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A Measure of Mercy by Debra Marvin

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1899 – Kansas and Missouri

To escape her father’s insistence she marry a man she doesn’t love, Addy Morrison disappears to Kansas City where she finds refuge working in a yard goods shop. The excitement of a busy Christmas season also means rubbing elbows with another new employee, a kind, handsome man with a secretive past.

Something told Dillard “Witt” DeWitt that the Round M Up Ranch would provide the fresh start he desperately needed. When he’s tasked with the job of finding and bringing the owner’s errant daughter home—the gal he’s loved from afar—he sets out to be Miss Morrison’s friend. Knowing how she’ll feel when she learns he’s played her false, he is careful to hide his deep feelings for her.

Sensing regrets in Mr. DeWitt’s past, Addy shares God’s merciful forgiveness then finds she must learn to offer forgiveness of her own. As their relationship grows, Witt realizes that he and Addy share something more, the worst day in each of their lives—one that goes far beyond the betrayal of daily white lies.

 

Beauty from Ashes by Lynnette Bonner

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1890s – Washington

Liora Fontaine wants nothing more than to help mistreated women escape from brothel owner, John Hunt. She understands the desperation and manipulation that force many women into his employ. But when she rescues a young girl, she is shocked by Hunt’s ruthless reprisal. Now as she cowers in her cabin, hiding from Hunt’s men, who are determined to kill her, she can’t help but think how much this day is a picture of her whole life. Ashes. Nothing but ashes.

Deputy Joseph Rodante can’t believe Liora took on a mission so dangerous without asking for his help! He arrives at her cabin to make sure she’s safe just as Hunt’s men start shooting up the place. Now they are stuck together inside with a long night looming. The Wyldhaven gossips are going to have a heyday over that! The only way to fix this is to make Liora his wife. But the stubborn woman turns him down flat.

Despite her protests, Joe vows to protect her—no matter the cost.

And it just might cost both of them everything!

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Seamstress – Allison Pittman

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If you loved The Tale of Two Cities, or just want something out of the ordinary, Allison’s new book looks like a winner. I’ve heard great things about it already, and it’s cheap on ebook at the moment–if you don’t want to wait to see if you win, snap it up right away!

seamstress , , , ,

The Seamstress

It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

Allison’s Website

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Questions about Allison’s Story

What character in your book turned out to be your favorite?

My favorite character turned out to be Gagnon, the young widower who brought these two orphaned cousins into his home. That was a little surprising for me, because I don’t usually enjoy crafting the more godly characters in my novels. Usually they just stand as stalwart examples who serve as a gravitational pull for my more interesting “sinners.” While Gagnon certainly fulfills that role, he is a bit more dimensional than that. I loved the moments when his anger and frustration bubbled to the surface. I couldn’t wait to get to the part of the story when we learn of his struggle with sin. Most of all, I enjoyed crafting his love for his country—faults and all. He lives in the grip of poverty but refuses the call to revolution. He recognizes the monarchy’s faults but will not allow slanderous talk at his table. In fact, “Gagnon’s table” becomes a metaphor in itself throughout the novel. It is a place of peace and welcome and plenty, even when that plenty doesn’t seem like it would be nearly enough.

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

I’d have to say it’s the chapter that depicts the attack of the women on Versailles. Chapter 25. This is a favorite scene of mine from A Tale of Two Cities, with the infamous Mme Defarge at the forefront. To think, these were women driven by poverty and starvation, who had held their dying children and watched the life drain from their husbands. They took up what weapons they had and took action. I’m not one to ever (really, ever) condone violence, but this gives us a picture of what happens to a society pushed too far. Often, men are credited for the dramatic shakes in history. In this case, women—housewives, mothers, widows—delivered a terrifying message to the monarchy, a taste of the murderous regime to come. I loved taking that momentous event and whittling it down to three women: Renée, the seamstress, an innocent observer to the chaos; Marie Antoinette, the queen, a wife and mother herself, cowering in the face of homicidal rage; and Anne, a persona pasted to a nameless, forgotten figure, who may have struck the first mortal blow of the revolution.

