1867 – Oregon Trail
1894 – Texas
Members of Hanger’s Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they’d deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he’d nearly married a decade ago.
After failing at love, Katherine Palmer dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. From mixed ancestry, illegitimate, and female, Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society’s mold. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her with his courage and kindness, but there are secrets behind his eyes–ghosts from wars past and others still being waged.
However, when a handful of urchin children from the area go missing, a pair of Horsemen are exactly what the women need. Working together to find the children, will these two couples find love as well?
1814 – England
Can Captain Wyvern keep his new marriage of convenience all business–or will it turn into something more?
Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life–especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero’s dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man’s grieving fiancée and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.
When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.
Sophie is surprised to find she isn’t opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed’s elderly mother, and she’s already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she’ll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.
It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he’s come to mean to her. Now she’ll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.
1831 – Idaho
Keeping her son safe on this epic journey may be harder than she imagined.
Caleb Jackson is on a journey. And not just the mission he and his friends have embarked on to fetch the Nez Perce chief’s runaway daughter. Maybe someday, he could also find God’s plan for his life. He’d once thought being a small town minister was the Lord’s will for him, but he’d proved a failure at living under the scrutiny of his congregation. Yet the chief’s niece and her feisty toddler accompanying them on this expedition make him feel like he might be able to make a difference yet.
Otskai is eager to take on a challenge. She’s lived under the shelter of other’s choices her entire life, especially when she was betrothed to one of the village braves at the tender age of eight. Now with her husband’s death, she’s finally found the freedom she always craved—even with a two-year-old to raise. She’s built her camas root harvest into a thriving trade to provide all she and her son need and more, yet she can’t seem to keep her active child safe. When she agrees to accompany her new friends on a trip to bring back her wayward cousin, she knows she’ll have her hands full managing her boy.
The journey turns out nothing like Otskai expects, and for the first time in her life, she’s thankful to have others around to help. Especially Caleb, whose gentle attentions captivate her son and occupy him for hours at a time. But as the danger escalates and her worst fears come to light, she must find the courage to choose between freedom and a love more liberating than she imagined possible.
1849 – California
Sarah Goodine lost her husband on their journey across the Great Plains. After a herd of stampeding buffalo rampage over her wagon, she has nothing left. Nothing other than the three children depending on her. How can she get them to safety in California? This journey was meant to protect her six-year-old son, but now the little family is in dire straits.
Davis Carpenter’s wife and newborn baby died on the trail. He has his hands full dealing with his two remaining children. His dream of joining his cousin on a ranch in California seems unimportant now but he has no choice but to continue on.
There is only one thing that will help Sarah and Davis complete this journey—a marriage of convenience. They have no intention of falling in love. Can their children help them see that a real family requires love?
1906 – Wyoming
Swirling rumors forced Cecilia White out of the teaching job she loved. She vowed not to get involved with a man again—no matter what. But when the term begins at a new schoolhouse in a new town, disaster strikes. No matter what she does, she can’t seem to escape the handsome, single chairman of the school board.
John Morgan has a secret. He’s not who he says he is. He’ll do anything to protect and provide for his young sister—including cozying up to the prickly schoolmarm.
Sparks fly and Cecilia must deny her heart if she hopes to keep her job. But what’s more important? Duty or love?
1893 – Illinois
The one thing Sylvie Townsend wants most is what she feared she was destined never to have–a family of her own. But taking in Polish immigrant Rose Dabrowski to raise and love quells those fears–until seventeen-year-old Rose goes missing at the World’s Fair, and Sylvie’s world unravels.
Brushed off by the authorities, Sylvie turns to her boarder, Kristof Bartok, for help. He is Rose’s violin instructor and the concertmaster for the Columbian Exposition Orchestra, and his language skills are vital to helping Sylvie navigate the immigrant communities where their search leads.
From the glittering architecture of the fair to the dark houses of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, they’re taken on a search that points to Rose’s long-lost family. Is Sylvie willing to let the girl go? And as Kristof and Sylvie grow closer, can she reconcile her craving for control with her yearning to belong?
1864 – Ohio
Joey Fuller is still mourning three years after his wife’s death, so much so that he leaves his four rambunctious young children to throw himself into the Civil War as a Union captain. But his kids are so ill-behaved that nannies keep quitting—and now, his mother has a broken leg and can’t handle them either. In desperation, Joey decides to advertise for a wife.
