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The Siren’s Captain by Regina Scott

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1804 – England

Will the Lord of the Smugglers steal her heart?

French singer and spy Marie-Louise Fortier has spent her life protecting idealistic men like her father, who died trying to wrest France back from Napoleon. So when the British War Office asks her to safeguard a former naval captain in the little spa village of Grace-by-the-Sea from the emperor’s threats, she doesn’t hesitate, even if it means pretending to be engaged to the legendary Captain St. Claire to remain at his side.

Quillan St. Claire has been taking care of himself since he was a foundling. He’s fought Napoleon in battle and now smuggles the tyrant’s secrets from France to aid England’s cause. He’s certainly not willing to trust the pretty soprano with his life, yet her siren’s voice seems to call to him. As danger draws closer, Marie and Quill must work together to protect the friendly little village that welcomed them, only to discover that protecting each other may mean risking their hearts for a real chance at love.

Gold Rush Bride: Caroline by Linda Shenton Matchett

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1859 – Missouri

She thinks he’s high-handed and out for her gold. He thinks she’s difficult and money-hungry. Will they discover that love is the true treasure?

Scarred in a childhood accident, Caroline Vogel has yet to find a man willing to marry her, so she heads to the Pike’s Peak goldfields to pan enough ore to become a woman of means. When she and the handsome assistant trail boss hit it off, she begins to hope her future may not be spent alone. Then she catches wind of dark secrets from the man’s past, and she’s not sure what or who to believe.

Orphaned as a teenager, Oliver Llewellyn stole to survive, then used his skills for the army during the war. Nowadays, he applies his knowledge to catch dangerous thieves for the Pinkerton Agency, so guarding a young woman during a wagon train journey should be easy. But he didn’t count on the fact she’d angered a man bent on revenge. He also didn’t count on losing his heart.

Dollar Brides by Anne Greene

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1899 – Rhode Island

What if you are one of the richest daughters in America, and your parents sell you to an unknown English Lord to gain a title for the family?

When Amelia Schermerhorn Astor’s best friend is sold to the elderly Englishman, Lord Suffolk, Amelia vows to stop this appalling form of slavery. No more Dollar Brides.

Amelia’s seen too many of these nightmare negotiations where wealthy fathers treat their daughters as negotiable objects much like they play the stock market. Amelia risks her entire future and fights the system.

After committing a grave mistake during a business trip to England, Bracebridge Brighton III has a choice. The Duke of Richmond gives Brace three options to right the wrong. Circumstances forbid Brace from taking the first two, so he must accept the third … return to Newport and procure a Dollar Bride for the deceitful Duke.

After a highly unorthodox meeting with Amelia, Brace falls in love with the feisty crusader. When Amelia discovers Brace’s mission, she cuts him from her life.

When they clash again will both forfeit their once-in-a-lifetime love?

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Nature of Small Birds – Susie Finkbeiner

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With a sensitive touch, Susie Finkbeiner brings to our awareness a little-known historical event surrounding the Vietnam War: Operation Babylift. Susie uses multiple eras to paint the portrait as an American family struggles with the aftermath of a foreign war-time adoption. Welcome to the Index, Susie!

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The Nature of Small Birds

In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, one of those children, announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adopted family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival in their lives.

Though her father supports Mindy’s desire to meet her family of origin, he struggles privately with an unsettling fear that he’ll lose the daughter he’s poured his heart into. Mindy’s mother undergoes the emotional rollercoaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy’s sister helps her sort through relics that whisper of the effect the trauma of war has had on their family–but also speak of the beauty of overcoming.

Told through three strong voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code.

Susie’s Website

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Questions about Susie’s Story

Which scene (give us the chapter) is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with? Give us a reason to look forward to it.

It’s hard for me to pick favorite scenes, but one I particularly enjoyed was in chapter three. It’s set in 1988 and involves two teenaged sisters fighting over being late to school. I especially love this scene because it echoes near daily arguments I had with my own sister in high school. Plus, it involves lot of great 1980s references and slang that were just so fun to remember.

Why did you choose the year in which your book is set?

When I first started writing this particular story, I intended to keep it in 1975, the year the Americans evacuated Vietnam and the year of Operation Babylift. However, as I researched, I felt the need to tell this story across three different timelines. 1975, the year that the Matthews family adopted Minh. 1988, when Minh (now known by Mindy) is coming of age and figuring out who she is and her place in her family. 2013, when Mindy is in her forties and interested in seeking out her birth mother.