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

I had this great book called Versailles (Tony Spawforth, 2010) that went into exquisite detail about the history, architecture, floor plan, and functionality of the palace at Versailles. Early in planning the book, I desperately wanted to actually go to Versailles, but now I wonder if I would have gleaned as much from that trip as I did from this book. Today, it is a museum; in the days of my story, it was a working home, a public place, a government workplace, a warehouse. So I incorporated a lot that I learned in that book into the plot, of course, whenever Renée is running around the halls, zipping in and out of rooms. But certain details also wormed into my understanding and depiction of historical characters. For example, I learned that Louis XVI’s office was in a room still depicting murals and other decor in deference to the god Poseidon. I’ve always felt Louis XVI was unprepared, and maybe a bit unwilling, to be a king—literally underwater, out of place, drowning in the rising sea of revolutionary violence.

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Questions about Allison’s Reading

refugeassured

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

This one came out a couple of years ago, but A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green takes place in the years immediately following the French Revolution. The heroine is a lace-maker spared the violence of the regime (they executed anyone associated with the excesses of the aristocracy), and the story highlights one of the great mysteries of the royal family: Whatever happened to the dauphin, Louis-Charles? It’s a fantastic read, bringing the survivors of the violence in France to the newly formed United States.

sonsofblackbirdmountain

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

The last Christian Historical Novel I read was Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof. It’s actually been out for a while, but I was waiting to read it when it was my turn for book club pick! My favorite thing about it is the same as my favorite thing about her previous novel, The Lady and the Lionheart—Bischof is unafraid of crafting physically imposing heroes—with almost brutish physiques—and giving them true, deeply buried, heartbreaking vulnerability. In this novel, Thor—a totally deaf man who struggles with alcoholism—has carried a hatred for his younger brother, blaming him for their mother’s death. It’s something he cannot reconcile and, given the limits of language, has no recourse to really work it out. Nobody writes men better than Joanne. They are interesting and dimensional, their stories crafted so individually to themselves. She’s fearless that way.

priceofprivilege

What Christian Historical Novel in your To Be Read pile is begging you to make time to plop down with it right now?

There are so many! But two that stand out as an actual challenge are the final titles in the Price of Privilege series by Jessica Dotta. These, too, have been out for a while and just came to my attention in the past year through the gushing of my friend and agent, Rachel McMillan. There’s an urgency here, because the three books comprise a single story arc, and I’ve let far too many other reads get in the way of finishing the series!

Allison is giving away a paperback book (USA entrants only). 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 Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

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1423 – Lithuania

She knows women are expected to marry, cook, and have children, not go to war. Can she manage to stay alive, save her mother, and keep the handsome son of a duke from discovering her secret?

When Mulan takes her father’s place in battle against the besieging Teutonic Knights, she realizes she has been preparing for this journey her whole life—and that her life, and her mother’s, depends on her success. As the adopted daughter of poor parents, Mulan has little power in the world. If she can’t prove herself on the battlefield, she could face death—or, perhaps worse, marriage to the village butcher.

Disguised as a young man, Mulan meets the German duke’s son, Wolfgang, who is determined to save his people even if it means fighting against his own brother. Wolfgang is exasperated by the new soldier who seems to be one step away from disaster at all times—or showing him up in embarrassing ways.

From rivals to reluctant friends, Mulan and Wolfgang begin to share secrets. But war is an uncertain time and dreams can die as quickly as they are born. When Mulan receives word of danger back home, she must make the ultimate choice. Can she be the son her bitter father never had? Or will she become the strong young woman she was created to be?

This fresh reimagining of the classic tale takes us to fifteenth-century Lithuania where both love and war challenge the strongest of hearts.

The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

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1943 – France

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion.

Violet Lindstrom wanted to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, where she arranges entertainment for the men of the 357th in the Aeroclub on base and sets up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement.

Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near. And secrets can’t stay buried forever.

Bestselling author Sarah Sundin returns readers to the shores of Normandy, this time in the air, as the second Paxton brother prepares to face the past–and the most fearsome battle of his life.

The Seamstress by Allison Pittman

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1788 – France

It is the best of times . . .

On a tranquil farm nestled in the French countryside, two orphaned cousins—Renée and Laurette—have been raised under the caring guardianship of young Émile Gagnon, the last of a once-prosperous family. No longer starving girls, Laurette and Renée now spend days tending Gagnon’s sheep, and nights in their cozy loft, whispering secrets and dreams in this time of waning innocence and peace.

It is the worst of times . . .

Paris groans with a restlessness that can no longer be contained within its city streets. Hunger and hatred fuel her people. Violence seeps into the ornate halls of Versailles. Even Gagnon’s table in the quiet village of Mouton Blanc bears witness to the rumbles of rebellion, where Marcel Moreau embodies its voice and heart.

