Author Interview and Giveaway – Lynn Austin – Waves of Mercy

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Isn’t this a gorgeous cover? I’m excited to have Lynn Austin here to share about her new book! PLUS if you were here last month, author Rachel McMillan mentioned that she got to read an advanced copy of this and had this to say about Lynn’s work: “I think what I love most about Austin’s books is that they encourage you to accept that God uses all manner of people.  Her heroines always validate me as a woman who has never quite felt that she fit into a traditional woman’s role.”

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Waves of Mercy

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from The Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she is asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions that have remained buried all these years, including the story of her one true love. 

A few miles away at the Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of her broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after the violent storm her steamship encounters on her journey across the lake, stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

Lynn’s Website

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Questions about Lynn’s Story

What inspired your story?

The story of the Dutch immigrants who settled Holland, Michigan has interested me since I first visited Holland, Michigan as a Hope College freshman. I saw how proud the community was of their faith and their Dutch heritage—so much so, that they imported a 250 year-old windmill from the Netherlands as the showpiece of their town, and planted nearly 4 ½ million tulips in parks and gardens and along city streets. The annual Tulip Time Festival brought swarms of tourists in cars and buses and motor homes to the otherwise quiet town. All of this impressed me as a young college student.

I met my husband Ken while we were students at Hope College, and although he grew up in Holland, he didn’t know very much about his Dutch ancestry. In the years since, we’ve learned that his great-great-grandfather immigrated to Holland, Michigan with his family in 1871, when the town was only 25 years old. When Ken and I decided to move back to Michigan two years ago, I began researching Holland’s history to see if it would make a good novel, and I wasn’t disappointed! The first Dutch settlers arrived here in 1846 for religious freedom after suffering persecution and famine in the Netherlands. Since that’s been true of so many other immigrant families over the years, I knew the story would resonate with many readers. The commitment that the Dutch community had to each other and to God is very impressive.

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Before I began researching “Waves of Mercy,” I had no idea how much hardship and suffering these early settlers endured. They decided to come to America in 1846 because of religious persecution in the Netherlands. They left behind beautiful, centuries-old cities to move to the virgin wilderness of Michigan and live in crude log cabins. Their first summer here, malaria struck the community killing many settlers. A year later, a ship called the Phoenix, carrying 225 passengers, including 175 Dutch immigrants, caught fire and sank in Lake Michigan, five miles from their destination. 180 men, women and children died. As the bewildered immigrants buried their loved ones, they must have asked, “Did we really hear from God? How could He allow these tragedies to happen?”
I found it hard to write about all of these things in a realistic way because I’ve never had to endure such tragedies. But it was also difficult for me because I needed to portray their spiritual questioning in a realistic way—how did they endure and not become bitter toward God? This is an issue that many Christians still face, and I wanted to do it in a way that would bring hope without resorting to “pat” answers.

What research book or website used to write this book was your favorite to peruse?

One resource that really sparked my imagination were the wonderful programs presented by a local group called the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association. This group of divers search for sunken ships in the Great Lakes using historic records, then film their underwater dives as they explore the wrecks. Along with their website, they’ve also published several books that document the history of various vessels, detailing how and why they sank. The Association’s books and presentations gave me a peek into the sometimes-dangerous world of sailing on Lake Michigan in the 19th Century and inspired me to include a shipwreck (or two!) in my upcoming novel, “Waves of Mercy.”  

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Questions about Lynn’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

It would have to be “The Zion Chronicles” by Bodie Thoene, published back in the late 1980s. Book One was “The Gates of Zion” and tells of the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948. I was just beginning to think about writing back then, and these books were all the rage in our church library in Canada. The books were among the very first to be categorized as Christian Historical Fiction and really paved the way for the variety of historical fiction published today.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take one Christian Historical Novel, which would you pick?

I would choose “Christy” by Catherine Marshall. It was released in 1967, long before Christian books became popular, but it is an all-time classic. Her characters are unforgettable and she deals with issues of faith in a realistic, appealing way. The fact that it was based on the true story of her mother’s experiences makes it even more fun to read.