Faith Haviland is in a different kind of mourning. Not long ago, her fiancé left her to marry her best friend. Her customers at the diner where she works keep reminding her of that humiliating event and one of them, an older man, has been making aggressive advances. She’s desperate to flee the city—and Joey Fuller’s “Wife Needed” ad seems to be the answer to a prayer.
Will Faith live up to her name when Joey’s kids torment her with their mischief? Can she surrender this strange marriage to God while her new aloof husband is off fighting? And will a string of buttons convince her that he truly loves her?
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?
1882 – Texas
He’s been raised to carry on the legacy.
After her mother’s untimely death, Emma Monroe’s dreams to become a teacher are dashed. She takes a job as maid and cook at the local Stratton Ranch, where she endures humiliation and hardship in order to provide for her ailing father and younger brother. Only Riley Stratton, her childhood friend and heir to the Stratton fortune, sees her heart. When she’s asked to care for Skye, the young half-Indian girl most family members refuse to claim, Emma finally finds the purpose she craves.
Riley Stratton has it all, or so it seems. Growing up as the youngest son of the rich and powerful John Stratton, Riley stands to inherit a legacy of greatness in the Stratton Ranch. On the surface, his family looks like they have it all, but manipulation, deceit, and an ever-present quest for power leave him desperate for change. Yet his father has made it clear: do things the Stratton way, or face alienation and disinheritance.
As Riley and Emma choose between honor, dreams, and expectations—not to mention the love they can no longer deny—their first steps prove how quickly the situation can spin into danger. When their best efforts threaten the lives and hopes of those closest to them, it becomes clear the decisions they make will change the course of their lives forever.
1887 – Canada
Marriage of convenience? Not to this man.
Laura has been lied to before and vows to guard her heart. Especially from the likes of Cody Remington who seems not to take life seriously for one minute.
Cody was erreneously charged with murder. And the one woman he trusted—the woman he thought he loved—left him to hang. Trusting a woman is a mistake Cody doesn’t intend to repeat.
Neither Cody nor Laura can turn away from two abused and hungry children. When they are stranded overnight caring for the children, the townspeople insist they must marry.
How can Laura marry a man she can’t trust? Can Cody overcome his past to become the man Laura needs?
1866 – Tennessee
In a town battered and bruised by war, one woman embarks upon an impossible search–and one man must face the past in the very place that almost destroyed him.
Tennessee, 1866. According to the last letter Irish immigrant Catriona O’Toole received from her twin brother, Ryan, he was being dispatched to Franklin, Tennessee, where–as a conscripted Confederate soldier–he likely endured the bloody Battle of Franklin that claimed the lives of thousands. Catriona leaves behind the lush green of their Irish homeland in search of him, with nothing to her name except the sum of cash Ryan sent to their family. Now the sole provider for her seven-year-old spitfire sister, Nora, Catriona hopes to reunite the siblings–the only surviving members of their devastated family.
Wade Cunningham is a former Federal soldier who now works for the newly formed United States Secret Service and is trying to uncover counterfeiting rings in the postwar South. In order to infiltrate their sophisticated enterprise, he must pose as a former Confederate in Franklin–a town where counterfeit greenbacks run rampant. When Wade meets Catriona, he is immediately intrigued by her and the little redheaded scamp in her care–but what he doesn’t anticipate is that the cash in Catriona’s possession is some of the most convincing counterfeit money he’s ever seen. Soon the object of Wade’s affection is also the suspect in a major crime–one he’s expected to prosecute.
With rich historical detail and multifaceted prose, USA TODAY bestselling author Tamera Alexander tells a riveting tale of truth, betrayal, and unlikely romance that unveils the many shades of God’s perfect redemption.
1893 – Connecticut
Langley Taft is a firm believer in the narrow way. She trained to work alongside her father in their lumber dynasty and married the man of her parents’ choosing. A man who turned around and issued her a humiliating divorce. Left alone to raise her sister’s illegitimate son, she defies her family to do what she knows is right: deliver the baby to his father—even if that man is Wilder Monaghan, the irresponsible heir to a rival lumber company who lives on the other side of the country. And who happens to be the scoundrel she once fancied in her youth.
A lover of adventure, opportunity, and all things exciting, Wilder isn’t prepared for the surprise appearance of the son he thought was dead, or for the woman who shows up with her life shaded by unjust accusations but determined to help him raise his son. Parenting alongside the stringent Langley might be his most challenging adventure yet. Or his most rewarding, provided he can teach her how to have fun and in the process win her affections. But why would a studious, responsible woman like Langley Taft look twice at him, a reprobate trying to find his course back to the narrow way?