I learned as I researched that the story of adoption can’t just be told in the months and year following the first time the child and parents meet. It’s a story that spans a lifetime and I really wanted to capture that in this novel.

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you sad?

I cried many times as I researched for the writing of this novel. Of course, learning about the after effects of war is always heartbreaking. I think what made this deep dive into history particularly difficult was that I was researching the impacts of war on children.

Perhaps the saddest part of this research was reading about the crash of the very first airplane that was carrying orphans from Saigon to be adopted in the United States. 138 people died in that crash, most of them children. Many of the birth mothers who had recently placed their small children in orphanages mourned, not knowing if their babies were on that flight. Many never learned. Some were surprised when, decades later, the children they’d feared dead made efforts to reunite with them.

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Questions about Susie’s Reading

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

I recently read Shadows of the White City by the remarkable Jocelyn Green. I adored how vibrantly she painted the setting of 1893 Chicago and the World’s Fair. Chicago is a city I so dearly love and it was such fun to read a story set there, and one so well written!

What was the last Christian Historical Novel that made you cry?

The very last paragraph of Allison Pittman’s The Seamstress did me in. It was gorgeously written and even after a year, it still gets me teary eyed.

What was the last Christian Historical Novel whose characters stayed in your head days after you finished reading it?

 Valerie Fraser Luesse’s Under the Bayou Moon is peopled with characters that are so authentic, so endearing, that I couldn’t stop thinking about them even after I read the last page. That’s like magic, as far as I’m concerned.

Susie is giving away a paperback copy, USA addresses only. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**If you don’t want to enter the 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.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner

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1975 – Michigan

In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, one of those children, announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adopted family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival in their lives.

Though her father supports Mindy’s desire to meet her family of origin, he struggles privately with an unsettling fear that he’ll lose the daughter he’s poured his heart into. Mindy’s mother undergoes the emotional rollercoaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy’s sister helps her sort through relics that whisper of the effect the trauma of war has had on their family–but also speak of the beauty of overcoming.

Told through three strong voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code.

The Ice Swan by J’Nell Ciesielski

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1917 – Russia/France/Scotland

Amid the violent last days of the glittering Russian monarchy, a princess on the run finds her heart where she least expects it.

1917, Petrograd. Fleeing the murderous flames of the Russian Revolution, Princess Svetlana Dalsky hopes to find safety in Paris with her mother and sister. But the city is buckling under the weight of the Great War, and the Bolsheviks will not rest until they have erased every Russian aristocrat from memory. Svetlana and her family are forced into hiding in Paris’s underbelly, with little to their name but the jewels they sewed into their corsets before their terrifying escape.

Born the second son of a Scottish duke, the only title Wynn MacCallan cares for is that of surgeon. Putting his talents with a scalpel to good use in the hospitals in Paris, Wynn pushes the boundaries of medical science to give his patients the best care possible. After treating Svetlana for a minor injury, he is pulled into a world of decaying imperial glitter. Intrigued by this mysterious, cold, and beautiful woman, Wynn follows Svetlana to an underground Russian club where drink, dance, and questionable dealings collide on bubbles of vodka.

Out of money and options, Svetlana agrees to a marriage of convenience with the handsome and brilliant Wynn, who will protect her and pay off her family’s debts. It’s the right thing for a good man to do, but Wynn cannot help hoping the marriage will turn into one of true affection. When Wynn’s life takes an unexpected turn, so does Svetlana’s—and soon Paris becomes as dangerous as Petrograd. And as the Bolsheviks chase them to Scotland, Wynn and Svetlana begin to wonder if they will ever be able to outrun the love they are beginning to feel for one another.

Dillon by Linda Ford

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1887 – Canada

Maude’s husband, John, had been injured and she desperately needed some cowboys to work the ranch. She found Dillon down on his luck and gave him, and five other young men, a home and trains them. Seven years later she is set on finding brides for all of the young men. Dillon’s not interested. He was robbed of everything by Slick McCall—someone he trusted. A girl he loved has also treated him poorly. He doesn’t intend to open his heart to anyone. His plan is to stay right there on the ranch and take care of Maude and John.

Abigail has been duped by a slick-talking charmer and is now expecting a baby with no ring on her finger. Posing as a widow, she flees west, intending to start over and create a new life for herself and her unborn baby. However she arrives at Logan Crossing and discovers her money is missing—stolen. She has nothing. Maude offers her a job on the ranch, thinking this pretty young widow will be suitable for one of the boys.