It is the story that has never been told.

In one night, the best and worst of fate collide. A chance encounter with a fashionable woman will bring Renée’s sewing skills to light and secure a place in the court of Queen Marie Antoinette. An act of reckless passion will throw Laurette into the arms of the increasingly militant Marcel. And Gagnon, steadfast in his faith in God and country, can only watch as those he loves march straight into the heart of the revolution.

Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron

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1798/1916/Present Day – Ireland

A storied castle. A band of rebels.

A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom.

And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy-tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within for life, love, and the belief that even through the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

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1759 – Canada

The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval finds it is easier to remain neutral in a world that is tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the fray against her wishes when her British ex-fiance, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel asks her to help him escape, claiming he has information that could help end the war.

Peace appeals to Catherine, but helping the man who broke her heart does not. She delays . . . until attempts on Samuel’s life convince her he’s in mortal danger. Against her better judgment she helps him flee by river, using knowledge of the landscape to creep ever closer to freedom. Their time together rekindles feelings she thought long buried, and danger seems to hound their every mile. She’s risked becoming a traitor by choosing a side, but will the decision cost her even more than she anticipated?

 

A Ready-Made Texas Family by Angel Moore

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1882 – Texas

A Partnership of Necessity

For the sake of her orphaned siblings, Charlotte Green will do anything to save her family’s Texas hotel—even hire her childhood nemesis, Nathan Taylor. Sure, he’s grown into a charming, handsome man since then, but it won’t change the past…or her present situation. Like it or not, Charlotte must work with Nathan, but that doesn’t mean she has to enjoy it!

After love burned him, the only commitment Nathan will make is to his career. He won’t be distracted…even if Charlotte is as lovely as she is feisty and the hotel is beginning to feel like home. But when a new opportunity pits his ambition against his heart, will Nathan choose Charlotte and her family?

Their Wyoming Courtship Agreement by Stacy Henrie

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1902 – Wyoming

The Sweetheart Arrangement

After two broken engagements, Isobel Glasen’s determined to stay single—until a runaway horse makes her an accidental entrant in the Ride for a Bride race. And her ex-fiancé’s brother is the winner. With a successful business and a cozy apartment, Isobel has a life as carefully constructed as the beautiful gowns she designs. But now a fake courtship may be the only way to quell town gossip.

New to town, Alec Russell aims to get his veterinary clinic off the ground. Though he once secretly pined for Isobel, he’s determined to escape his brother’s shadow and find a woman who chooses him first. But could time spent together provide a second chance—and turn pretense into the perfect match?

A Love Most Worthy by Sandra Ardoin

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1900 – Alaska

She didn’t know which was colder, an Arctic winter or her new husband’s heart.
 
Hallie Russell believes life should be lived to the fullest. For that reason, she sails to the gold rush town of Nome, Alaska to take her cousin’s place as the mail-order bride of a respected shopkeeper. But when her aloof husband’s wedding-night announcement rocks her plans for their marriage, Hallie sees her desire for a family to call her own vanish as quickly as the dreams of hopeful miners.

Tragedy led Rance Preston to regret his rowdy ways and open a general store for the miners in Nome. He’s content in his bachelorhood, but his two orphaned nephews deserve a proper and serious-minded mother. Duped once by a vivacious female, he’s determined to never again let his heart overrule his head…until the high spirits of his new bride threaten his resolve.

When a misunderstanding comes to light, will they allow the gale force winds of insecurity to destroy what they each need most?

Convenient Amish Proposal by Jan Drexler

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1934 – Indiana

Suddenly a Mother

When Bethany Zook’s childhood friend returns to Indiana Amish country a widower, with an adorable little girl in tow, she’s willing to aid him in any way. But there’s just one thing Andrew Yoder needs—a mother for little Mari. And he seems convinced Bethany is the answer, just as she’s sure any union between them would be one strictly of convenience…

Andrew thought Bethany had married another. Now, determined to keep Mari despite his mother-in-law’s interference, he offers Bethany marriage in name only. But she’s quickly becoming more than a housekeeper and a mamm. Can he leave the past behind to claim a family of the heart?

A Desperate Hope by Elizabeth Camden

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1908 – New York

Eloise Drake’s prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she’s finally put behind her–or so she thinks. A mathematical genius, she’s now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.

Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town–but he needs Eloise’s help to succeed.

Alex is determined to win back the woman he thought he’d lost forever, but even their combined ingenuity may not be enough to overcome the odds against them before it’s too late.

A Return of Devotion by Kristi Ann Hunter

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1816 – England

Daphne Blakemoor was perfectly happy living in her own secluded world for twelve years. She had everything she needed–loved ones, a true home, and time to indulge her imagination. But when ownership of the estate where she works as a housekeeper passes on, and the new marquis has an undeniable connection to her past, everything she’s come to rely upon is threatened.

William, Marquis of Chemsford’s main goal in life is to be the exact opposite of his father. Starting a new life in the peace and quiet of the country sounds perfect until his housekeeper turns his life upside down.

They’ve spent their lives hiding from the past. Can they find the courage to face their deepest wounds and, perhaps, find a new path for the future together?

The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

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1836 – Texas

Will Ellis Lose All at the Alamo?

Ellis Dumont finds a man in New Orleans Grey unconscious on Dumont property in 1836. As his fevers rage, the man mutters strange things about treasures and war. Either Claiborne Gentry has lost his mind or he’s a spy for the American president—or worse, for the Mexican enemy that threatens their very lives. With the men of her family away, Ellis must stand courageous and decide who she can trust. Will she put her selfish wants ahead of the future of the republic or travel with Clay to Mission San Jose to help end the war?

When Valleys Bloom Again by Pat Jeanne Davis

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1939 – Pennsylvania

As war approaches in 1939, Abby Stapleton’s safety is under threat. Her father, a British diplomat, insists she go back to America until the danger passes. Abby vows to return to her home in London—but where is home? With her family facing mortal danger so far away and feeling herself isolated, she finds it hard to pray or read the Bible. Did she leave God behind in war-torn London too? Abby becomes friendly with Jim, a gardener on her uncle’s estate.

Jim can’t get Abby out of his mind. Did she have a sweetheart in England? Was it foolish to think she’d consider him? He curses his poverty and the disgrace of his father’s desertion and drunkenness haunts him. Can he learn to believe in love for a lifetime and to hope for a happy marriage?

Abby couldn’t know the war would last a long time, nor that she would fall in love with Jim—soon to be drafted by the US Army—or that she’d have to confront Henri, a rejected suitor, determined by his lies to ruin her reputation and destroy her faith in God’s providence. Will she discover the true meaning of home and find happiness with Jim?

Rayne’s Faith by Rayne’s Faith

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1886 – Kansas

Faith Manning has lost everything–her husband, her home, and her hope. With few options available, she accepts the position of nanny to the three-year-old daughter of local rancher, Rayne Harding.

Rayne isn’t at all happy about having to hire someone to care for his beloved child, but his mother’s recent accident leaves him no choice. Promise Joy needs someone looking after her, and the little girl seems smitten with the young widow she calls “Annie Faith.” Part of Rayne’s opposition to having Faith under his roof stems from an unexpected attraction for her. A man who so recently buried his wife shouldn’t have feelings for another woman. So he steels himself against Faith’s tender attention to his daughter and kindness to his mother. Despite his determination to remain aloof, affection blooms, but when a stranger arrives—a man who claims to be Faith’s dead husband back from the grave—Rayne and Faith are faced with choices neither anticipated.

Do they satisfy self, or do they trust God to guide both of them to the love they’re meant to hold?

Faithful Daughter of Israel by Wanda Ann Thomas

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Roman Times – Judea

The homeless outcast known as Cursed ANNA has spent her days avoiding the reproachful glances of her fellow Jerusalemites and her nights defending against the bitter cold and her growing hunger and fear. Her deepest desire is to find acceptance among her people. For that to happen she must live one more day, and one more day after that. Desperation drives her to turn to the only means of survival for women without friends or family—harlotry. At Jerusalem’s Dung Gate in the dead of night, a scarlet-caped Roman soldier nears, and Anna quakes at having to approach the imposing, broad-shouldered man. Confronted by the foreigner, who identifies himself as the fortress commander, Anna fears she has made a terrible mistake.

JULIAN OF ALEXANDRIA is counting the days until he could escape this cursed assignment. He suspects his mother, his Jewish mother, is to blame for the bad luck of being stationed in Judea. Raised thoroughly Roman, Julian wants nothing to do with the Jews. Until Anna. Anna, the spirited Jewess who means to be a harlot. Except this frightened half-dead beauty seems an unlikely seductress. Though he should flee this attraction and fulfill his promise to his father to find a Roman wife, Julian makes himself Anna’s protector.

