Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Claire Nevin gets the surprise of her life awaiting her sister’s arrival by train. Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind” offers the story of two former best friends who are reunited while escaping a stampede. Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” where a most unusual trip across barren Oklahoma plains is filled with adventure, romance, and . . . camels? And Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True” entertains with a tale of two hearts from different social classes who become entwined at a cotton thread factory.
1914 – England
Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I–to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.
Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won–until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.
But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t–that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.
1891 – Montana
Carly Morrison’s father issued an ultimatum: get married or lose her ranch. But while she can rope and ride as well as any man, leading one to the altar is another matter—until newcomer Sawyer Gallagher suggests a marriage of convenience. Their arrangement might be a sensible solution to her predicament, but Carly’s growing feelings are a genuine complication.
Desperate to provide a home for his orphaned sister, Sawyer takes a chance on lassoing himself to headstrong cowgirl Carly. He’s convinced he’s too hardened by life to love anyone…until their union is threatened. Is it too late to turn this practical partnership into a real Big Sky family?
1873 – Utah
No women are allowed at the Batchwell Bottoms mining camp—yet Dr. Sumner Havisham headed West seeking a job there. When an avalanche strands her and several mail-order brides, she’s up against strict rules—and stern mine superintendent Jonah Ramsey. But nothing will stop her—especially from helping Jonah, who needs her healing in more ways than one.
For Jonah, his job is a refuge from his past. He has good reasons to stay far away from the spirited Sumner, especially since he thinks he has nothing to offer. But as tensions rise, her caring and skill ignites a love he’d never thought he’d find. Can they save the dreams they’ve worked so hard for—and claim a life together?
1819 – Scotland
Lady Helena Stanhope’s reputation is in tatters…and she’s lost any hope for a “respectable” ton marriage. An arranged union is the only solution. But once Helena weds formidable Scottish widower John Gordon, Lord Ardoch, and encounters his four mischievous children, she’s determined to help her new, ever-surprising family. Even if she’s sure love is too much to ask for.
All John needs is someone to mother his admittedly unruly brood. He never imagined that beautiful Lady Helena would be a woman of irresistible spirit, caring and warmth. Or that facing down their pasts would give them so much in common. Now, as danger threatens, John will do whatever it takes to convince Helena their future together—and his love—are for always.
1870 – New York
Outwardly, Adele Linley’s trip to visit her American cousins is nothing more than a summer vacation. In reality, she’s the daughter of an English aristocrat with barely a penny to her name seeking a rich American husband.
Having grown up in an overcrowded orphanage, Drew Dawson is determined to make a name for himself. He’ll take any honest job to provide for his sister—even crossing Niagara Falls by tightrope.
On a sightseeing trip to the Falls, Adele meets several eligible suitors. Incredibly wealthy and pompous, Franklin Conway takes an immediate fancy to her. But Adele would truly like to marry for love. When she encounters the mysterious Drew in the garden, Adele is confused by her feelings for someone who is everything she is NOT looking for. Will they both stay the course they have chosen for themselves?
A bouquet of brides is picked for love.
Meet seven American women who were named for various flowers but struggle to bloom where God planted them. Can love help them grow to their full potential?
Holly and Ivy by Mary Davis (1890, Washington State)
At Christmastime, Holly Harrison accompanies her impetuous younger sister on her trip across the country to be a mail-order bride. But even as she tries to persuade her sister that loving a stranger is foolhardy, Holly loses her own heart to a fellow traveler.
Periwinkle in the Park by Kathleen Kovach (1910, Colorado)
Periwinkle Winfield is a hiking guide helping to commission a national park. But a run-in with a mountain man who is determined to keep the government off his land may place her in great danger.
At Home with Daffodils by Paula Moldenhauer (1909, Oklahoma)
When her childhood sweetheart returns to town, will Dilly Douglas accept the worthy heart he offers, or will the old wound he opens keep them apart?