Lynn is giving away a copy of her book (Paperback – US only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of any available ebook 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.**

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The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall

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cautiousmaidenThe Cautious Maiden

1892 – Maine

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents’ New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks but when Violet’s own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance&, Vance Everstone.

As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU.

With danger stalking her and a new fiancé who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust, and who to leave behind.

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The Honorable Heir by Laurie Alice Eakes

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thehonorableheirThe Honorable Heir

1900 – New York

An American heiress and widow of a rakish English earl, Catherine has returned to New York high society determined to make amends for the scandal she caused when she crossed the Atlantic to elope with her best friend’s suitor and win the title of Lady Bisterne. But a ruined reputation isn’t the only thing that’s followed her home: Lord Tristram Wolfe, the rightful heir to the Bisterne estate, has vowed to track down his family’s stolen jewels—gems he’s certain Catherine stole.

Catherine has more to think about than charming, handsome Tristram and his accusations, even if he’s beginning to change her mind about never returning to England. Back at her family’s Tuxedo Park estate, she resolves to restore her honor by earning the forgiveness of her best friend and protecting her younger sister from other fortune-seeking Englishmen with dubious titles, all while abiding by the etiquette of the Gilded Age.

Yet when Tristram’s quest takes a dangerous turn, she must decide whether to follow the rules or save her accuser’s life.

Christmas at Stoney Creek by Martha Rogers

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christmasatstoneycreekChristmas at Stoney Creek

1892 – Texas

When newspaper reporter Tom Whiteman befriends a homeless man named Joe, Tom decides to bring him home to Stoney Creek, Texas. Joe begins to work odd jobs around town and make new friends, but contradictions in the man’s manner and speech cause Tom to believe there’s more to the old man than meets the eye.
 
As Tom and his childhood friend Faith Delmont set out to learn the truth about the old man with the kind, sad eyes, Christmas in Stoney Creek becomes one they will never forget as they discover that God’s love can turn tragedy and loss to triumph, and that true love comes to those who wait.

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The Christmas Secret by Wanda Brunstetter

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thechristmassecretThe Christmas Secret

1880 – Pennsylvania

Will a Christmas Eve Wedding Be Cancelled by Revelations in an Old Diary?

Bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter delivers a poignant historical story of a couple on the threshold of marriage who are suddenly pulled apart. Elizabeth Canning discovers an awful secret in her deceased mother’s diary. Believing her chances for a happy marriage are spoiled, she leaves her fiancé a letter and flees town. Anticipating a Christmas Eve wedding with Elizabeth, David Stinner is confused by her letter and desperate to find her. Can David root out the truth about the past and bring back his bride? Or is the truth destined to bring an ultimate end to their romance?

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The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep

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The Captive Heart captiveheart

1770 – South Carolina

Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a brute of an employer. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.

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The Sheriff’s Christmas Twins by Karen Kirst

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sheriffschristmastwinsThe Sheriff’s Christmas Twins

1886 – Tennessee

Convinced that Allison Ashworth deserves better, Sheriff Shane Timmons has always tried to remain aloof around his childhood companion. But with Allison in Gatlinburg for the holidays, insisting on caring for two motherless babies, Shane feels obliged to help her. How can he keep his distance when she and the children are quickly becoming the family he never dared to wish for? 

As a girl, Allison was drawn to the wary yet handsome Shane, who never seemed to look her way. But in spending time with him and two sweet babies, she might yet find a chink in the confirmed bachelor’s armor. Every shared moment gives Allison hope that this Christmas, her dreams of motherhood—and a life with Shane—may finally be coming true.

A Family for the Holidays by Sherri Shackelford

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familyfortheholidaysA Family for the Holidays

1885 – Nebraska

Paid to accompany two orphaned siblings to their grandfather in Nebraska, Lily Winter is dismayed to discover the old man has gone missing. And when the children’s inheritance makes them a target, buying protection is Lily’s only option. Until a handsome gun-for-hire suggests another solution: marriage. 

Undercover US Marshal Jake Elder can’t reveal his true identity without blowing his mission. Nor can he leave the town’s pretty new arrival unguarded. But while uncovering a plot against her charges is difficult and risky, falling for Lily is all too easy. Especially once their marriage in name only gives Jake a glimpse of how wonderful Christmas—and their future as a family—could be.

