A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero

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1936 – Kentucky

Journey with a horseback librarian into the hidden crevices of Kentucky mountains….

Lena Davis is the daughter her mom never wanted. But she survived. Through stories. Because books didn’t judge. Books weren’t angry she was alive. Books never expected her to be anything but who she was.

As she grows up, her beloved library becomes her true home. So when the library is designated part of President Roosevelt’s Packhorse Library Project, Lena is determined to get the job of bringing books to highlanders, believing she’ll finally be free of her mom forever.

But earning the trust of highlanders is harder than she imagined, and her passion for books might not be enough to free her from her chains.

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

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1810s/Present Day – England

Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

An Appalachian Summer by Ann Gabhart

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1933 – Kentucky

In 1933 Louisville, Kentucky, even the ongoing economic depression cannot keep Piper Danson’s parents from insisting on a debut party. After all, their fortune came through the market crash intact, and they’ve picked out the perfect suitor for their daughter. Braxton Crandall can give her the kind of life she’s used to. The only problem? This is not the man–or the life–she really wants.

When Piper gets the opportunity to volunteer as a horseback Frontier Nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains for the summer, she jumps at the chance to be something other than a dutiful daughter or a kept wife in a loveless marriage. The work is taxing, the scenery jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the people she meets along the way open up a whole new world to her. The longer she stays, the more an advantageous marriage slips from her grasp. But something much more precious–true love–is drawing ever closer.

The Key to Everything by Valerie Fraser Luesse

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1947 – Georgia

Peyton Cabot’s fifteenth year will be a painful and transformative one. His father, the heroic but reluctant head of a moneyed Savannah family, has come home from WWII a troubled vet, drowning his demons in bourbon and distancing himself from his son. A tragic accident shows Peyton the depths of his parents’ devotion to each other but interrupts his own budding romance with the girl of his dreams, Lisa Wallace.

Struggling to cope with a young life upended, Peyton makes a daring decision: He will retrace a journey his father took at fifteen, riding his bicycle all the way to Key West, Florida. Part declaration of independence, part search for self, Peyton’s journey will bring him more than he ever could have imagined–namely, the key to his unknowable father, a reunion with Lisa, and a calling that will shape the rest of his life.

Through poignant prose and characters so real you’ll be sure you know them, Valerie Fraser Luesse transports you to the storied Atlantic coast for a unique coming-of-age story you won’t soon forget.

Love’s Silver Bullet by Julie Lessman

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1872 – Nevada

She’s targeting his love. He’s aiming to steer clear. ‘Til true love picks them off in a bull’s-eye of the heart.

Eighteen-year-old Sheridan Donovan has been in love with Jake Sullivan since the age of four, when she used to tag after him and her big brothers on the Silver Lining Ranch. From little on, Jake has been her hero, convincing her brothers to play school and wedding with her whenever she’d begged and cried. From horsey rides and tickle fests to his sweet willingness to be her pretend groom, Jake’s gentleness and affection had nurtured two dreams in Sheridan’s heart—becoming both a teacher and Mrs. Jake Sullivan. Preferably not in that order.

At the age of thirty, Jake figures he pretty much has everything he needs at the moment. A good job as the Assistant Foreman for Silver Lining Ranch, great friends in Blaze and Dash Donovan, and a true mentor in their uncle and owner of the ranch, Finn McShane, the man who’d given him a family to replace the one he lost. But when Finn’s niece, Sheridan—Blaze’s and Dash’s little sister to whom Jake became a big brother as well—turns eighteen, Jake discovers there’s one more thing he needs: distance and lots of it. From pinafores and bows at age six to overalls and dirt till age fifteen, the grown-up Sheridan looks nothing like the little girl who’d once been his constant shadow, now transformed into a young woman who races his heart. Painfully aware that Sheridan is determined to win his love, Jake is equally determined to keep a promise to her uncle, a promise that not only shoots a hole in his well-ordered life, but in his heart as well.

What Momma Left Behind by Cindy K. Sproles

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1898 – Tennessee

Worie Dressar is 19 years old when influenza and dysentery ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1898, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Worie’s mother has been secretly feeding a number of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain. But when she dies suddenly, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was caring for them.

Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers–one greedy and the other a drunkard–Worie fights to save her home and the orphaned children now in her begrudging care. Along the way, she will discover the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness as she cares for all of Momma’s children.

Storyteller and popular speaker Cindy K. Sproles pens a tender novel full of sacrifice, heartache, and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

Isaiah’s Legacy by Mesu Andrews

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693 BC – Israel

At eight years old, Shulle has known only life in a small village with her loving but peculiar father. When Uncle Shebna offers shelter in Jerusalem in exchange for Shulle’s help tutoring King Manasseh, Judah’s five-year-old co-regent who displays the same peculiarities as her father, she’s eager to experience the royal court. But Shulle soon realizes the limits of her father’s strict adherence to Yahweh’s Law when Uncle Shebna teaches her of the starry hosts and their power.

Convinced Judah must be freed from Yahweh’s chains, she begins the subtle swaying of young Manasseh, using her charm and skills on the boy no one else understands. When King Hezekiah dies, twelve-year-old Manasseh is thrust onto Judah’s throne, bitter at Yahweh and eager to marry the girl he adores. Assyria’s crown prince favors Manasseh and twists his brilliant mind toward cruelty, beginning Shulle’s long and harrowing journey to discover the Yahweh she’d never known, guided with loving wisdom by Manasseh’s mother: Isaiah’s daughter, the heartbroken Hephzibah. Amid Judah’s dark days, a desperate remnant emerges, claiming the Lord’s promise, “Though we’re helpless now, we’re never hopeless–because we serve El Shaddai.” Shulle is among them, a girl who becomes a queen through Isaiah’s legacy.

The Hope of Christmas Past by Stephenia McGee

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Late 1800s/Time Travel – Tennessee

When a mysterious painting offers her a trip to the past, will Isla find new hope for her future?

On the brink of aging out the foster system, the last thing Isla Laird wants is to spend Christmas in an old-fashioned plantation. What’s the point of bonding with her foster mom when it’s too late to ever be adopted? But when a mysterious painting suddenly thrusts her into the nineteenth century, Isla is forced to face hurts and memories she’s long tried to bury. With time running out and her heart in tatters, can God use an impossible miracle to bring Isla hope for a new future?

The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts

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1930s/40s & 1990s – Pennsylvania

The only life Brighton Friedrich has ever known is the one she has endured within the dreary walls of Riverside Home—the rural asylum where she was born. A nurse, Joann, has educated and raised Brighton, whose mother is a patient at the hospital. But Joann has also kept vital information from Brighton—secrets that if ever revealed would illuminate Brighton’s troubling past and the circumstances that confine her to Riverside. Brighton’s best friend is a boy she calls Angel, and as they grow up together and face the bleak future that awaits them, they determine to make a daring escape.

Nothing can prepare Brighton and Angel for life beyond Riverside’s walls. They have no legal identities, very little money, and only a few leads toward a safe place to land. As they struggle to survive in a world they’ve never seen before, they must rely on each other and the kindness of strangers—some of whom may prove more dangerous than the asylum they’ve fled.

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide by Linda Brooks Davis

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1918 – Italy/Oklahoma

Orphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she’s adored from America to Europe.

But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare.

When the “Great War” and the “Great Influenza” knock, Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.

Snatched from a quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her?

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

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1960s – Alabama

There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse’s stunning debut, Missing Isaac.

It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople’s reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it’s all over, Pete–and the people he loves most–will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.

Rebecca Stubbs: The Vicar’s Daughter by Hannah Buckland

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1860s – England

Rebecca Stubbs, the beloved daughter of a conscientious village vicar in Victorian England, has always enjoyed a sheltered, idyllic childhood. Her parents work tirelessly for their small farm community, aiding both the church and the poor.

When an unexpected outbreak of fever rages through the town, Rebecca must face growing up alone.

As she matures into womanhood, Rebecca finds that she is ill-prepared for her new world. With no home, no family, and few prospects, she is determined to make her own way in life.

As a housemaid at Barton Manor, she struggles to find her place in a world of double standards and man-made rules.