A Song for Rose by Suzanne Norquist (1882, Rockledge, Colorado)
Can Patrick O’Donnell, a tenor disillusioned by the performance industry, convince Rose Miller that that there is more to music than her dream of joining an opera company?
Beauty in a Tansy? by Donita K. Paul (1918, South Dakota)
Tansy Terrell was named after a weed. When she opens shop next door, Arthur Blake recognizes Tansy’s need to be valued as a beautiful flower but fails to see his own worth as a maker of instruments and music.
A Prickly Affair by Donna Schlachter (1885, Arizona)
A rough-and-tumble cowgirl, “Cactus” Lil Duncan longs for true love, but is afraid to let down her prickly exterior when a city slicker from New York City, with less-than-honorable intentions, tries to win her heart and her hand.
In Sheep’s Clothing by Pegg Thomas (1702, Connecticut)
Peter Maltby might be all good looks and charm, working in the new mill fulling wool, but Yarrow Fenn fears he is the Crown’s agent in disguise who will destroy the only livelihood she has.
112 – Roman Empire
No man marries a prostitute.
Born a slave, forced into ill-repute, Libya’s one meaning in life is her young son, the child of a nobleman, Victor Ocelli. Then, one night, her master moves to sell the boy.
A stranger rescues the boy by buying her and her child.
Moved by her tears, Roman patrician Felix “Wryn” Paterculi purchases Libya and her son that night. Wryn is working to gain a higher military post to bring the force of the law against the criminal who tried to kill him and his familia seven years ago—Victor Ocelli. To gain such a post, Wryn must follow custom and marry an elite patrician girl, but he can’t get the prostitute under his roof out of his head.
Then Victor Ocelli re-enters Libya’s life, offering her son freedom and a nobleman’s life if she will betray Wryn. Will Libya place her trust in the father of her son or the master whose kindness never ceases to amaze her? What will Wryn sacrifice for love?
Welcome Jamie Jo and her debut Split Time novel!
Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.
A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives–including her own–are lost?
Questions about Jamie Jo’s Story
What was the hardest part of your book to write?
I believe the hardest part in writing this book was to switch from a very historical perspective and move into a present day scene as my present day character sought to uncover the history of the house, the people who’d inhabited it and how history then affected today. Not only was it sometimes hard not to get lost, but it was also hard to become aware of how much history does truly impact generations. Our choices, our faith, our consequences really are not our own. They touch many in the family tree.
What research did you have to look up to make your character’s professional decisions authentic?
Because one of the main characters, Ivy, is an assistant to her father who is a medical examiner, I had to research the different visual and physical signs related to post-mortem individuals. Time of death, signs of how they died, how to find forensic detail on what they died from. All of this information had to be consistent with the turn-of-the-century. Things like DNA and even fingerprints weren’t used or weren’t used frequently.
Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you sad?
Oh yes. Very much so. In researching human trafficking, which is a thread through the novel, I found it horrific in current day, but even more horrific how prevalent it really has been for centuries. It is a very overlooked, unaddressed crime against humanity that must be stopped.
Questions about Jamie Jo’s Reading
|What other Christian Historical Novels are similar to yours in setting or storyline?
Recently published, Lady Jayne Disappears has many of the same gothic, suspenseful and mysterious elements as The House On Foster Hill. I also would best compare my novels to Kristy Cambron’s as it relates to the split-time (half-historical, half-present day) structure.
What Christian Historical Novel in your To Be Read pile is begging you to make time to plop down with it right now?
I am super lucky to have a copy of Kathleen Y’Barbo’s book, The Pirate Bride due out in 2018 in my stack to read NEXT. I am super excited about the entire Barbour Publishing’s series Daughters of the Mayflower. I can’t wait to read them all!
Jamie Jo is giving away a copy paperback (usa only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!