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Montana Cowboy Daddy by Linda Ford

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1890 – Montana

With a little girl to raise, widowed single father Dawson Marshall could sure use some help—he just didn’t expect it to come from city girl Isabelle Redfield. Dawson has encountered city women before. He even married one. What if his little girl grows attached to Isabelle and the woman tires of ranch life just like his late wife did? 

For heiress Isabelle, the fledgling Western town of Bella Creek, Montana, offers something more meaningful than her wealth: a chance to forge a useful life. But if she wants the townsfolk to value her for more than her money, she has to keep her identity hidden. A difficult feat, especially when it comes to the cynical cowboy whose sweet daughter she cares for after school. But will hiding the truth ruin her chance of earning Dawson’s love?

The Rightful Heir by Angel Moore

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therightfulheirThe Rightful Heir

1881 – Texas

Arriving in Texas, cowboy Jared Ivy discovers the grandfather he hardly remembers has passed away…and an unknown woman has claimed ownership of his family’s newspaper. Jared has the will that proves he’s the owner—but the sheriff refuses to enforce it. Instead, Jared must work with Mary Lou Ellison until a judge comes to town and rules in favor of the rightful heir. 

Intrepid reporter Mary Lou has already lost her father figure. And she won’t lose the Pine Haven Record—the legacy he left her—without a fight. But when she and Jared stop sparring long enough to investigate a story together, they become a force to be reckoned with. Will they let their battle over the Record get in the way of something even more newsworthy: true love?

Providence: Hannah’s Journey by Barbara Britton

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providenceProvidence: Hannah’s Journey

849 BC – Israel

As the sole daughter of the chief priest, Hannah is publicly shamed when the prophet of Israel refuses to heal her. Determined to restore her family’s honor, she escapes Jerusalem in hopes of finding the prophet and convincing him to restore her deformities. Gilead, a young Hebrew guard sympathetic to her plight, willingly accompanies her. On their way, they are captured by a band of raiders and Hannah is forced to serve in the household of the commander of the Aramean army, an officer who is in need of healing himself. Meanwhile, Gilead is being used as sword practice for the Aramean soldiers. Hannah must act fast to save Gilead and herself, but survival will mean coaxing the prophet of Israel to heal an enemy commander.

The Rails to Love Romance Collection by Various Authors

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railstolovecollectionThe Rails to Love Romance Collection

Journey the Transcontinental Railroad along with nine unlikely couples who encounter all the dangers and disappointments of traveling the rails in the late 1800s. From sight-seeing excursions to transports toward new lives, from orphan trains to circus trains, can romances develop into blazing love in a world of cold, hard steel?

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

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Waves of Mercywaves of mercy

1846-1896 – The Netherlands and Michigan

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from The Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she is asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions that have remained buried all these years, including the story of her one true love. 

A few miles away at the Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of her broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after the violent storm her steamship encounters on her journey across the lake, stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

From This Day Forward by Lauraine Snelling

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fromthisdayforwardFrom This Day Forward

1900s – North Dakota

Deborah MacCallister, head nurse at the Blessing hospital, has loved Toby Valders since her school days, but she’s had enough of their on-again, off-again relationship. Toby truly cares for Deborah, but he’s never felt like he could commit to marriage or a family.

When Anton Genddarm, the new schoolteacher, comes to town, the young women of Blessing see a chance to force Toby’s hand with a little strategic matchmaking. But real sparks fly between Deborah and Anton, and she finds herself in an even more complicated situation. The attention she gets from Anton makes Toby do some serious soul-searching, but is it too late?

Then Deborah receives an invitation to study the latest advances in nursing at a hospital in Chicago, and she faces a hard choice. To leave or stay? Should she give up on the dream of Toby and accept the interest of Anton?

Saratoga Letters by Elaine Marie Cooper

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saratogalettersSaratoga Letters

1777/present – New York

It is 1777. The Battle of Saratoga, a turning point of the Revolutionary War, encourages the American Continental Army with their first great victory. But there seemed little to celebrate for one patriotic woman forced to nurse wounded British soldiers right in their war camp. Thrust into deception by a cruel Loyalist uncle, Abigail is forced to lie in order to survive, all the while dealing with fears that challenge her faith. Danger stalks her everywhere, yet her salvation springs from an unexpected source.

