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Esther by Angela Hunt

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Estheresther

BC – Middle East

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king’s heart and a queen’s crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king’s permission to exterminate all Jews–young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people…and bind her husband’s heart.

The Bracelet by Dorothy Love

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The Braceletbracelet

1858 – Georgia

Celia Browning dreams of the day when her childhood sweetheart Sutton Mackay comes home to Savannah after two years in Jamaica managing his family’s shipping interests. Sutton has all but proposed, and their marriage will unite two of the city’s most prominent families. But just as Sutton returns, a newspaper reporter arrives in town, determined to pry into twin tragedies that took place at the Browning mansion on Madison Square when Celia was a child. While the journalist pursues his story, someone is trying to frighten Celia. When she receives a series of anonymous notes, and a bracelet imbued with a chilling message, Celia realizes that her family’s past has the power to destroy her future. As the clouds of war gather over Savannah, and her beloved father’s health worsens, Celia determines to uncover the truth about what really happened all those years ago. Inspired by actual events in one of Savannah’s most prominent 19th-century families, The Bracelet is the story of a young southern woman whose dreams fracture under the weight of her family’s tragic past.

A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

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A.D. 30ad30

30 – Middle East

A sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine.

A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.
 
The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all.
 
Step back in time to the year of our Lord…A.D. 30.
The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors–Saba who speaks more with his sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews.

But Maviah’s path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.

Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

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Keepers of the Covenantkeepersofthecovenant

473 BC – Persia

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the exiles in Babylon are thrown into despair when a decree from the king’s palace calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet but brilliant scholar, soon finds himself called upon to become the leader of his people. Forced to rally an army when all his training has been in the Torah, he struggles to bring hope in a time of utter despair, when dreams of the future–of family and love–seem impossible. In Keepers of the Covenant, acclaimed novelist Lynn Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God’s unwavering love for His people.    

The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee

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The Legend of Shebathelegendofsheba

10th Century BC – Middle East

In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father’s throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Her realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But now new alliances to the North threaten the trade routes that are the lifeblood of her nation. Solomon, the brash new king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world—or of Sheba’s queen. With tensions ready to erupt within her own borders and the future of her nation at stake, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon undertakes the journey of a lifetime in a daring bid to test and win the king. But neither ruler has anticipated the clash of agendas, gods, and passion that threatens to ignite—and ruin—them both. An explosive retelling of the legendary king and queen and the nations that shaped history.

The Desert Princess by Jill Eileen Smith

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The Desert Princess thedesertprincess

980 BC – Middle East

Solomon captured her heart. But can she hold on to his? King David is running for his life with his young son Solomon in tow when Naamah first encounters the prince. Her father is loyal to the king, and that loyalty will be sealed years later–through the marriage of Solomon and Naamah. For her part, Naamah is happy to wed the handsome prince and enter into palace life. But all is not well in Jerusalem. Solomon must navigate constant threats to his life–even from within the palace walls. And when peace is restored, can Naamah ever be truly happy as she watches the love of her life taking more wives?

A Place in His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

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A Place in His Heartaplaceinhisheart

1630 – England/New York/At Sea

Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton is still in love with his deceased wife and needs only a mother for his two young sons. And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies. Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.

Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert

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edwinGoodreads ~ Purchase ~ Sample

600s – England

Edwin is a king. Yet he is about to be betrayed and butchered. Edwin, the long-exiled king of Northumbria, thought he had found sanctuary at the court of King Rædwald – his friend, and now protector. But Rædwald faces the lure of riches and the threat of bloodshed, and Edwin fears that he will be abandoned to his enemies. As Edwin contemplates his fate, a mysterious messenger prophesies that he will ascend to greater heights than any of his forefathers. Can Edwin escape the fearsome warrior king who is calling for his blood? Do the Anglo-Saxon Gods of old, or the new God from across the sea, really have the power to raise Edwin above all other kings?

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Northkill by Bob and J. M. Hochstetler

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Northkillnorthkill

1752-1757 – Pennsylvania

In 1738 Jakob Hochstetler and his family arrive in America, seeking sanctuary from religious persecution in Europe and the freedom to live and worship according to their Anabaptist beliefs, which include the doctrine of nonresistance. Along with other members of their church, they settle in the Northkill Amish Mennonite community on the Pennsylvania frontier between civilization and wilderness. They build a home near Northkill Creek, for which their community is named. For eighteen years, the community lives at peace. Then, while the French and Indian War rages, the Hochstetlers’ way of life is brutally shattered. Early on the morning of September 20, 1757, their home is attacked by a party of Delaware and Shawnee warriors allied with the French. Facing certain death with his wife and children, Jakob makes a wrenching choice that will tear apart his family and change all of their lives forever. Northkill is closely based on an inspiring true story well-known among the Amish and Mennonites. It has been documented in many publications and in contemporary accounts preserved in the Pennsylvania State Archives and in private collections.