**If you don’t want to enter Rafflecopter, tell me in a comment below: “I’m not entering the rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I can manually put you in there for a chance.**
1885 – Oklahoma
Louisa Bell never wanted to be a dance-hall singer, but dire circumstances force her hand. With a little help from her brother in the cavalry, she’s able to make ends meet, but lately he’s run afoul of his commanding officer, so she undertakes a visit to straighten him out.
Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno. He can barely control his rowdy troops, much less his two adolescent daughters. If Daniel doesn’t find someone respectable to guide his children, his mother-in-law insists she’ll take them.
When Louisa arrives with some reading materials, she’s mistaken for the governess who never appeared. Major Adams is skeptical. She bears little resemblance to his idea of a governess–they’re not supposed to be so blamed pretty–but he’s left without recourse. His mother-in-law must be satisfied, which leaves him turning a blind eye to his unconventional governess’s methods. Louisa’s never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough?
1820 – England
Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for?
Rachel’s friend and hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and fills her days managing her girls’ school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or who–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.
Meanwhile, life has improved at the coaching inn and Jane Bell is ready to put grief behind her. Now if only the man she misses would return–but where is he?
As the women of Ivy Hill search for answers about the past and hope for the future, might they find love along the way?
1890s – Washington
Boardinghouse owner Dixie Pottinger has done her best to avoid the attractive Dr. Griffin. But now that her mother-in-law is sick and he’s going to be coming around more to care for her, Dixie knows she must inform him about her past. She works up her courage and feels great relief when she finally tells Dr. Griffin that she’s a married woman…maybe…if her husband, Steven Pottinger, survived the bullet put into him before she fled.
Dr. Flynn Griffin can’t believe he’s been having feelings for a married woman! His honor requires that he immediately put those feelings to rest. As for the man who had abused Dixie so badly that she retreated into hiding… If he was still alive, he better never show up in Wyldhaven, because Flynn had plenty of ideas on how to teach the man lessons in gentlemanly conduct.
Little does Flynn know that Steven Pottinger is about to become his patient. Gravely injured by an accidental gunshot, Steven lies on the brink of eternity. Never in all his life has Flynn been tempted to break his Hippocratic Oath.
1874 – Washington
After taking guardianship of his late friend’s siblings and baby daughter, minister Levi Wallin hopes to atone for his troubled past on the gold fields. But it won’t be easy to convince the children’s wary elder sister to trust him. The more he learns about her, though, the more he believes Callie Murphy’s prickly manner masks a vulnerable heart…one he’s starting to wish he was worthy of.
Every man in Callie’s life chose chasing gold over responsibilities. Levi—and the large, loving Wallin family—might just be different. But she can tell he’s hiding something from her, and she refuses to risk her heart with secrets between them. Even as they grow closer, will their pasts keep them from claiming this unexpected new beginning?
1871 – Michigan
Worried she might lose her teaching job if funding is cut for her boarding school, widow Louise Smythe must consider marriage. But the only prospective groom in town is lighthouse-keeper Jesse Hammond, and he wants children—something she may never be able to provide. While Jesse waits for the ideal woman to make his wife, though, Louise can’t help but long for something more than his friendship.
If he wants to be promoted to head lighthouse keeper, Jesse needs to find a wife suited to his rustic lifestyle. But as he and Louise partner to give the town’s homeless orphans a joyous holiday, he’s drawn to the petite woman. Will the light of Christmas finally inspire them to trust in each other’s hearts?
1899 – Texas
Abigail Fulton is determined to find independence in Turnabout, Texas—and becoming manager of the local hotel could be the solution. But first, she must work with Seth Reynolds to renovate the property by Christmas—and convince him she’s perfect for the job. If only he hadn’t already promised the position to someone else…
Ever since his troubled childhood, Seth yearns to prove himself. And this hotel is his best chance. But what does someone like Abigail know about decor and furnishings? Yet the closer the holiday deadline gets, the more he appreciates her abilities and her kindness. His business ambitions require denying Abigail’s dearest wish, but can they put old dreams aside for a greater gift—love and family?