Then …

Two hundred years later, on the anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga, thousands arrive from Europe and the United States to celebrate the event — including descendants from the war. One young American, Abby, meets the offspring of a British soldier. When her life is threatened, Abby turns to the only person she knows at the event — her British ally. Can she trust him with her life? Or will he betray her in the same way loyalist spies betrayed her ancestors? Perhaps letters from long ago will reveal the truth.

Land of Promise by Carol Cox

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Land of Promiselandofpromise

1867 – Arizona

Elizabeth Simmons longs to escape the mold society has for her and realize her dreams of independence.

When offered a job caring for an injured family acquaintance, Elizabeth gladly leaves her pampered life in Philadelphia behind and sets off for the newly-formed Arizona Territory. However, she soon discovers the awful truth behind her new arrangement.

Michael O’Roarke stepped away from bright prospects back East in order to keep tabs on his unprincipled father in frontier Arizona. That burden, along with the demands of starting his own freighting business, claims all his attention…until he finds himself captivated by the feisty Elizabeth.

Will losing her heart to Michael undermine the independence Elizabeth has worked so hard to achieve? Or could this land of danger and hardship also prove to be her land of promise?

Mail Order Groom by Angel Moore

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mailordergroomMail Order Groom

1875 – Texas

Albert Franks is a lawyer who finds himself without a place to practice law when his godly ethics go against the wishes of his former boss. Cora Nelson has inherited Nelson Ranch with one condition. She writes to offer Bert a position on the ranch to preserve her ownership. He arrives to practice law only to discover that her offer was for marriage. The financial success of the ranch and the entire town of River Bend rely on his acceptance.
Albert and Cora soon discover that when they pray, sometimes God’s answers aren’t what they expect.

Ask Me to Marry You by Heather Blanton

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askmetomarryyouGoodreads ~ Purchase ~ Sample

1890s – Wyoming

Audra Drysdale grudgingly accepts that the mere presence of a husband will keep her men working on her ranch, and a greedy cattle baron under control. It seems a perfectly reasonable idea, then, to ask her uncle, who is the town attorney and a matchmaker of sorts, to find her a groom–a “proxy” who will take her orders and dish them out to the men. A marriage of convenience seems to be in order … 

Dillon Pine is in jail for a conspiracy charge, but because of certain mitigating factors, he’s deemed a good risk for an unusual form of probation: serving as Audra’s husband. After a year, he can abandon her and she won’t tell. By then, she will have proven to the cowboys she’s a competent rancher, and the cattleman next door will be looking elsewhere for a wife. But when word gets out that Dillon came to Audra via Evergreen’s matchmaker, he’s dubbed a “male order bride.” The resulting jokes at his expense are constant and brutal. Just how much abuse can Dillon’s pride stand? 

When Audra discovers her father’s death was no accident, she realizes her new husband is in danger, too. And she cares . . . quite a lot, it turns out. To save Dillon, she may have to let go of the one thing she’s fought her whole life to keep. 

Newton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace by Jody Hedlund

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newtonandpollyNewton and Polly: A Novel of Amazing Grace

1742 – England

Now remembered as the author of the world’s most famous hymn, in the mid-eighteenth century as England and France stand on the brink of war, John Newton is a young sailor wandering aimlessly through life. His only duty is to report to his ship and avoid disgracing his father—until the night he hears Polly Catlett’s enchanting voice, caroling. He’s immediately smitten and determined to win her affection.

An intense connection quickly forms between the two, but John’s reckless spirit and disregard for the Christian life are concerns for the responsible, devout Polly. When an ill-fated stop at a tavern leaves John imprisoned and bound, Polly must choose to either stand by his side or walk out of his life forever. Will she forfeit her future for the man she loves?

Step back through the pages of history, to uncover the true love story behind a song that continues to stir the hearts and ignite the faith of millions around the globe.

