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Like a River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart

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1941 – Ukraine
 
An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little—known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer’s plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

The Bonfires of Beltane by Mark Fisher

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The Bonfires of Beltane

432 – Ireland

Since before anyone can remember, Taran’s Celtic, island people have
sacrificed children to Crom Cruach, the dread sun god. His whole clan
accepts this atrocity, yet in his heart he knows it’s wrong.

Now, Taran is about to be inducted into his clan’s circle of leaders.
He promises Laurna, his betrothed, he’ll hide his doubts. But at the
ceremony beside the bent idol of gold, he can’t help but question
the druids’ rule. He blames the clan’s miserable fortunes on Crom
Cruach, calling it a demon.

As a result, the druids order his banishment. Instead of a wedding
with Laurna, he faces a tearful parting. As a storm darkens the horizon,
Taran paddles his wee craft into a vast, raging sea. Thus begins
Taran’s adventure in A.D. 432.

Beyond the sea lies ancient, Celtic Ireland. There wait the Roman
evangelist, Patrick, and two kingdoms ruled by powerful kings and
their druid advisors. It’s a proud land where tradition is
everything and travel through the wild can mean slavery
or death. The druids will stop at nothing to remain in power and
prevent Patrick and his followers from changing their ancient ways.

Will Taran find the spiritual truth he desperately seeks? Can he
escape wrathful kings and conniving druids? Will he ever be
able to return home and rejoin his beloved Laurna?

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.

Delilah: Treacherous Beauty by Angela Hunt

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Delilah: Treacherous Beauty

1200 BC – Middle East

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself.

When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

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The Beautiful Pretender

1363 – Germany

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.

Chasing The Butterfly by Jayme Mansfield

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chasingbutterflyGoodreads ~ Purchase

1931 – France

From a vineyard in the south of France to the sophisticated city of Paris, Ella Moreau searches for the hope and love she lost as a young girl when her mother abandoned the family. Through a series of secret paintings, her art becomes the substitute for lost love—the metaphor of her life. But when her paintings are discovered, the intentions of those she loves are revealed.

Dawn at Emberwilde by Sarah Ladd

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Dawn at Emberwilde

 1817 – England

Isabel Creston never dared to dream that love could be hers. Now, at the edge of a forest filled with dark secrets, she faces a fateful choice between love and duty.

For as long as she can remember, beautiful and free-spirited Isabel has strained against the rules and rigidity of the Fellsworth School in the rolling English countryside. No longer a student, Isabel set her sights on a steady role as a teacher at the school, a safe yet stifling establishment that would enable her to care for her younger sister Lizzie, who was left in her care after her father’s death.

 The unexpected arrival of a stranger with news of unknown relatives turns Isabel’s small, predictable world upside down, sweeping her and her young charge into a labyrinth of intrigue and hidden motives.

 At her new family’s invitation, Isabel and Lizzie relocate to Emberwilde, a sprawling estate adjacent to a vast, mysterious wood rife with rumors and ominous folklore—along with whispers of something far more sinister. Perhaps even more startling, two handsome men begin pursuing Isabel, forcing her to learn the delicate dance between attraction, the intricate rules of courtship, and the hopes of her heart.

 At Emberwilde Isabel will discover that the key to unlocking the mystery of her past may also open the door to her future and security. But first she must find it—in the depths of Emberwilde Forest.

No Neutral Ground by Terri Wangard

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No Neutral Ground

1943 – Sweden

Germany rejected him. America took him in. Now he’s back, at war with his homeland and his father, who turned his back.

After his father divorces his mother because of her Jewish ancestry, Rafe and the rest of his family leave Germany. As a B-17 navigator, he returns to Europe. On the ocean voyage, he meets Jennie, an artist journeying to Sweden to work with the OSS.

Sweden may be neutral, but its full of intrigue. When Rafe’s damaged bomber lands in Sweden, he teams with Jennie in the effort to gain intelligence and frustrate the Germans.

Along the way, he overcomes his anger and forgives his father’s betrayal.

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The Sound of Emeralds by Rachelle Rea

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The Sound of Emeralds

1567 – England

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

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The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M White

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The Reluctant Duchess

1912 – Scotland/England

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough–not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when Rowena’s father tries to trap Brice into marrying his daughter, Brice makes a surprising decision.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to marry a notorious flirt. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in questionable business with a stolen treasure, she fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.

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