As secrets are revealed, driving a wedge between Wilder and Langley, they both must humble themselves to receive a gift they did not earn, a gift not bought with money or charm: the gift of a second chance.
1887 – Canada
Two wounded hearts. Two children in danger.
Delcie Morton might be young, but she’s old enough to be responsible for her cousin’s orphaned children. To protect them from their evil uncle, she flees west to Willow Creek. As she settles into her new life running a bakery, she finds it difficult to let down her guard.
Ryder Remington has lost everything. His wife and child are dead. His brother has narrowly missed being hung for a murder he didn’t commit. All he wants is to be left alone so he can forget the past. But when he is wrangled into helping at the cafe, he quickly finds himself in too deep with Delcie and her charges.
When the children are snatched, it is as if Ryder’s past is repeating itself. Can he change the future and earn Delcie’s trust? And more… her heart?
1814 – Virginia
When a deadly yellow fever outbreak draws Cornelia Gill back home, her new independent life must be abandoned. Injured veteran, Carter Williams, likewise must return to Dogwood Plantation when he suffers grievous family losses. Both become caretakers to younger family members. As the War of 1812 heats up, two wounded hearts begin to heal. But can they manage all that life has handed them?
1887 – Canada
Jenny has a secret dream that she’s nurtured since childhood. It’s a simple dream. She longs to have a family of her own. But Jenny has always been told she’s far too pretty to make a good wife. Her beauty attracts the wrong kind of attention and after an evil man tries to force himself on her she flees west.
Orphaned. Unwanted. Finn has always wanted to belong, but after being taken in by a neighboring family, he learned that the only way to protect himself was to keep his mouth shut and work hard. He stays alone in the mountains with only his mule for company.
When Finn’s long-ago sweetheart dies and leaves her only son in Finn’s custody, he realizes his mountain life is no place for a child. He needs a wife. After an accident, he finds himself being forced to marry the beautiful Jenny. He’s been shackled to a family that didn’t want him once before. What if it happens all over again?
1863 – Canada
Unemployed mill worker Zoe Hart jumps at the opportunity to emigrate to British Columbia in 1863 to find a better life and be reunited with her brother, who fled from home after being accused of a crime.
Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. While there, he’s devastated by the news from his fiancee in England that she’s marrying another man.
With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Zoe accepts a proposal from a miner of questionable character after he promises to help her locate her brother. Intent on protecting Zoe and frustrated by his failed engagement, Abe offers his own hand as groom. After a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all.
1867 – Montana Territory
Young widow Joanna Watson is struggling to make a new home for her five-year-old son, Samuel, in the little mountain town of Settler’s Fort. When she returns home from work to find Samuel and the woman watching him missing, with no lawman in town, she enlists a man she prays has enough experience in this rugged country to help.
Isaac Bowen wants nothing more than a quiet, invisible life in these mountains, far away from the bad decisions of his past. But he has a strong suspicion of who’s behind the kidnapping, and if he’s right, he knows all too well the evil they’re chasing.
As they press on against the elements, Joanna fights to hold on to hope, while Isaac knows a reckoning is coming. They find encouragement in the tentative trust that grows between them, but whether it can withstand the danger and coming confrontation is far from certain in this wild, unpredictable land.
1756 – Pennsylvania
Born to a French trader and a Lenape woman. Reared by Quakers. As the French & Indian War rages, one man strives for peace–between Pennsylvania and its Indian tribes, and between his own heart and mind.
As 1756 dawns, Isaac Lukens leaves the Pennsylvania wilderness after two years with the Lenape people. He’s failed to find the families of his birth parents, a French trader and a Lenape woman. Worse, the tribe he’s lived with, having rejected his peacemaking efforts, now ravages frontier settlements in retaliation. When he arrives in the Quaker community where he was reared, questions taunt him: Who is he–white man or Lenape? And where does he belong?
Elisabeth Alden, Isaac’s dearest childhood friend, is left to tend her young siblings alone upon her father’s death. Despite Isaac’s promise to care for her and the children, she battles resentment toward him for having left, while an unspeakable tragedy and her discordant courtship with a prominent Philadelphian weigh on her as well.
