The Thorn Healer by Pepper Basham

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1918 – North Carolina

Jessica Ross’ scars run much deeper than the wounds of a world at war. Determined to escape the ghosts of her past and the German influence on her nightmares, she returns home to the sleepy Appalachian town of Hot Springs, NC, only to find the renowned Mountain Park Hotel has been converted into a ‘prison’ for displaced Germans and, much to Jessica’s dismay, her grandparents have befriended one of them.

August Reinhold has not only found kinship with Jessica’s grandparents, but as they share their granddaughter’s letters from the Front, he discovers a surprising bond drawing him toward the independent and beautiful woman. Displaced by a war and a painful history, he find Hot Springs and the intriguing, Jessica Ross, a tempting place to start over. Determined to scale the heights of her bitterness and show her the power of love, August faces more than just Jessica’s resistance, but a more devious design to harm the civilian sailors housed in Hot Springs.

Will August’s tender pursuit show Jessica the healing and hope she needs, or will bitterness force her into the hands of a ‘true’ enemy waiting to destroy much more than her heart?

The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser

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patternartistThe Pattern Artist

1911 – New York

Born into a life of hard work, English housemaid Annie Wood arrives in New York City in 1911 with her wealthy mistress. Wide-eyed with the possibilities America has to offer, Annie wonders if there’s more for her than a life of service. Annie chooses to risk everything, taps into courage she never knew she had, and goes off on her own, finding employment in the sewing department at Macy’s. While at Macy’s Annie catches the eye of a salesman at the Butterick Pattern Company. Through determination, hard work, and God’s leading, Annie discovers a hidden gift: she is a talented fashion designer—a pattern artist of the highest degree. As she runs from ghosts of the past and focuses on the future, Annie enters a creative world that takes her to the fashion houses of Paris and into a life of adventure, purpose, and love.

Pony Express Christmas Bride by Rhonda Gibson

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ponyexpresschristmasbridePony Express Christmas Bride

1860 – Wyoming

Mail-order bride Josephine Dooley’s trip West was supposed to end in marriage to her intended groom—not with the discovery that he hadn’t actually placed the bridal ad! Now her only choice is to convince Pony Express rider Thomas Young to wed her anyway to save her from her scheming uncle. 

A bride shouldn’t be a surprise package, and when Thomas finds out about his meddling brother’s ruse, he plans to send his would-be wife packing. However, when he realizes Josephine desperately needs his help and a marriage of convenience is the only way he can protect her, he vows to become the husband she needs. But he quickly learns that it will be hard to keep his new bride at arm’s length…because Josephine is his perfect match.

Cowgirl Under the Mistletoe by Louise M Gouge

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1884 – Colorado

Deputy Grace Eberly can outshoot and outride most men in Esperanza, Colorado…but lassoing a husband is an impossible task. At least she has her good friend Reverend Micah Thomas to keep her company. When outlaws threaten their community, the two join forces to stop them, and Grace’s feelings for the reverend deepen. But she’s sure he’d never love a too-tall cowgirl in trousers and boots. 

Micah believes that it’s time to find himself a wife—someone sweet and ladylike who can help him better serve the town. So why do none of the elegant young women of his acquaintance stir his heart like the feisty tomboy deputy? As they work to bring peace to the community, will Grace and Micah finally see that they make the perfect team?

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A Family Arrangement by Gabrielle Meyer

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1854 – Minnesota

Abram Cooper has ten months to turn rough Minnesota country into a vibrant town, or his sister-in-law will take his three sons back to Iowa with his blessing. Until then, Charlotte Lee has agreed to keep house and help raise his children as part of their bargain. But can the single father fulfill Charlotte’s requirements in time to make sure that she and his boys don’t leave—and take his heart with them? 

Charlotte is convinced that the wilderness is no place to raise her nephews. But as she watches the community slowly develop, she sees that Abram just might be able to make it blossom. With three little matchmakers bringing her and Abram together, Little Falls could become not just a flourishing town, but the perfect home for their patchwork family.

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Wed on the Wagon Train by Tracy Blalock

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1845 – Wagon Train

When she and her sister are unexpectedly orphaned and prevented from traveling West unless they have a male chaperone, Mattie Prescott disguises herself as a boy. But after Mattie’s fellow wagon train companions discover her masquerade, their long-dreamed-of fresh start is over before it’s even begun. She has only one choice: marriage to the man who helped her—and kept her secret—along the trail. 

