Second Chances by Carol Ashby

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122 – At Sea/Rome

Must the shadows of the past destroy the hope of the future?

In AD 122, Cornelia Scipia, proud daughter of one of Rome’s noblest families, learns her adulterous husband plans to betroth their daughter to the vicious son of his best friend. Over her dead body! Cornelia divorces him, reclaims her enormous dowry, and kidnaps her own daughter. She plans to start over with Drusilla a thousand miles away. No more husbands for her. But she didn’t count on meeting Hector, the widowed Greek captain of the ship carrying her to her new life.

Devastated by the loss of his wife and daughter, Hector’s heart begins to heal as he befriends Drusilla. Cornelia’s sacrificial love for Drusilla and her courage and humor in the face of the unknown earn his admiration…as a friend. Is he ready for more?

Marriage to the kind, honest sea captain would give Drusilla the father she deserves…and Cornelia the faithful husband she’s always longed for. But while her ex-husband hunts them to drag Drusilla back to Rome, secrets in Hector’s past and the chasms between their social classes and different faiths erect complicated barriers to any future together. Will God give two lonely hearts a second chance at happiness?

Threads of Joy by Sharlene MacLaren

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Threads of Joythreadsofjoy

1892 – Tennessee

JOY WESTFALL, a divorced woman who runs a tailoring business out of her little home and has a 4-year-old daughter knows first hand the bitterness of rejection. Her talent with a needle supersedes her tainted reputation, however, and she has no trouble finding clients. What she lacks is true friendship. Living next door to a little clapboard church on the edge of town, even the folks of the church pay her little mind when they come and go on Sunday mornings–unless she happens to be outside tending her flowerbeds in which case they quickly turn their children’s heads away or shake their own at her in utter repulsion. Inside, their hymns of praise compete with the birds, but outside their hypocritical noses turn up at the sight of her.

Not until LUCAS JENNINGS, the new preacher, begins to befriend her and her innocent daughter does she grasp what pardon feels like. The trouble is his congregation begins to accuse him of having sinful thoughts, one woman in particular going so far as to campaign to have him removed from the pulpit. When tragedy strikes, Lucas’s messages of repentance resonate with his members, drawing an entire community together, changing the hardest hearts, and turning folks’ minds toward what really matters in life–love, faith, and forgiveness.