Elisabeth must marry or lose guardianship of her siblings, and her options threaten the life with her and the children that Isaac has come to love. Faced with Elisabeth’s hesitancy to marry, the prospect of finding his family at last, and the opportunity to assist in the peace process between Pennsylvania and its Indian tribes, Isaac must determine where–and to whom–the Almighty has called him.
A Cord of Three Strands weaves fact and fiction into a captivating portrayal of Colonial-era Quaker life, including Friends’ roles in Pennsylvania Indian relations and in refuting slavery.
1893 – Washington
Can Nicole learn to be enough of a lady to snag the handsome rancher?
Nicole Waterby has lived her whole life in the hills away from town due to her grandfather’s mistrust of people. But now he’s passed away, and Nicole is left to care for her two younger cousins. Feeling inadequate to handle the responsibility, she heads down the mountain to fetch herself a husband. She doesn’t realize women don’t wear trousers, buckskins, or carry a gun. She has a lot to learn about being a lady if she’s going to catch a husband. And the quilting circle is just the group of women to help her.
Rancher Shane Keegan has drifted from one location to another to find a place to belong. He longs to have a family of his own but feels doomed to live a life alone. When Nicole crosses his path, he wonders if he can have love, but he soon realizes she’s destined for someone better than a saddle tramp. Even though he knows there’s no future for him with the intriguing mountain girl, he still steps in to help her at every opportunity.
Will love stand a chance while both Nicole and Shane try to be people they are not?
1886 – Illinois
She vowed to marry for love. He promised his daughters a mother for Christmas. Time is running out for both of them.
A handshake between two men changes Alma Pickens’ life. Alma’s father promises her hand in marriage with a wedding due before Christmas. How can she keep her vow to her mother and still honor her father? With only Roy’s dimples to capture her attention, Alma can’t conceive of loving a man in four weeks time.
Widower Roy Gibbons’ young daughters want a mother for Christmas, and desperate to grant their wish, he said yes without thinking. With Christmas right around the corner, time is running out. When Dr. Pickens offers his daughter in marriage, Roy reasons as long as Alma can cook, clean, and keep the youngsters in line, it’s a fine arrangement.
Will Roy keep his promise to his girls? Will Alma keep hers to her mother? When both people have conflicting promises to keep, who will get the Christmas gift?
Set in the year 1886 in Southern Illinois, this sweet inspirational novella will tug at your heartstrings as this little family wins your heart.
1862 – Canada
Wealthy Arabella Lawrence flees to British Columbia on a bride ship still wearing the scars of past mistakes. One of the few single women in the boomtown, she immediately has suitors, but she is determined not to find herself trapped again by a poor choice.
Vying for her hand are two very different men. Lieutenant Richard Drummond is a gentleman in the Navy and is held in high esteem. Peter Kelly is the town’s baker and has worked hard to build a thriving business. He and Drummond not only compete for Arabella’s affections, but clash over their views of how the natives should be treated in the midst of a smallpox outbreak.
As Arabella begins to overcome her fears, she discovers someone in dire need–a starving girl abandoned by her tribe. Intent on helping the girl, Arabella leans on Peter’s advice and guidance. Will she have the wisdom to make the right decision or will seeking what’s right cost both her and Peter everything?
1569 – England
Anna Emory grew up the invisible, shy younger sister, and she prefers it that way. But when her father attempts to arrange an unsavory marriage, Anna learns that courage is sometimes found in adversity. Then she meets a boy and his father struggling in their relationship, and they tip her quiet world upside down.
Captain Mathieu Tudder has run from responsibility, entrusting his young son’s care to another and devoting his Sea Beggar ship to the Dutch Revolution. After that cause fails, Tudder returns to England for the son he left behind. But his son seems to have given his heart to a unknown and quiet lady—a woman who reminds him of all he’s ever loved and lost.
Will these two hearts—the battle-scarred and the broken—ever find true freedom?
1886 – Canada
Connie has always been the plain one. The responsible one. The dutiful one. She always stood in her beautiful cousin’s shadow, but now her cousin is dead. Connie is left to pick up the pieces and do right by her little niece, Megan, which means delivering the girl to her father. But nothing is as it seems. Jake denies being the father. Worse, the attraction Connie once felt for the enigmatic rancher still exists, though she has always been invisible to him.
Jake Hooper lost his mother, his father, and then his sweetheart, who left him without so much as a word of explanation. When Connie shows up with a child she claims is his, he knows it can’t be true.