Mattie’s Pledge by Jan Drexler

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mattiespledgeMattie’s Pledge

1840 – Indiana

Mattie Schrock is no stranger to uprooting her life. Even as her father relocated her family from one Amish community to the next, she always managed to find a footing in their new homes. Now as the Schrock family plans to move west from Somerset County to a fledgling Amish settlement in Indiana, she looks forward to connecting with old friends who will be joining them from another Pennsylvania community–friends like Jacob Yoder, who has always held a special place in her heart.

Since Mattie last saw Jacob, they’ve both grown into different people with different dreams. Jacob yearns to settle down, but Mattie can’t help but dream of what may lie over the western horizon. When a handsome Englisher tempts her to leave the Amish behind to search for adventure in the West, will her pledge to Jacob be the anchor that holds her secure?

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Austen in Austin Vol. 2

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Texas

Discover four heroines in historical Austin, TX, as they find love–Jane Austen style.

Simply Lila by Suzie Johnson, based on Lady Susan
Yearning to find a real-life hero, a wallflower must learn to live outside the pages of an Austen novel.

Fully Persuaded by Niki Turner, based on Persuasion
A brokenhearted artist struggles with the shame of her family s bankruptcy and the return of her first love whose proposal she d spurned because he was poor.

Mansford Ranch by Dina L. Sleiman, based on Mansfield Park
An aspiring novelist with a keen eye for character must determine who is worthy of playing her own leading man.

Sense and Nonsense by Lisa Karon Richardson, based on Sense and Sensibility
A would-be missionary is determined to make it to Ceylon, but when her funds disappear, she has to accept help from the man she most wants to avoid.

You’re the Cream in my Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

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1928 – Illinois

In 1928, Chicago rocks to the rhythm of the Jazz Age, and Prohibition is in full swing. Small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has sworn that coffee’s the strongest drink that will pass her lips. But her quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy when she spots her high school sweetheart–presumed killed in the Great War–alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs.

Although the stranger insists he’s not who she thinks he is, Marjorie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. To the dismay of her fiancé and family, she moves to the city and takes a job at a department store so she can spy on him. Meanwhile, the glittering world of her roommate, Dot, begins to look awfully enticing–especially when the object of her obsession seems to be part of that world. Is it really so terrible to bob her hair and shorten her skirt? To visit a speakeasy? Just for a cup of coffee, of course.

But what about her scruples? What about the successful young doctor to whom she’s engaged, who keeps begging her to come back home where she belongs? And what, exactly, is going on at the store’s loading dock so late at night?

Amid a whirlwind of trials and temptations, Marjorie must make a choice. Will the mystery man prove to be the cream in her coffee–the missing ingredient to the life she yearns for? Or will he leave only bitterness in her heart?

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A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M White

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aladyunrivaledA Lady Unrivaled

1913 – England

Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile–even if it’s just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well the danger that has haunted her brother and their friend, and she won’t wait for it to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he’s determined to live a better life. But that proves complicated when old friends arrive on the scene and try to threaten him into a life of crime. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won’t budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her–and his daughter–from those dangerous people who seem ready to destroy them all?

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Love’s Faithful Promise by Susan Anne Mason

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lovesfaithfulpromiseLove’s Faithful Promise

1922 – New York

When her mother suffers a stroke, medical student Deirdre O’Leary makes the difficult choice to put her career on hold to care for her. Dr. Matthew Clayborne is renowned for his amazing results with patients, but when Deirdre approaches him about helping her mother, she finds him challenging and surly. Deirdre has had enough of complicated men in her life. After her fiancé left her, she vowed never to give a man that kind of power again.

Widower Dr. Matthew Clayborne is devoted to two things: his work with wounded soldiers and his four-year-old daughter, Phoebe. He won’t abandon either of these priorities to care for one older woman. However, when Phoebe suffers a health scare, they’re offered respite at the Irish Meadows farm, where his daughter’s weakened lungs can recover–but only if he cares for Mrs. O’Leary.

Matthew intends to hate Irish Meadows, yet he immediately feels at home, and soon both Mrs. O’Leary and Phoebe are showing improvement. But since he has no intention of leaving his life up north forever, and Deirdre has sworn off marriage in favor of her career, how will they deal with the undeniable attraction between them?

