Love’s Winter Hope
1883 – Michigan
When Jessalyn Dowrick’s husband left her and their three daughters to head west five years earlier, she had no choice but to pick up the pieces of her broken life and continue without him, eventually supporting herself as Eagle Harbor’s seamstress, and secretly hoping her husband would return. But days soon slipped into months, and months into years, all without word of Thomas or a cent of the money he’d promised to send.
While working day and night to build a new life that his wife would be proud of, Thomas wrote Jessalyn every week, asking her to come to South Dakota. But she never arrived. In fact, she never answered a single one of his letters. When he returns to Eagle Harbor in search of answers, he finds a woman who thought him dead . . . and soon regrets he didn’t come after her earlier.
As winter closes in and storms trap Thomas in town until the harbor opens in the spring, will he be able to convince his wife he’s worth a second chance?
Devil in the Dust
1933 – Oklahoma
Their small Oklahoma town is dying. Lillian remembers how acres and acres of wheat once waved under jewel-blue skies. Now the dirt stretches across the flat land as far as she can see.
Emma’s husband is missing. She keeps house, keeps her five children fed as best as she can, and keeps smiling as her hope fades. But when the days stretch to weeks, she faces the possibility that he will never come home. Left with the likelihood of losing their farm, and the ever-present pangs of hunger, she is forced to consider opportunities that, under normal circumstances, she would never contemplate.
Jessie, Emma’s oldest daughter, completes her tasks as if numb. Forced to wear her mother’s shoes to avoid the humiliation of bare feet, she watches the dead, dirt road for signs of life.
And then he comes.
His new car and shiny shoes and generous way with gifts and money catch Jessie’s eye, much to the dismay of her mother … and much to the concern of the minister’s wife, Lillian. He’s too smooth, too willing to help, and much too eager to spend time with a girl less than half his age. But who is to say he is not the miracle they all prayed for?
Lillian and her husband stand by, helpless, as they realize that the winds carry more than one kind of evil, and as they are all forced to decide where the evil lies: in hunger, or in hope.
Post Civil War – Several US States/Wagon Train
Abigail Baldwyn might not be a widow after all…
Ever since she received word that her husband, Robert, was killed in the Civil War, Abigail has struggled to keep her Tennessee home and family together. Then a letter arrives claiming that Robert isn’t dead, yet he has no plans to return. Desperate for answers, Abigail travels to Independence, Missouri, where she joins a westbound wagon train to find him.
Leading a company along the Oregon Trail isn’t part of Hoke Mathews’s plans. But then the former cavalry scout gets a glimpse of Abigail—so elegant compared to the rest of their hardscrabble wagon community, yet spirited and resilient. Through every peril they encounter—snakebites, Indian raids, fevers, dangerous grudges—his bond with Abigail grows.
Abigail knew this journey would test her courage. Now it’s testing her marriage vows and her heart, daring her to claim a future on her own terms in a land rich with promise.
Room for Hope
1936 – Kansas
In a desperate time, can Neva find forgiveness for a grievous wrong—and make room for hope?
Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.
When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”
Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?
Second Chance Love
1864 – Maryland
David Wainwright is not one to shirk his duty, and helping his late brother’s grieving betrothed is no exception. He’ll offer Elizabeth Martin comfort and support—he’ll even help her find a job. But most important, he’ll continue to hide his true feelings…that he’s always cherished his brother’s almost-bride.
Elizabeth needs to be strong for the sake of her family. So she accepts David’s friendship and assistance. But she hadn’t realized how much she’d enjoy and value her work at David’s side. Or how much he’d come to mean to her. He’s more than a would-be brother to her—and much more than a friend. Could she be ready to open herself to the risks of love for a second time around?
A Stitch and A Prayer
1899 – Oregon
After her fiancé returns from the Klondike gold rush in 1897, Florence Harms sets about building a new life in her new marriage—even though the lingering effects of illness have left her weak and vulnerable. She and her young husband, Will, work tirelessly to clear the land around their Northwest cabin, content with their modest life.
But then a stranger comes knocking and Florence suddenly senses a restlessness in Will’s spirit that she had never seen before. When he leaves her with only a note that tells her he will return before their baby’s birth, she is devastated, and the illness that stiffened her joints returns. Counting the days until Will walks back through her door, Florence busies herself with a Tree of Life quilt displaying a map of the farm they call home. Doubts claw at her heart as Florence struggles to believe Will’s promise to return to her. Will her labor of love—and faith in God—sustain her as she waits to see her beloved once again?
1865 – South Carolina
The American Civil War has ended, but Alaina McKenna still awaits news about her husband, Braeden. Did he die in a Yankee prison? Was he buried in a shallow grave on a Virginia battlefield? Or has he turned his back on the specter of death and loss around him and sought solitude west of the Mississippi River, never to return home, again?
As Christmas nears, Alaina deflects the advances of a suitor in the neighboring county, choosing to cling instead to hope and her belief that Braeden will return. As winter’s chill settles upon her farm, Alaina cries out to God in one final Christmas Prayer.
When loss lingers, love – even unto and beyond death – for it is through heartbreak that God opens doorways to comfort others.