Can she keep her faith strong amidst a lonely life of domestic service? Must she always be a bystander, watching other people’s lives unfold and flourish? Or is there something else in store for her servant heart?

The Measure of a Man by Carol Cox

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1800s – New Mexico Territory

Growing up on the Double B Ranch has given Lizzie Bradley ample opportunity to indulge her tomboy whims. At nineteen, Lizzie has yet to realize she’s on the threshold of womanhood-though Adam McKenzie, one of her father’s ranch hands, is very much aware of her maturing appeal. When handsome Tom Mallory makes a dramatic entry into her life, Lizzie begins to sense her own womanhood in the light of his open admiration. Tension mounts as both Tom and Adam vie for Lizzie’s favor. Lizzie swings from elation to despair before she learn to gauge a man’s worth according to God’s standards-and to find the joy of a relationship grounded in Christ.

Glimpses of Paradise James Scott Bell

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1920s – California

A sweeping historical epic about dreams and dreamers, love and lovers, and the glitter factory of Hollywood

Two high school kids in small town Nebraska have their dreams. Zee, a minister’s daughter, wants to be a movie star. Doyle, the son of a wealthy lawyer, expects to follow in his father’s footsteps and practice law.

But World War I explodes and changes everyone forever. When Doyle ends up on the battlefields of France, though he performs ably, he comes home disillusioned. Rejecting his parents’ pleas to return to school, he finds himself in Los Angeles on the bottom rung of society.

Zee Miller is also in L. A., having run away from her father and the religion of her youth. But a stunning string of events, resulting in a charge of murder, will see their lives intersecting again in a way that may shatter them both.

Fire by Night Lynn Austin

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1861 – Virginia

Two young women in a land shattered by war test the limits of their strength.

Lovely Julia Hoffman has always enjoyed the carefree life of her well-to-do Philadelphia family. But when she fails to attract the attention of Nathaniel Greene, a fierce abolitionist, she shocks her family by becoming a Union nurse. Will that be enough to win Nathaniel’s heart?

Phoebe Bigelow, from western Virginia, has always been a misfit, and when her brothers join the Union army, she also enlists–under false pretenses.

Soon, both have their eyes opened to the realities of war and suffering. Neither is quite ready for the demands of her new life, but their journeys of sacrifice and love are sure to change them in unexpected ways.

His Watchful Eye by Jack Cavanaugh

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1943/1989 – Russia/US

World War II. The army of the Third Reich. Konrad Reichmann, a model of Hitler’s youth movement, becomes disillusioned as the reality of the Russian front bears no resemblance to the glory the Fuhrer portrayed in his speeches. Even lower than his unit’s morale are supplies and fuel as Russia’s winter sets in. When the slaughter of innocents opens his eyes to the true nature of the Reich, Konrad embarks upon a bold and dangerous plan to put a stop to the horror and change the course of history.

 

Romey’s Place by James Calvin

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1950s – Wisconsin/Michigan

“What’s it like having an old man who’s a saint?” The question came from the depths of Romey Guttner’s troubled soul. It was as honest as the hot sun that beat down on him and his best friend, Lowell, as they picked beans that unforgettable summer in the late fifties. They were just boys, one the son of the town’s pillar of faith and one the neglected child of a man whose anger spilled onto everyone in his path. Despite their disparate upbringings, Romey and Lowell were like brothers, inseparable in their pursuit of adventure. But events were brewing that would force them to confront the reality of their differences for the first time.

From This Day Forward by Kathleen Karr

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1800s – Ohio

What could be more precious than the gift of words–unless it was the man who brought them to her?

Young Maggie McDonald was athirst for knowledge–and books contained knowledge–but Maggie couldn’t read!

Then lively Johnny Stewart burst in to the routine of her life on a warm in Ohio, bringing excitement, and peddling the very thing she craved most in all the world–a McGuffy’s Reader!

The year Johnny taught Maggie to read was the year she fell in love with him, but it would be seven more before they would wed. Then, driven by wanderlust and a desire to share their knowledge of God, they trekked across the face of frontier America with their books and Bibles, leaving behind them strengthened spirits and a rich legacy of love.