Abigail eagerly helps at the ranch house, determined to make a temporary home for herself and the baby. Dillon is always ready to take her for a walk or otherwise entertain her. The baby’s birth creates a new level of attraction and intimacy between them. He tells her of how a certain Slick McCall has stolen everything and a former girlfriend hurt him, teaching Dillon to guard his heart.

Slick McCall was the man who sweet talked her into making Abby’s baby. She was prepared to tell Dillon the truth about being an unwed mother but hearing his words makes her realize she must guard her secret.

But how long can she hide the truth when she and Dillon are falling in love? Will Dillon still love her when the truth comes out? Most of all, will her newborn son ever be accepted?

More Than Honor by Carol Ashby

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126 – Roman Empire

Duty and honor had anchored his life, but only truth could set him free.

Devotion to duty and dogged determination make Tribune Titianus the most feared investigator of the Urban Cohort. Honor drives him to hunt down anyone who breaks Roman law, but it becomes personal when Lenaeus, his old tutor, is murdered in his own classroom. Why kill a respected teacher of the noble sons of Rome, a man who has nothing worth stealing and no known enemies? Had he learned something too dangerous to let him live?

Pompeia was only a girl when Titianus studied with Father before her family became Christians. She and her brother Kaeso can’t move their school from the house where their father was killed. But what if the one who killed Father comes to kill again? Kaeso’s friend Septimus insists they spend nights at his father’s well-guarded home. But danger lurks there as well. As Titianus hunts for the murderer, will he discover their secret faith and arrest them as enemies of the Empire?

When Titianus gets too close to finding the killer, the hunter becomes the hunted. While he recovers at his cousin Septimus’s house, Pompeia becomes the first woman to touch his heart. But a tribune’s loyalty is sworn to Rome, no matter how he feels. When her faith is revealed, will truth and love mean more to him than honor? Does honor require more than devotion to Rome?

The Bounty Hunter’s Bride by Janis Jakes

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1800s – Old West

Bounty hunter Luke Lancaster brings the best of both worlds to his work—the tracking skills of his Comanche father and the marksmanship he learned from his missionary grandfather.

When Luke is hired to track down a young man wanted for murder, he assumes it’s a routine capture, but he’s taken on a wild ride when he discovers that the accused is actually an innocent school teacher who knows too much for her own good.

Determined to uncover the truth, Luke sets out to keep himself and Billie alive while bringing the real outlaws to justice. As they race across Texas, Luke falls more in love with Billie. But could a schoolteacher ever want a half-Comanche bounty hunter? Does Luke stand a chance or is he just her ride to freedom?

The Last Gasp by Chautona Havig

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1920s – California

At the pinnacle of his Hollywood career, Garrison Prince’s reign ends tonight.

As plain old Gary Prinz, he can pursue his Bible education, buy a bungalow in Pasadena, acquire a few chickens, and marry the girl of his dreams. He just never imagined trading the silver screen for a pulpit would wreak such havoc.

A cigarillo girl, Lucinda Ashton spends her days with her boyfriend, Gary, and her evenings selling candy and “gaspers” to the Hollywood elite at the Taj Mahal Theater.

However, when gunshots ring out just as intermission begins, Lucinda finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a brouhaha that leaves three dead, and no one has a clue why.

All the police know is that the evidence points to Lucinda as the killer and Gary as the intended target.

Four new friends, one young orphan, and a potluck of clues that don’t seem to fit anywhere leave the police baffled, Lucinda in fear for her freedom, and Gary ready to trade in his acting shoes for gumshoes if it’ll save his “Cinda.”

The first book in the Ever After Mysteries combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries, The Last Gasp. This Cinderella retelling blends a murder with enough crime and story clues to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Between the Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette

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1052 BC – Middle East

Ten years ago Lukio fled Kiryat-Yearim, where he’d been adopted by the Levite family who guarded the Ark of the Covenant. Feeling betrayed by everyone, he returned to his birthplace in Philistia to become a famous fighter. Now the champion of Ashdod, Lukio has achieved every goal with the help of his ruthless cousin. But just as he is set to claim the biggest prize of all, the daughter of the king, his past collides with his present in the form of Shoshana.