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Hester Takes Charge by Linda Byler

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Colonial Pennsylvania

Hester, the startlingly beautiful Native American who was rescued as an infant by an Amish couple, now lives in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She shares a house with Bappie King, another Amish woman, living their independent lives in the fast-growing mid-18th-century city. Bappie runs a highly successful stand at the downtown farmers market; Hester is Bappie’s assistant when she isn’t out in the city nursing desperately sick children and their impoverished parents with her tinctures, teas, and rubs.

And then one day, Noah comes back; Noah, the first child born to Hans and Kate Zug, the Amish couple who had welcomed Hester during their childless years.

Both Hester and Noah are refugees from this Amish family gone awry. Both were victims of Hans’ deep attraction to the lovely Hester. Two hurt souls, they have each had their own adult troubles. Noah left his family and the Amish to join the War. Hester is the widow of William King, an Amish man who was determined to possess his wife and dictate her life.

When Noah invites Hester to join him on a visit to their childhood home, Hester can no longer ignore her buried anger at her adopted father or her bitterness toward Annie, his second wife. Nor can Hester deny the tempting thrill of spending time with the steady but sensitive Noah, who since childhood showed special care for Hester.

Hester and Noah both know that the visit home will force them to face blistering questions: Can they possibly forgive their ill father, Hans, for his misplaced love for Hester and his utter neglect of Noah? Can Hester and Noah risk marriage, especially if they can’t forgive Hans? Can Hester trust herself—and Noah—enough to marry again after her failed marriage to William?

Author Interview and Giveaway – Rachel McMillan – A Lesson in Love and Murder

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Isn’t this a wonderful, non-run-of-the-mill cover? And as a Canadian author, she’s willing to send to Canada, so if you’re a Canadian who laments the lack of contests for you, definitely sign up for this one. 🙂

 

loveandmurder

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A Lesson in Love and Murder

From political danger to personal drama, life is about to get explosive…

The legacy of literary icon Sherlock Holmes is alive and well in 1912 Canada, where best friends Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts continue to develop their skills as consulting detectives.

The city of Toronto has been thrown into upheaval by the arrival of radical anarchist Emma Goldman. Amid this political chaos, Benny Citrone of the Royal North-West Mounted Police arrives at Merinda and Jem’s flat, requesting assistance in locating his runaway cousin—a man with a deadly talent.

While Merinda eagerly accepts the case, she finds herself constantly butting heads—and hearts—with Benny. Meanwhile, Jem has her hands full with a husband who is determined to keep her out of harm’s way.

As Merinda and Jem close in on the danger they’ve tracked from Toronto to Chicago, they uncover a sinister plot to assassinate presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt. Will they be able to save the day and resolve the troubles threatening their future happiness before it’s too late?

Rachel’s Websiteheadshot

Others in this Series, in order, the last is pre-orderable:

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Questions about Rachel’s Story

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The research (which took me around Toronto and to Chicago ). I loved reading about Roosevelt. One of my favourite books that I read in conjunction with him is called Team of Rivals and I highly recommend it. Especially because I am fascinated by the history of journalism during this era of upheaval.  I also really really enjoyed all the research and works I consulted on the Royal Northwest Mounted Police. The Force is a massive part of my family history and I loved digging into it.

Did you include a real historical character or incident in your story?

I actually included two: Theodore Roosevelt and Emma Goldman. I also included (quite fictionally) the Republican National Convention in Chicago in August 1912.  I studied the convention and all of its minutes with a lot of depth although, of course, put my own fictional spin on it.

If you could be guaranteed to publish a book set anywhere and at anytime, what setting would you love to set a novel in?

I would love to set a book during the American Revolution.  Especially during the time of the Boston Tea party. I love that part of history and I love the Canadian (British) connection. I have dappled with this quite a bit.  Readers of the Herringford and Watts series will learn I am quite passionate about the history of journalism and the journalism of this time period and its printing presses (and the influence of both) are a huge passion of mine.

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Questions about Rachel’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Vienna Prelude by Bodie Thoene is the first Christian fiction book I read. I was ten. I became hooked on CBA fiction and knew I wanted to publish it one day. A few years ago, I went on a solo trip to Austria and just tracked down all the John and Elisa sites.