Impossible choices face this desperate Jewess and her hardened Roman commander. Will their rigid beliefs and traditions separate them, or will they follow their hearts?

Loving a Rebel by Linda Ford

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1884 – Montana

Flora Kinsley has always been a red-headed rebel who delights to ride madly across the country. After being orphaned at age four, she has always had an insatiable desire to run. But when her wild riding leads her into trouble, she finds herself lost and stranded in a snowstorm. She takes shelter in the home of a bachelor rancher.

Kade Thomas has lost enough loved ones because of foolish choices and risky behavior. The last thing he needs is to be involved with a wild rebel. But being stranded unchaperoned with Flora for two nights gives her preacher father plenty of reason to insist they marry. Knowing that if he forces Flora into marriage against her wishes, it would make for a miserable situation, he begs for a chance to persuade Flora she wants to marry him.

Will this pair find that love is awaiting them? Or will the truth destroy any chance of love?

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

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1908/Present Day – Wisconsin

Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in 1908. When clues lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a post-mortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.

A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother–who is battling dementia–compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman who haunts the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns–and with it, Heidi’s fear for her own life.

As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, can they overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined?

War’s Respite by Elaine Marie Cooper

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1763 – Connecticut

In 1763, the war with the French came to a close. While most Connecticut colonists breathe in relief, others are faced with unexpected conflicts as battles of a different nature ensue at home.

Veteran Abijah Whitney regrets leaving his pregnant wife behind when he was called away to war. The news of her death during childbirth as well as the ugly brutalities of war have left their mark. His only comfort is the knowledge that his daughter survived. But his plans for her upon his return will cause an uproar in many lives, including the aunt who raised her.

Primrose Allan’s sole consolation after the death of her sister in childbirth is the baby girl who lived. The aunt raises the girl as her own, fearing that one day the girl’s father might return for her. But Primrose never imagined the nightmare that would ensue.

Dr. Isaac Northrup is a friend caught in the middle of the turmoil. Always desiring to bring healing, he feels helpless in the events that cause pain and heartache to others, as well as himself.

Jonas Wooding, the town’s blacksmith, is caught in the strife, made all the worse by a serious epidemic. Bound by constrictions of local law and forced to face his own grief, Jonas’s trust in God is stretched beyond endurance.

When all seems lost, will faith endure?

Love’s Kindling by Elaine Marie Cooper

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1779 – Connecticut

During the American Revolution, Aurinda Whitney lives with her cold and calloused father, an embittered veteran of the previous war. Aurinda’s life changed forever when her father returned for her after that war, taking her away from the only place she’d ever experienced affection. Since her father blamed Aurinda for the death of his wife in childbirth, Aurinda is convinced she is unworthy of love.

Zadok Wooding believes he is a failure as he tends the smithy at home while others go to battle against the British. Just when he has an opportunity to become a hero, he is blinded in an accident. Now he fears he will never live up to the Biblical “mighty man of valor” for whom he was named.

When the couple meet, they are both challenged to overcome adversity as well as their inadequacies. Unexpected secrets of their past emerge that can change their lives forever. But can they look past their present circumstances to heal—and find love? 

Devotion by Olivia Rae

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1199 – England

He Needs A Teacher To Save His Land…
Injured and unable to make his living by the sword, Sir Theo de Born needs to secure his keep by becoming an educated man. As he finds himself falling for his reluctant teacher, he learns of her plan to leave England before the winter sets in. How can he convince her to stay and fulfill her promise while protecting his heart?

…But She Wants Her Freedom
Denied her true love and sent away to a convent, Lady Rose de Payne has no choice but to accept to become Sir Theo’s teacher. However, she has a plan to escape the confines of her new prison and start fresh in a different country. As the chilly winds blow, her resolve begins to waver. Will she abandon Sir Theo to a miserable fate or will she give up her dreams to make his come true?

In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

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1813 – England

Croft Towers holds more than its share of secrets . . . and Sybil is determined to uncover them all.

When Sybil Delafield’s coach to Croft Towers was robbed by highwaymen, she should have realized that her new position as companion to old Mrs. Chalcroft would be no ordinary job. Upon Sybil’s arrival, Mrs. Chalcroft sneaks into her room in the dark of night, imploring her to relay messages to town that are to stay hidden from the rest of the family. Who exactly is she working for and what do the messages contain?