After a heartbreaking end to her secret friendship with Lukio, Shoshana thought to never see the boy with the dual-colored eyes and the troubled soul again. But when she is captured in a Philistine raid and enslaved
in Ashdod, she is surprised to find that the brutal fighter known as Demon-Eyes is Lukio himself.

With explosive secrets and unbreakable vows standing between them, finding a way to freedom for both may cost them everything.

Forever My Own by Tracie Peterson

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1871 – Minnesota

In 1871, Kirstin Hallberg arrives in Duluth, Minnesota, to find the city council intent on building a canal and ensuring the city’s rise to greatness. She’s come to care for her elderly grandmother Lena Segerson only to discover Lena very full of life and full of secrets. For when Kirstin opens their front door one day, she finds the brother she long thought dead on the other side. Domar begs his sister to say nothing to their parents, viewing their grief as payment for falsely accusing him of bad behavior years prior and driving him from their Swedish village. Caught between her brother’s wishes and the chance to ease her family’s pain, Kirstin doesn’t know which decision is right.

When Domar’s friend Ilian is hurt in an accident, Kirstin and her grandmother volunteer to care for him. Ilian struggles with his own bitterness toward his estranged father, heightened by his injured leg. He can now never return to logging, but the only other thing he really knows and enjoys is making Mackinaw boats–but that would force him to seek his father’s help.

As he recovers, a natural attraction starts between Ilian and Kirstin, but both are dealing with problems without easy answers. With no clear way forward, can love ever thrive and the past be forgiven?

A Man with a Past by Mary Connealy

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1870 – Wyoming

Falcon Hunt awakens without a past, or at least not one he can recall. He’s got brothers he can’t remember, and he’s interested in the prettiest woman in the area, Cheyenne. Only trouble is, a few flashes of memory make Falcon wonder if he’s already married. He can’t imagine abandoning a wife. But his pa did just that–twice. When Falcon claims his inheritance in the West, Cheyenne is cut out of the ranch she was raised on, leaving her bitter and angry. And then Falcon kisses her, adding confusion and attraction to the mix.

Soon it’s clear someone is gunning for the Hunt brothers. When one of his brothers is shot, Falcon and Cheyenne set out to find who attacked him. They encounter rustled cattle, traitorous cowhands, a missing woman, and outlaws that take all their savvy to overcome. As love grows between these two independent people, Falcon must piece together his past if they’re to have any chance at a future.

Rescuing Her Heart by Cindy Ervin Huff

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1870 – Kansas

As her husband’s evil deeds haunt a mail-order bride from the grave, can she learn to trust again and open her heart to true love? 

On visitation rounds as a lay preacher, the last thing rancher Jed Holt expects is to be shot at from the barn next to a burned-down homestead. But the soot-covered woman hiding inside needs protecting, and Jed is the man to do it whether she likes it or not. Delilah James’s nightmares began when she came to Kansas as a mail-order bride. Her husband was nothing like his letters. Now that he is dead, she can’t shake his abuse from her heart. Trusting men tops her never-again list and taking a job on the Holt ranch as a housekeeper is a means to save money and bring her parents west. But her attraction to the compassionate former chaplain both angers and confuses her. 

Jed has his own nightmares from a POW camp and understands Delilah better than she knows. Can two broken people form a forever bond?

If It Rains by Jennifer L. Wright

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1935 – Oklahoma/Idaho/Traveling

A story of resilience and redemption set against one of America’s defining moments—the Dust Bowl.
It’s 1935 in Oklahoma, and lives are determined by the dust. Fourteen-year-old Kathryn Baile, a spitfire born with a severe clubfoot, is coming of age in desperate times. Once her beloved older sister marries, Kathryn’s only comfort comes in the well-worn pages of her favorite book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Then Kathryn’s father decides to relocate to Indianapolis, and only the promise of a surgery to finally make her “normal” convinces Kathryn to leave Oklahoma behind. But disaster strikes along the way, and Kathryn must rely on her grit and the ragged companions she meets on the road if she is to complete her journey.

Back in Boise City, Melissa Baile Mayfield is the newest member of the wealthiest family in all of Cimarron County. In spite of her poor, rural upbringing, Melissa has just married the town’s most eligible bachelor and is determined to be everything her husband—and her new social class—expects her to be. But as the drought tightens its grip, Henry’s true colors are revealed. Melissa covers her bruises with expensive new makeup and struggles to reconcile her affluent life with that of her starving neighbors. Haunted by the injustice and broken by Henry’s refusal to help, Melissa secretly defies her husband, risking her life to follow God’s leading.