Who is your favorite Christian Historical hero?  

Dr. Neil MacNeill from Christy. I love how he challenges Christy to confront her faith and to assess and validate her own opinions.

Which was the last Christian Historical Novel you read, and what was your favorite thing about it?

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin.  Lynn Austin is one of my all-time favourite writers and I was so happy to receive an advanced copy. I think what I love most about Austin’s books is that they encourage you to accept that God uses all manner of people.  Her heroines always validate me as a woman who has never quite felt that she fit into a traditional woman’s role. There is room for Marys and Marthas; but also Deborahs and Esthers.

Rachel is giving away a copy of her book (Paperback – US OR CANADA) and I’m giving away winner’s choice 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.**

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This Road We Traveled by Jane Kirkpatrick

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roadwetraveledThis Road We Traveled

1846 – Oregon

When Tabitha Brown’s son makes the fateful decision to leave Missouri and strike out for Oregon, she refuses to be left behind. Despite her son’s concerns, Tabitha hires her own wagon to join the party. Along with her reluctant daughter and her ever-hopeful granddaughter, the intrepid Tabitha has her misgivings. But family ties are stronger than fear.

The trials they face along the way will severely test Tabitha’s faith, courage, and ability to hope. With her family’s survival on the line, she must make the ultimate sacrifice, plunging deeper into the wilderness to seek aid. What she couldn’t know was how this frightening journey would impact how she understood her own life–and the greater part she had to play in history.

With her signature attention to detail and epic style, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites readers to travel the deadly and enticing Oregon Trail. Based on actual events, This Road We Traveled will inspire the pioneer in all of us.

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A Love Transformed by Tracie Peterson

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alovetransformedA Love Transformed

1916 – Montana

When Clara Vesper’s husband, Adolph, dies suddenly, Clara is stunned–but not grief-stricken. Her marriage to Adolph had been arranged, their primary interaction revolving around the sapphire jewelry Clara designed and Adolph produced and sold. Widowed and penniless, with two small children, Clara decides to return to her aunt and uncle’s ranch in Montana, the only place she has ever been happy.

Curtis Billingham, injured in a sapphire mine collapse, is recuperating at the ranch of his friends, Paul and Madeline Sersland. But when the Serslands’ niece returns from New York City, Curtis curses both his broken body and his broken past. Clara, the love of his life, has come back to him, but he is no longer worthy of her love.

Clara’s brother-in-law Otto Vesper, Adolph’s business partner, fears that the loss of Clara’s design skills will doom the company’s prospects. Following her to Montana, Otto is prepared to do whatever it takes to get Clara to return with him to New York.

As Clara fights for love and freedom, a dangerous secret in her late husband’s life comes to light, threatening everyone she loves.

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Daughter of the Nile by Jill Eileen Smith

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daughterofthenileDaughter of the Nile

BC – Israel

Explore with me the exotic world of ancient Egypt and ponder the dilemma Siti faces when she leaves her homeland, her family, and the worship of her many gods, to live in Jerusalem where only Yahweh is worshiped. Can Siti leave her favorite goddess Bastet behind? Will she ever make sense of this land, it’s strange worship of one God, and a husband who is as wise and ever-changing as the wind? What must it have been like for a foreigner to marry the famous Israelite King? Come…imagine with me…

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Mary, Chosen of God by Diana Wallis Taylor

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Mary, Chosen of Godmarychosenofgod

BC – Israel

Mary is ordinary girl from Nazareth. She helps her mother with household chores, she daydreams about a handsome carpenter’s son named Joseph, and at night she lies on the roof and contemplates at the stars. But one evening, a heavenly visitor comes with unexpected news, and her life is changed forever.

Experience the life of the Messiah from the perspective of his mother, who must place her trust and obedience in Adonai, the Most High, as he fulfills centuries of anticipation in the middle of her daily life. Walk with Mary as she witnesses Yeshua grow, mature, minister, and even crucified, and then raised again, to the kindling of her new faith.