When fellow passengers of the robbed coach are later murdered, Sybil’s hunt for the truth takes on a new urgency. The only person she can rely on is Mr. Sinclair, Mrs. Chalcroft’s godson, but under all his charms he too leads a double life. Sybil must decide if he is the one honest voice she can trust, or if he is simply using her for his own advances.

With murderers, smugglers, and spies on the loose, nothing—and no one—in Regency England is what they claim. Can Sybil even trust what she knows about herself? 

Author Interview and Giveaway – Laurel’s Dream – Pepper Basham

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There is just something about the mountains that draws, yes? And if you loved Christy and want to return to that beautiful setting in fiction, check out Pepper Basham’s next book.

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My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream

Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

Pepper’s Website

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Questions about Pepper’s Story

What inspired your story?

I LOVE THIS STORY!!! 😊 This book came out of family history stories that my grandmother would tell me from as many as five generations back. Some of the characters are based on real-life people from my family history but most are just representations of people I grew up imagining as I’d listen to my granny’s stories. Having the opportunity to celebrate my Appalachian culture through the mode of creative writing, and allowing readers to ‘visit’ this disappearing culture, has been such an honor and joy.

Which scene is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with?

AHHHH!!! Only one???? Well, in the second chapter (spilling into the 3rd chapter) there’s this encounter with a mountain lion that was SUPER fun (and a little eerie) to write! It’s a great way to introduce the hero to the Appalachia culture with a little zing 😉

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

Actually, both sad and ‘aha’ – in Appalachia there was a lot of alcoholism, but for a portion of folks in this area (particularly men) they had this very strange way of being drunk. Seasonally, actually. My granny would share stories of men staying drunk during winter, but working 9 months out of the year (spring-fall) without any ‘drunk’ spells at all. When I started doing research about this, there were a few articles relating Seasonal Affective Disorder to the type of alcoholism that was happening in the mountains. With the natural darkness of the days, combined with the ‘darkness’ of the surrounding mountains, AND the relative remoteness of being stuck in those mountains during the cold winter – it started making a lot of sense.

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Questions about Pepper’s Reading

anameunknown 

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

A Name Unknown by Roseanna White

 

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Mary Connealy’s books – beginning with Petticoat Ranch 😊

 aboundheart

What Christian Historical Novel in your To Be Read pile is begging you to make time to plop down with it right now?

Laura Frantz’s novel A Bound Heart

Pepper is giving away winner’s choice of a paperback book (USA entrants only) or an ebook (Worldwide entrants). 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.**

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

With this Pledge by Tamera Alexander

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1864 – Tennessee

On the night of November 30, 1864, a brutal battle in Franklin, Tennessee, all but decimates the Confederacy and nearly kills Captain Roland Ward Jones. A decorated Mississippi sharpshooter, Jones has a vision on the battlefield and, despite the severity of his wounds, believes his life will be spared. But a life without his leg, he can’t abide. He compels Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston—governess to the McGavock family at the Carnton mansion—to intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate. True to her word, Lizzie speaks on his behalf and saves not only the captain’s leg but also his life.

When a fourteen-year-old soldier dies in Lizzie’s arms that night, the boy’s final words, whispered with urgency, demand that Lizzie deliver them to their intended recipient. But all she has is the boy’s first name. And, as she soon discovers, there’s no record of him ever having enlisted. How can she set out alone across a land so divided by war and hatred to honor her pledge? Even more, does she dare accept Captain Jones’s offer to accompany her? As he coalesces at Carnton, romance has blossomed between him and Lizzie—a woman already betrothed to a man she does not love.

From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.

A Love to Behold by Sharlene MacLaren

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1867 – South Carolina

Two years after the Civil War, Lydia Albright, 27, is an established teacher in Boston when she senses God’s call to leave the comfort and security of her job and go south. She accepts a position to teach in a school for former slaves in Charleston, South Carolina. A church there that’s affiliated with the American Missionary Association offers support, along with room and board at the parsonage.

The Ku Klux men are hell-bent on seeing that the new school fails. Lydia’s life is threatened, and the parsonage, church, and school are vandalized.

But they haven’t contended with a strong, determined woman like Lydia before. It also helps that she has a couple potential suitors on her side.