Two sisters, struggling against unspeakable hardship, discover that even in their darkest times, they are still united in spirit, and God is still with them, drawing them home.

A Colonial Courtship by Stephenia McGee

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1770s – Massachusetts

Sometimes time travel is just the miracle you need. Unless it sends you to the last place you want to go.

Abigail Martin needs a miracle. After a crushing family secret stole her job, her apartment, and her future, she escapes her ruined life and risks a return to her hometown. Hints from a trusted friend that a mysterious bed and breakfast could grant her deepest desires lead her to rent a room. But when her former crush—a man she’s spent months avoiding—won’t leave her side, they both end up facing more than just the past she tried to escape.

Evan Blake finally has a second chance to win his first love, and he won’t let a little thing like her refusal stand in his way. When Abigail’s insistence on staying at a weird inn dumps them in Colonial Boston on the doorstep of the Revolutionary War, suddenly finding a way to ask her out seems the least of his worries. Despite the bizarre and unimaginable challenges of the 1700s, he refuses to give up on capturing her heart. But will finding their way home mean losing her forever?

Rocky Mountain Restoration by Lisa Flickinger

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1899 – Canadian Rocky Mountains/At Sea

Josephine Thorebourne doesn’t deserve happiness. Not after the mess she’s made.

Mid-voyage, on the steamship Jameson, she learns of the tragic loss of her family’s money. Money she stole with the hopes of turning a profit. What should be a delightful voyage up the Canadian coast turns into a journey of regret. Josephine seeks the solace of the man she loves, only to find out he’s an imposter. Left with no other choice, she must return to her home town of Stony Creek and face the anger of those she’s betrayed.  

Owen Kelly was given the opportunity of a lifetime to steward on the SS Jameson. The work meant he could escape his difficult upbringing along the wharves of Chicago. When his heart falls for the woman in cabin eight, Owen must decide if he will continue his work on the ship or follow the love of his life to her Rocky Mountain home.

As Josephine faces the repercussions of her decisions, the future becomes uncertain. Owen is the one person who knows everything and yet still sees the good in her. Will their love survive the challenges the Rocky Mountain town throws in their path?

Alone at the Well: Photine’s Story by Sandi Rog

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27 – Israel

On Photine’s daily trek to Jacob’s well, one step forward is another step back into her past as she relives the dismal events of her life. All she knows is brokenness, much like the waterpot she carries on her head. Rejection from those who used to be her friends is now commonplace. Failure should be her name. After all, who else in all of Samaria has gone through five husbands? And now she no longer sacrifices for her sins. Why bother when she’s just going to commit the same act every single day? She no longer cares.

Then one day, a day that started out like all the others, she meets a man at the well who offers something she had all but given up on. Hope. Hope for healing… Hope for forgiveness. Hope for new life. Can she dare believe that His promises are meant for someone so broken? Someone so lost? Someone like…her?

Gold Rush Bride: Hannah by Linda Shenton Matchett

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1800s – Georgia

A brand-new widow, she’s doesn’t need another man in her life. He’s not looking for a wife. But when danger thrusts them together, will they change their minds…and hearts?

Hannah Lauman’s husband has been murdered, but rather than grief, she feels…relief. She decides to remain in Georgia to work their gold claim, but a series of incidents makes it clear someone wants her gone…dead or alive. Is a chance at being a woman of means and independence worth risking her life?

Jess Vogel never breaks a promise, so when he receives a letter from a former platoon mate about being in danger, he drops everything to help his old friend. Unfortunately, he arrives just in time for the funeral. Can he convince the man’s widow he’s there for her protection not for her money?

In a Grove of Maples by Jenny Knipfer

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1897 – Wisconsin

Betsy and Edward face the perils of newlywed life and all that comes to divide lovers.

In 1897 newly married Beryl and Edward Massart travel more than one thousand miles from Quebec to farm a plot of land in Wisconsin that they bought sight-unseen. An almost magical grove of maples on their property inspires them to dream of a real home built within the grove, not the tiny log cabin they’ve come to live in.

Misunderstandings and tempers get the better of them when difficulties and troubles arise. Just months after they wed, Edward leaves pregnant Beryl in the midst of the coming winter to tend the farm and animals while he goes to be a teamster at a northern Wisconsin logging camp.

Will Beryl and Edward walk into the future together to build their house of dreams in the grove of maples, or will their plans topple like a house of sticks when the winds of misunderstanding and disaster strike?