A Rancher of Convenience by Regina Scott

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arancherofconvenienceA Rancher of Convenience

1895 – Texas

Sweet mail-order bride Nancy Bennett can’t believe it when her husband is exposed as a cattle rustler—and killed. And when the banker holding the ranch’s mortgage questions whether she can run the ranch on her own, the pregnant widow has nowhere to turn. Until steady foreman Hank Snowden proposes marriage… 

Racked with grief about his role in Lucas Bennett’s death, Hank resolves to do right by the man’s wife and child. So it’s natural for him to step in as Nancy’s newly minted husband. But the marriage of convenience may become more than a mere obligation…if only Hank and his bride can brave the first steps toward elusive true love.

Texas Cinderella by Winnie Griggs

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texascinderellaTexas Cinderella

1898 – Texas

After a life of drudgery on her family’s farm, Cassie Lynn Vickers relishes her freedom working in town as a paid companion for feisty Mrs. Flanagan. When her father suddenly demands she come home, she has no choice. Unless she can find a husband. If only she could convince handsome town newcomer Riley Walker to marry her… 

Riley is on the run. He’s desperate to keep his niece and nephew safe from his crooked half brother. But a delay in Turnabout, Texas, shows him everything he didn’t know he was missing: home, family—and Cassie Lynn. Can he find a way to become her Prince Charming…and build a real family with the children and Cassie Lynn?

A Mother in the Making by Gabrielle Meyer

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A Mother in the Makingamotherinthemaking

1918 – Minnesota

Practical, steady, levelheaded: all qualities single father Dr. John Orton expects in both a governess and a wife. But his children’s temporary governess Miss Marjorie Maren seems set on finding him an impractical woman to love…despite his plans of marrying solely for convenience. Nothing could be more exasperating to the handsome widower—except his increasing interest in Marjorie. 

Vivacious and fun-loving: that’s the kind of bride the reserved doctor needs. Before Marjorie leaves to pursue her acting dreams, she intends to match him with a suitable wife candidate. Yet growing affection for her four charges and their dashing father has awakened a new hope—that she might be his perfect bride. But can she convince her employer to take a chance on love and claim real happiness before it slips away?

The Nanny’s Little Matchmakers by Danica Favorite

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nannyslittlematchmakersThe Nanny’s Little Matchmakers

1882 – Colorado

Polly MacDonald intends to tame Mitch Taylor’s five mischievous children, even though every other nanny has fled. She needs this job—and Mitch’s brood sorely needs affection. Perhaps their widowed papa does, too. But when the children begin scheming to make her their new mother, Polly must resist. She’s seen too many bad marriages to want one of her own. 

Mitch has come to Leadville, Colorado, to escape a scandal, not find a wife. After the disaster of his first marriage, he’s sure he isn’t husband material. Though Polly’s tender care is working wonders with his children, Mitch knows he should keep his feelings to himself. But can two wary hearts deny the dearest wish of five eager matchmakers?

She Walks in Power by MaryLu Tyndall

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shewalksinpowerShe Walks in Power

Medieval England

Many seek the power of the spear that stabbed Christ. Only one woman has vowed to protect it with her life

Alexia D’Clere didn’t ask to be Protector of the Spear, but after her dying mother gave her the spear tip and made her promise to keep it safe, she had no choice. Orphaned at age 9, she took over managing her parents’ castle with the help of a trusted steward. Yet, when a plot to murder her was revealed, a friar whisked her away to live hidden in the forest. There, she learned to shoot expertly with bow and arrow and hone her skills to see into the spirit realm.

Now, at 18, she continues to keep the spear protected, provide meat for the starving village, while secretly caring for her ill sister who still lives in the castle. With Alexia’s powers of spiritual discernment and her skill as an archer, she is no match for those who come for the spear. That is until she meets Ronar LePeine, one of the King’s Elite Guard.

Ronar desires nothing more than to do his duty for God and King and pay penance for his past sins. Yet a forest sprite with red, flaming hair blocks his every move, all the while enchanting him like no other. Something evil lurks at Castle Luxley, and both Ronar and Alexia are soon thrust into the middle of a spiritual battle which will not only test their very beliefs, but put them both in mortal danger.

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