Jake determines to take Connie and Megan to Fort Macleod. They aren’t his responsibility. And after all the loss he has suffered, he can’t bear to open his heart again.
But the more time they spend together, the more one charming little girl and her fiery aunt sneak into Jake’s heart. Will he be able to cut ties and leave them on their own? Or will his honor—and his heart—require a different answer?
1882 – Oregon
Carving out a new life in Oregon isn’t for the faint of heart. Neither is becoming a mail-order bride.
For 35-year-old Susannah Eversoll, starting over after her husband’s suicide, not to mention betrayal, is what she feels the need to do. So she arranges for herself and her grown daughter, Melissa, to become mail-order brides farther west in the town of Hope Hollow, Oregon. But Susannah will be starting over in more ways than she planned. Although he is kind and caring, David didn’t tell her that his children are young and exhaustingly unruly. And when pushed to her breaking point, a freak accident wipes away her memory. Who is she? Who are these people? Where does she belong?
David Stratton’s hopes for the future died along with his wife two years ago. Now he’s the doing the best he can to raise his rambunctious and sometimes quarrelsome children, but he needs help. More than that, though, he’s lonely. Now that he’s found Susannah, he isn’t about to let her go. When Susannah loses her memory in a skating accident, a stranger appears, threatening their marriage with claims Susannah can’t explain. Can David unravel the mystery that shrouds his wife? Will Susannah regain her memory in time to save their marriage? Or will the love that had begun to blossom between them shrivel up and die in the wintry storms ahead?
1892 – Oregon
A tender gift given can warm even the coldest heart…
When his affections are spurned by the girl he plans to wed, Graydon Gaffney rides off in the swirling snow, determined to stay far away from fickle females. Then a voice in the storm draws him to a woman and her two sweet children. Despite his intentions to guard his emotions, all three members of the DeVille family threaten to capture his heart.
Giavanna DeVille holds the last frayed edges of her composure in a tenuous grasp. In a moment of desperation, she leaves her sleeping children in her cabin and ventures out into a storm to release her pent-up frustrations where no one can hear her cries. Much to her surprise, a man appears through the blinding snow. He gives her a shoulder to cry on and something even more precious. . . hope.
Can the two of them move beyond past heartaches to accept the gift of hope for their future?
1424 – Germany
A plague of rats. A giant beast outside the village walls. A host of missing children. And one young woman determined to save her people.
In 1424 Hamlin, Katerina faces threats from all sides. An outbreak of rats has overtaken the village, a mysterious beast is on a killing rampage of the village’s children, and Katerina’s evil stepfather is a dark presence inside the walls of her own home. Katerina is determined to hunt and kill the Beast of Hamlin herself before more lives are lost.
When Steffan, the handsome but brash duke’s son, comes to town seeking glory and reward, Katerina decides he might be the ally she’s been looking for—even though the only gentle thing about him seems to be the sweet music he plays on his pipe. But there’s more to Steffan than she suspects, and she finds herself drawn to him despite her misgivings.
Together Katerina and Steffan must stop the enemy from stealing the children of Hamlin. But their interference might create an even worse fate for the entire village.
1890s – Louisiana
A Short Story from the Greatest Season on Earth
Newlyweds Charlie and Ella Lionheart are spending their first holiday season together within the circus at New Orleans. It’s Ella’s first Christmas away from her mountain home and with thoughts of family and new beginnings, see what surprises the kindhearted lion tamer has in store for her on Christmas Eve.
1870 – Montana
Can a young widow with no faith in love, hope for a future with the man who broke her heart?
Maisey isn’t about to give Rob another chance to reject her love. Why should she believe that the man who left town without a backward glance three years ago cares about her? Life had taught her all about broken dreams, and she didn’t want to hope again. If only her young daughter would stop adopting Rob as a father, ignoring him—and her own emotions–would be a whole lot easier.
Thoughts of the woman he’d left behind haunted Rob for three long years. It wouldn’t have been fair to ask Maisey to wait while he mined a gold claim. After making his fortune, he’d returned to his family in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. Rob was ready to settle down, and he’d rather do so with Maisey. But after their first encounter, it was clear that he’d lost her forever.
Circumstances force Maisey and Rob into one another’s company. They learn, through hardship and loss, that the only way to one another is to surrender first to God’s love.
Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, The Forever Sky explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.