The Scarlet Pen by Jennifer Uhlarik

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1876 – Ohio

Enjoy a tale of true but forgotten history of a 19th century serial killer whose silver-tongued ways almost trap a young woman into a nightmarish marriage.

In 1876, Emma Draycott is charmed into a quick engagement with childhood friend Stephen Dee Richards after reconnecting with him at a church event in Mount Pleasant, Ohio. But within the week, Stephen leaves to “make his fame and fortune.” The heartbroken Emma gives him a special pen to write to her, and he does with tales of grand adventures. Secret Service agent Clay Timmons arrives in Mount Pleasant to track purchases made with fake currency. Every trail leads back to Stephen—and therefore, Emma. Can he convince the naive woman she is engaged to a charlatan who is being linked a string of deaths in Nebraska?

Mike by Linda Ford

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1887 – Canada

Mike Hutchings has memories he’d like to erase of being left at an orphanage by his older sister, Ilsa. But now Ilsa is homeless and the child she chose to raise instead of him is appealing for his help. Of course, the child is now grown up just as he is.

Bethany Fieldberg has grown up with a controlling father. But now he is dead and Ilsa’s brother is taking them to the Circle A Ranch. Seeing that a woman runs the ranch, Bethany holds out hope she’ll be allowed to live the life she’s always wanted—free to work with animals, ride horses and enjoy the outdoors.

A visit to the orphanage where he was left, an orphan boy who begs Mike to take him, and life on the ranch put Mike and Bethany in close contact. But can Mike forgive his sister, get over his past and embrace the future? Can Bethany find the freedom she wants? What does the future hold for them? Will love overcome the challenges? Or not?

These Golden Years by Sara Turnquist

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1870s – Arizona

Dorothy “Cook” Miller and “Uncle” Owen Miller are living their best life and marriage. Though it is not without bumps along the way. Join them as they walk through the year together with its measure of mishaps and laughs. This collection of short stories shows that marriage can be fraught with misunderstanding. But also has its share of lighter moments.

A Life Redeemed by Olivia Rae

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1559 – England/Scotland

Everyone has a secret, who can a queen trust?

Upon Queen Elizabeth’s order, Audrey Hayes travels to the borderlands of Scotland to learn where the fierce Laird Armstrong’s loyalties lie. Is he aligned with his mother’s English roots in support of the queen, or does he hold with the beliefs of his father, who wishes to see Mary of Scots on the English throne? The fate of Audrey’s family rests on her success in finding the answer.

After losing his lands in a wager and being betrayed by his kin, Gavin Armstrong entered a loveless marriage to obtain the funds to buy back his family home, Warring Tower. Now a widower, struggling against countless border wars, he is on the verge of losing his home and lands again. With few resources, he reluctantly makes another risky wager, one he cannot hope to win without trusting the secretive Audrey Hayes, a woman he suspects is an English spy.

As the two work together to save Warring Tower, their attraction to one another grows. But when Audrey finally gains the information she seeks for Queen Elizabeth, she realizes that the only way she can save her family is to betray the man she loves.

Faith in the Mountain Valley by Misty Beller

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1830s – Rocky Mountains

This epic journey is the only way to leave her secrets behind.

After eleven years spent looking for the girl who stole his heart, Jean-Jacques Baptiste—better known as French to his friends—is tempted to give up. Until the day he spotted the flaxen-haired stranger traveling the wooded path with Blackfoot Indians. He never imagined he’d find his childhood friend masquerading as a man in this Rocky Mountain wilderness, hundreds of miles from the Canadian town where he last saw her. No matter her reasons, he can’t let her go this time.

Colette Mignon’s life has become a cacophony of lies, including the fact that her Blackfoot Indian companions believe she’s a man. She’s willing to live the taxing life of a trapper in these desolate mountains as long as it keeps her secrets hidden. When her childhood friend and first love discovers her, his determination to help might put everything at risk.

As the worst of her past threatens to catch up with her, the hope for Colette’s new life shatters. But no matter what, she must protect the one good thing that came from all her mistakes. Though French is determined to stay at her side, she can’t let him become entangled in the perilous consequences of her actions. If only it wasn’t so painful to push him away. The danger pressing in may leave her only one choice—leave everything behind…again.

Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin

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1939 – Holland

Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can she remain steadfast when the questions grow increasingly complex and the answers could mean the difference between life and death?

