-year-old daughter. Daisy, however, is unwilling to leave Esther, whom she loves. Joe and Daisy get to know each other again, but Joe struggles with nightmares and fatherhood is proving to be more difficult than he imagined. Esther loves Daisy and despite her Amish ways, Joe finds himself drawn to her as a woman and not just a caregiver.

As their love blossoms, Joe decides to send Daisy away to a school for the deaf which propels their lives into turmoil and a battle for love and family.

The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

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The Mistress of Tall Acre

1778 – Virginia

The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general’s past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

Triumph and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal–readers find it all in the rich pages of this newest historical novel from the talented pen of Laura Frantz. Her careful historical details immerse the reader in the story world, and her emotional writing and finely tuned characters never cease to enchant fans both old and new.

Valley of the Shadow by J. M. Hochstetler

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Valley of the Shadow

1777 – Many American States

Can he save them both from the Valley of the Shadow? Following a humiliating defeat at Philadelphia and a rival’s stunning victory at Saratoga, Washington’s army faces yet another bitter winter, this time at Valley Forge. Meanwhile, General Jonathan Carleton races to save Elizabeth Howard from the horrors of the prison ships in the British stronghold at New York, while British General William Howe plots to execute them both.

From heart-pounding battles on the high seas, to the rigors of Valley Forge and the Shawnee’s savagely fought wars to preserve their ancestral lands, Valley of the Shadow continues the thrilling saga of America’s founding in an inspiring story of despair, courage, and triumph.

A Basket Brigade Christmas by Various Authors

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A Basket Brigade Christmas

A 3-in-1 collection of Civil War Christmas novellas inspired by the true story of the Basket Brigade women of Decatur, Illinois. . . . In A Pinch of Love by Judith Miller, Sarah McHenry is drawn to Jacob Curtis, but can he control his jealousy over her care for other soldiers. In A Stitch in Time by Stephanie Grace Whitson, Lucy Maddox wins the attention of a handsome private. . .but his intentions don’t seem noble to Silas Tait, who has loved Lucy secretly for years. In Endless Melody by Nancy Moser, word of Zona Evans’s musical ministrations reaches her long-lost love, Dr. Cardiff Kensington. 

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