Stepping into the Light by Candee Fick

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1418 – Scotland

Sometimes the most heroic live in plain sight.

Tragedy stalks Gunn Castle, most recently when the heir to the Gunn chiefdom died, leaving the land vulnerable to attack. But security has come in the promise of a marriage alliance with the Clan Sinclair, the Gunns’ powerful northern neighbors.

The search is on to gather the eligible maidens…except mysterious accidents befall all who join the laird’s widow at the castle. Meanwhile, messengers have been spotted along the southern border, and Clan Sinclair may be walking into a trap.

With war looming and a madwoman in their midst, the only hope for a peaceful future may lie in the hands of a disfigured Gunn recluse and the overlooked second son of Clan Sinclair.

A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

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1752 – Virginia

Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning–together.

The Runaway Brides Collection

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What is a woman of the 1800s to do when she feels powerless to choose her own spouse and marry for love—run!

Amy’s home is at stake if she doesn’t marry her neighbor. Delia’s father wants her to marry into a political family. Georgiana is posing as a wealthy man’s wife in order to hide from her groom. Callie is fleeing one wedding and racing to marry a stranger. Emily flees her wedding with the help of a mysterious coachman. Josey’s best friend leaves a letter proposing marriage unanswered in order to elope. Bernadine becomes the ward and pawn of her evil uncle. Where will each turn when they have only God to trust?

Seven women facing the marriage altar make the decision to flee, but who can they now trust?

Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano

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1885 – Pennsylvania

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel’s Dream by Pepper Basham

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1918 – North Carolina

Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

 

Under the Midnight Sun by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

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1929 – Alaska

Tayler Hale is ahead of her time as one of the first women naturalists. She has always loved adventure and the great outdoors, and her remote job location also helps keep her away from the clutches of the man to whom she once made a foolish promise. It seems she must keep running, however, and in secret, her boss from Yellowstone arranges for a new job . . . in Alaska.

The popular Curry Hotel continues to thrive in 1929 as more visitors come to Alaska and venture into the massive national park surrounding Denali. Recent graduate Thomas Smith has returned to the hotel and the people he considers family. But when a woman naturalist comes to fill the open position and he must work with her, everything becomes complicated.

The summer brings unexpected guests and trouble to Curry. With his reputation at stake, will Thomas be able to protect Tayler from the danger that follows?

This Homeward Journey by Misty Beller

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1869 – Montana

She’s desperate for a new life in the Canadian mountains…He’s the last person she should trust to get her there.

After her husband’s death, Rachel Gray is finally free from the turmoil his addictions caused. She wants nothing more than a new life with her twelve-year-old son. If she can reach her brother in the wilderness of the Canadian territories, they’ll have help to start over in peace. She knows better than to put her life in the hands of another man, but she never expected the Montana mountains to be so treacherous. When two brothers invite her to join their small group traveling to the same area, she refuses. After she and her son narrowly escape a bear attack, she’s forced to admit they need the safety of numbers in this untamed land. If the men prove dangerous, she can always leave with her son and strike out alone again.

Seth Grant has made some bad choices in his life, but God healed him from the addiction that mired him in his sins. Now, he’s determined to live the life God called him to, starting with a journey northward to see the Canadian mountain both his brother and sister have fallen in love with. When he discovers the woman and boy who plan to travel the same mountain trail, he can’t fathom why she refuses to join in the safety of their larger group. Though her decision seems unwise, he has no other choice but to pray God provides her protection.

Despite Rachel’s best efforts, she can’t seem to fight her attraction to Seth—until a secret from his past proves he’s not at all the man she thought. When a new peril threatens her son’s life, she must choose between trusting in what she can control, or the man who her heart says is trustworthy, no matter his previous sins. The path she chooses just may determine whether she can step into the new life God has in store for them all.

Handmade Hearts by June McCrary Jacobs

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1944 – Louisiana

Times were tough when Allen and Irene met by chance in New Orleans in late 1944. Allen was seriously wounded in the South Pacific as a young Marine and was using crutches to get around as best he could. He also had many inner wounds which needed time to heal. He had no way of knowing when they first met that Irene had suffered her own wartime tragedy. Irene bravely tried to keep her grief locked away deep inside because thinking about her loss caused her even more sorrow.

Read how these kindred spirits made it through each day with inner fortitude, determination, and the sincere hope of something greater just over the horizon.

Inspired by a true story . . .

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