Lena’s daughter Ans has recently moved to the bustling city of Leiden, filled with romantic notions of a new job and a young Dutch police officer. But when she is drawn into Resistance work, her idealism collides with the dangerous reality that comes with fighting the enemy.

Miriam is a young Jewish violinist who immigrated for the safety she thought Holland would offer. She finds love in her new country, but as her family settles in Leiden, the events that follow will test them in ways she could never have imagined.

The Nazi invasion propels these women onto paths that cross in unexpected, sometimes-heartbreaking ways. Yet the story that unfolds illuminates the surprising endurance of the human spirit and the power of faith and love to carry us through.

To Find Her Place by Susan Anne Mason

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1943 – Canada

In the midst of WWII, Jane Linder pours all her energy and dreams for a family into her career at the Toronto Children’s Aid Society. As acting directress, Jane hopes for a permanent appointment so she can continue making a difference in the lives of troubled children. But if anyone were to find out she is divorced, everything would change.

Garrett Wilder has been hired to overhaul operations at the Children’s Aid Society. He hopes to impress the board members with his findings and earn the vacant director’s position. A war injury ended his dream of taking over his parents’ farm, but with the security of the director’s job, he’d be able to contribute financially and help save the family business.

Despite their competing interests, feelings begin to blossom between them. But then Jane’s ex-husband returns from overseas with an unexpected proposition that could fulfill her deepest desires. Suddenly at a crossroads, can Jane discern the path to true happiness?

No Journey Too Far by Carrie Turansky

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1919 – Canada

A family long divided, a mysterious trunk, and a desperate journey across the ocean—all in the name of love. The epic saga of the McAlisters continues in this riveting sequel to No Ocean Too Wide.
 
In 1909, Grace McAlister set sail for Canada as one of the thousands of British Home Children taken from their families and their homeland. Though she is fortunate enough to be adopted by wealthy parents, the secrets of her past are kept hidden for ten years until someone from her long-buried childhood arrives on her doorstep. With this new connection to her birth family, will she be brave enough to leave her sheltered life in Toronto and uncover the truth?
 
After enduring hardship as an indentured British Home Child, Garth McAlister left Canada to serve in World War I. His sweetheart, Emma Lafferty, promised to wait for his return, but after three long years apart, her letters suddenly stopped. When Garth arrives home from the war to unexpected news, he is determined to return to Canada once more on a daunting mission to find the two women he refuses to abandon—his long-lost sister and his mysteriously missing sweetheart.

Jewel of the Nile by Tessa Afshar

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56 – Italy

Whispered secrets about her parents’ past take on new urgency for Chariline as she pays one last visit to the land of her forefathers, the ancient kingdom of Cush.

Raised as an orphan by her aunt, Chariline has only been told a few pieces of her parents’ tragic love story. Her beautiful dark skin is proof that her father was Cushite, but she knows nothing else. While visiting her grandfather before his retirement as the Roman official in the queen’s court, Chariline overhears that her father is still alive, and discovering his identity becomes her obsession. Both her grandfather and the queen have reasons for keeping this secret, however, and forbid her quest. So when her only clues lead to Rome, Chariline sneaks on the ship of a merchant trusted by friends.

Theo is shocked to discover a stowaway on board his vessel and determines to be rid of her as soon as possible. But drawn in by Chariline’s story, he feels honor-bound to see her safely to shore, especially when it appears someone may be willing to kill for the truth she seeks.

In this transformative tale of historical fiction, bestselling author Tessa Afshar brings to life the kingdom of Cush and the Roman Empire, introducing readers to a fascinating world filled with gripping adventure, touching romance, and a host of lovable characters—including some they may recognize from the biblical book of Acts.

Author Interview and Giveaway – Come Back to Me – Jody Hedlund

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Veteran medieval writer Jody Hedlund brings us a fascinating time travel novel with a marriage of convenience twist. Folks, if you’re looking for time travel fiction blended with logic and realism, here’s the novel for you. Welcome back to the Index, Jody!

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Come Back to Me

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Jody’s Website

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Questions about Jody’s Story

What inspired this story?

I’ve always loved reading time-crossing books, but in recent years realized how few there are to choose from. After devouring the few books I could find, I decided maybe I just needed to write one for myself. I happened to have a free block of time in my schedule between projects, and so I gave myself a fun treat and wrote one.