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love

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Carolina Goldcarolinagold

1868 – South Carolina

The war is over, but at Fairhaven Plantation, Charlotte’s struggle has just begun.

Following her father’s death, Charlotte Fraser returns to Fairhaven, her family’s rice plantation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. With no one else to rely upon, smart, independent Charlotte is determined to resume cultivating the superior strain of rice called Carolina Gold.  But the war has left the plantation in ruins, her father’s former bondsmen are free, and workers and equipment are in short supply. To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her widowed neighbor and heir to Willowood Plantation, Nicholas Betancourt.  Just as her friendship with Nick deepens, he embarks upon a quest to prove his claim to Willowood and sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that uncovers a long-held family secret, and threatens everything she holds dear. Inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Carolina Gold pays tribute to the hauntingly beautiful Lowcountry and weaves together  mystery, romance, and historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman’s struggle to restore her ruined world.

Fields of the Fatherless by Elaine Marie Cooper

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Fields of the Fatherlessfieldsofthefatherless

1775 – Massachusetts

In the early months of 1775, war is brewing in the American colonies. Although frightened, eighteen-year-old Betsy Russell (an ancestor to actor Kurt Russell) of Menotomy Village, Massachusetts, wants to be prepared in case of attack by British troops. Her father, prosperous farmer Jason, is the fourth generation of Russells on this land yet their very rights as British Colonials are being stripped away one by one. Will the King of England take their land as well? Tensions are growing here in the countryside west of Boston and the outbreak of battle seems a certainty. Jason desperately wants to protect his family his wife, children and grandchildren and their future. Betsy makes every attempt to be prepared for the worst. But not even the American militia could have predicted the bloody massacre that was about to occur right on the Russells doorstep. If Betsy loses everything she holds dear, are the rights of all the Colonists endangered?

Fields of the Fatherless is based on a true story.

Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green

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Wedded to War (Heroines Behind the Lines)weddedtowar

1861 – Several US States

It’s April 1861, and the Union Army’s Medical Department is a disaster, completely unprepared for the magnitude of war. A small group of New York City women, including 28-year-old Charlotte Waverly, decide to do something about it, and end up changing the course of the war, despite criticism, ridicule and social ostracism. Charlotte leaves a life of privilege, wealth-and confining expectations-to be one of the first female nurses for the Union Army. She quickly discovers that she’s fighting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Corruption, harassment, and opposition from Northern doctors threaten to push her out of her new role. At the same time, her sweetheart disapproves of her shocking strength and independence, forcing her to make an impossible decision: Will she choose love and marriage, or duty to a cause that seems to be losing? An Irish immigrant named Ruby O’Flannery, who turns to the unthinkable in the face of starvation, holds the secret that will unlock the door to Charlotte’s future. But will the rich and poor confide in each other in time?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey’s letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured.

Jocelyn Green’s debut novel is endorsed by historians and professors for its historical accuracy and detail, by award-winning novelists for its spell-binding storytelling, and by entertainment journalists and book club leaders for its deep and complex content, perfect to share and discuss with others.

Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatrick

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wherelilacsstillbloomWhere Lilacs Still Bloom

1889 to 1940s- Washington

One woman, an impossible dream, and the faith it took to see it through.

German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife. 

Through the years, seasonal floods continually threaten to erase her Woodland, Washington garden and a series of family tragedies cause even Hulda to question her focus. In a time of practicality, can one person’s simple gifts of beauty make a difference? 

Based on the life of Hulda Klager, Where Lilacs Still Bloom is a story of triumph over an impossible dream and the power of a generous heart.

The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 2: The Testimony by Sharon Ewell Foster

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The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 2: The Testimonytheresurrectionofnatturner

1831 – Virginia

They were all heroes . . . Sparked by an indigo sun, Nat Turner stormed into history with a sword in one hand and a Bible in the other. Thirty years before the advent of the Civil War—in the predawn hours of August 22, 1831, commanding a small army of slaves, Nat Turner led a bloody fight for freedom that shined a national spotlight on slavery and left more than fifty whites dead.

In The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 2: The Testimony, as Harriet Beecher Stowe seeks to learn the truth of the man his people called Prophet, Nat Turner shares the faith, triumph, tragedy, and hope of his fight for liberty, brotherhood, and self-determination.
For 180 years, the truth of Nat’s story has been tainted. Award-winning author Sharon Ewell Foster reinterprets history to offer a new American story of one man’s struggle for freedom and the redemption of his people. Based on actual trial records, interviews with descendants, official documents, and five years of research, The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 2: The Testimony is a story of the quest for truth and the true meaning of liberty.

The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund

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Doctor's Lady, TheThe Doctor’s Ladydoctorslady

1836 – Several US States

Priscilla White knows she’ll never be a wife or mother and feels God’s call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.

Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God’s leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts. 

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