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…
Found in paperback in Serving Up Love
1929 – New Mexico
After traveling the West for the past ten years, working as a Harvey House girl, Gretchen Gottsacker learns her next assignment puts her back in the town of her childhood. She quickly forms a friendship with a precocious girl named Katiann, until one of their visits leads her face to face with Katiann’s father–the man who abandoned Gretchen on the eve of what she was sure would be a marriage proposal. Now a widower, Dirk Martinez is intent on gaining her trust and forgiveness. Can she risk getting swept up in their strong attraction once again, or will the danger of an impending flood decide her future for her?
1890s – Washington
Zoe Kastain wakes on the morning she’s to leave to take her teaching exam, with one goal in mind—arrive early for every step of the journey! Thankfully a glance at the clock shows that Washington Nolan should arrive in just a few minutes to escort her and Ma to the station, and they are right on time—half an hour early just like she planned.
However, when her little brother, Aidan, insists he can’t be parted from Ma and must accompany them, things take a turn for the worse. Much worse! And now Wash’s pocket watch, handed down from his great-grandfather, has been ruined, they are still more than a mile from the station, and the train waits for no one!
Wash puts a clamp on his frustration. It’s a good thing he likes Aidan’s sister so much, or he might be tempted to take the boy in hand and give him a few well-deserved consequences.
Zoe feels terrible about Wash’s watch and vows to find someone to fix it as a Christmas surprise—even if that means she has to tread the streets of Seattle alone in the dark. The watchmaker’s shop is only two blocks from their boardinghouse. What could go wrong?
1740 – West Virginia
Escaping to the New World is her only option…Rescuing her will wrap the chains of the Inquisition around his neck.
Marisol Valentin flees Spain after murdering the nobleman who molested her. She ends up for sale on the indentured servants’ block at Charles Town harbor—dirty, angry, and with child. Her hopes are shattered, but she must find a refuge for herself and the child she carries. Can this new land offer her the grace, love, and security she craves? Or must she escape again to her only living relative in Cartagena?
Captain Ethan Becket, once a Charles Town minister, now sails the seas as a privateer, grieving his deceased wife. But when he takes captive a ship full of indentured servants, he’s intrigued by the woman whose manners seem much more refined than the average Spanish serving girl. Perfect to become governess for his young son. But when he sets out on a quest to find his captured sister, said to be in Cartagena, little does he expect his new Spanish governess to stow away on his ship with her six-month-old son. Yet her offer of help to free his sister is too tempting to pass up. And her beauty, both inside and out, is too attractive for his heart to protect itself against—until he learns she is a wanted murderess.
As their paths intertwine on a journey filled with danger, intrigue, and romance, only love and the grace of God can overcome the past and ignite a new beginning for Marisol and Ethan.
1890s – Texas
Twenty-two-year-old Garnet Adams longs to marry and have a houseful of children. Forced to support her widowed mother, she embraces her role as a teacher, although the Carrie Town board of education’s rules for female teachers leave no opportunity for a social life. She contents herself playing the violin at church.
Tall, bearded, and rough around the edges, Deputy Noah Scott would rather hunt than socialize. Garnet thinks he’s a rude, insensitive drifter, and Noah’s sure the last person he’d want to court is a schoolmarm–especially with her unladylike sneeze. As the needs of her students bring them together, opposites seem to attract until a certain Christmas present derails their future.
1931 – Ohio
It’s 1931, and times are tough for the Miller family, who are raising eight children in the midst of the Great Depression. When Eli Miller passes away unexpectedly, and then a fire destroys their barn, Annie has no idea how she’ll make ends meet. The Amish community rallies around her and the children, as is their custom, but as days turn into weeks and then into months, Annie’s friends and neighbors return to their own routines and seem to expect Annie to do the same. Annie knows she needs to stay strong for the children and figure out a way to keep everyone warm and clothed and fed, but she is heartbroken and exhausted. She reminds herself that God will provide, but every day feels like an uphill battle.
When Annie receives a letter from a widower with six children of his own, she tries to put it out of her mind. Her critical mother reminds her that it’s too soon to start a new friendship with a man, and warns her that blending a family will be complicated. In the weeks and months to follow, Annie must learn to make her own decisions—and accept the consequences, good and bad—face her past, and embark on a new journey that will transform her and her large, complicated family. When life seems especially complicated one summer, she finds herself saying that by Christmas everything will start to come together, but she has no idea the challenges—and ultimately blessings—headed her way.