In developing the plot, I wanted to find a concept that gave off the feeling that time traveling was really possible. Since people in comas are sometimes known to have very realistic “dreams”, I decided that would be the “vehicle” for the time-crossing. After discovering that “visions” were also connected to holy water, I merged the concepts of coma and holy water. Hopefully readers will be left with the feeling that time crossing is possible!

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Time travel is a large part of this story. Since time travel is largely science fiction, most of my ideas came straight from my own imagination! However, in trying to make the concepts believable, I did draw on many of the current physics concepts surrounding breaching time and space. In addition to general research on the popular theories, I read The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli as well as Seven Brief Lessons on Physics also by Rovelli. While I don’t delve too heavily into the scientific terminology and theories, I learned enough to flavor the series with realistic possibilities.

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

First of all, I enjoy reading other fiction set in that era, which helps to give me a flavor of the Middle Ages. One that I particularly enjoyed is Queen Hereafter, regarding Queen Margaret of Scotland.

I also have many medieval research books that I’ve collected over the years (since I also write Young Adult medieval fairy tales) including: The Middle Ages Unlocked, Daily Life in the Middle Ages, Knight: The Warrior and World of Chivalry, and many more.

Finally, I gleaned advice from a medieval expert living in England, who read through my manuscript and helped to correct my inaccuracies as well as gave me research tips and links.

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Questions about Jody’s Reading

What other Christian Historical Novels are similar to yours in setting or storyline?

I enjoyed Dreamspell by Tamara Leigh, which combines time travel and the Middle Ages like Come Back to Me does.

What Christian Historical Novel are you most excited to read that hasn’t yet come out?

Sarah Sundin’s When Twilight Breaks and Kristy Cambron’s The Paris Dressmaker both sound good and have gorgeous covers (they’re both already released).

Jody is giving away a paperback, US only. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**If you don’t want to enter the 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.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come Back to Me by Jody Hedlund

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1381 – England

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That’s exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father’s quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He’s left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he’s crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian’s rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

On Sugar Hill by Ane Mulligan

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1929 – Georgia

To make ends meet, the Fitzgerald women must open their home as a boardinghouse, but will the secrets they uncover prove their undoing?

The day Cora Fitzgerald turned sixteen, she fled Sugar Hill for the bright lights of New York City, leaving behind her senator father’s abuse. But just as her career takes off, she’s summoned home.

The stock market has crashed. The senator is dead. Her mother is delusional, and her mute Aunt Clara pens novels that expose the town’s secrets. Then there’s Boone Robertson, who never knew she was alive back in high school but now manages to be around whenever she needs help.

And the Fitzgerald women need a lot of help, indeed. They are forced to find a way to make ends meet, whether it’s mining for gold or doing what Southern women have done for generations in times of need—turning their home into a boardinghouse.

But will the people of Cora’s past keep her from returning to a brilliant future?

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

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1939 – France

Through letters with a famous author, one French librarian tells her love story and describes the brutal Nazi occupation of her small coastal village.
 
Saint-Malo, France: August 1939. Jocelyn and Antoine are childhood sweethearts, but just after they marry, Antoine is called up to fight against Germany. As the war rages, Jocelyn focuses on comforting and encouraging the local population by recommending books from her beloved library in Saint-Malo. She herself finds hope in her letters to a famous author.
 
After the French capitulation, the Nazis occupy the town and turn it into a fortress to control the north of French Brittany. Residents try passive resistance, but the German commander ruthlessly purges part of the city’s libraries to destroy any potentially subversive writings. At great risk to herself, Jocelyn manages to hide some of the books while waiting to receive news from Antoine, who has been taken to a German prison camp.
 
What unfolds in her letters is Jocelyn’s description of her mission: to protect the people of Saint-Malo and the books they hold so dear. With prose both sweeping and romantic, Mario Escobar brings to life the occupied city and re-creates the history of those who sacrificed all to care for the people they loved.

Bridge of Gold by Kimberley Woodhouse

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1933 – California

Repairs on the Golden Gate Bridge Uncover a Century-Old Murder

Underwater archaeologist Kayla Richardson is called to the Golden Gate Bridge where repairs to one of the towers uncovers two human remains from the late 1800s and the 1930s. The head of the bridge restoration is Steven Michaels, who dives with Kayla, and a friendship develops between them. But as the investigation heats up and gold is found that dates back to the gold rush, more complications come into play that threaten them both. Could clues leading to a Gold Rush era mystery that was first discovered during the building of the bridge still ignite an obsession worth killing for?

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