To save her honor and his own, Josiah Dawson agrees to take Mattie as his bride. But his plans don’t include a wife, and this hasty union is just a temporary duty he’ll dissolve at the end of the trail. As Mattie proves herself indispensable in the face of tragedy, though, it’s soon clear that she’s also indispensable to Josiah’s heart…

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen

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1820 – England

The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to find her place in the world. As she and Jane work together, they form a measure of trust, and Thora’s wounded heart begins to heal. When she encounters two men from her past, she sees them–and her future–in a different light.

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane employs innovative methods to turn the inn around, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place. Will her efforts be enough to save The Bell? And will Thora embrace the possibility of a second chance at love?

For the Record by Regina Jennings

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For the Recordfortherecord

1885 – Missouri

Betsy Huckabee might be a small-town girl, but she has big-city dreams. Writing for her uncle’s newspaper will never lead to independence, and the bigger newspapers don’t seem interested in the Hart County news. Trying a new approach, Betsy pens a romanticized serial for the ladies’ pages, and the new deputy provides the perfect inspiration for her submissions. She’d be horrified if he read her breathless descriptions of him, but these articles are for a newspaper far away. No one in Pine Gap will ever know.
 
Deputy Joel Puckett didn’t want to leave Texas, but this job in tiny Pine Gap is his only shot at keeping his badge. With masked marauders riding every night, his skills and patience are tested, but even more challenging is the sassy journalist lady chasing him.

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Widow’s Captive by Lucette Nell

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Widow’s Captive

1882 – Colorado

On the run with two small children and a third due within weeks, Adeline Spencer fears the approaching blizzard will seal their fate. An abandoned cabin is an answer to her prayers. She hopes it will shield them from both the storm and the enraged brother-in-law hot on her tail. But when a stranger knocks at the door, she is convinced they have been found by one of Ward’s lackeys.Blamed for the death of his friend, Sheriff Jonah Hale is determined to prove himself worthy of his badge, even if it means riding into a blizzard to check on a crazy miner. When Jonah reaches the cabin, he’s caught off guard by a pretty and very pregnant young woman wielding a skillet. Bound to a chair while the storm rages, and as Christmas settles in around them, he must find a way to earn Adeline’s trust…and perhaps her heart.

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Daughters of Deliverance by Lorry Lutz

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1886 – Wisconsin

In 1886, thirty-one year old Katharine Bushnell gives up her medical practice to work with women living on Chicago’s Hell’s Half Acre and in the brutal lumber camps of Wisconsin. Her love for God and passion to see women released from bondage lead her to risk her own freedom and reputation for their sakes. Secretly, she visits these women to learn first-hand of the daily trials and torments they endure.

Crushed to see women mistreated, Kate prepares a report of her findings concerning the white slave trade in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest. When Wisconsin’s governor demands Kate appear before the legislature to defend her damaging reports, she becomes the center of great controversy. Will they believe her report? Will they pass a law prohibiting sex with a girl under sixteen? Will they punish the notorious den keepers?

Or will they brand her a liar?

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Seven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection by Various Authors

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sevenbridesforseventexansSeven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection

1874 – Texas

Meet the seven Hart brothers of the 7-Heart ranch in central Texas. Each man is content in his independent life, without the responsibilities of a wife and children—until their father decides 1874 will be the year his grown sons finally marry, or they will be cut from his will. How will each man who values his freedom respond to the ultimatum? Can love develop on a timeline, or will it be sacrificed for the sake of an inheritance?

Soar Like Eagles by Terri Wangard

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soarlikeeaglesSoar Like Eagles

1944 – England/France

Carol becomes a Red Cross doughnut girl, serving GIs and boosting their morale. Convinced wartime romances are doomed to disappointment, she attempts to avoid entanglements. She didn’t plan on Chet, the navigator who tempts her to throw caution to the wind.

Chet’s father and brothers always belittled him. As a squadron lead navigator, he longs to prove them wrong. He’s already been offered a terrific job with PanAm after the war. First he must survive his combat tour. Will he even have a future?

A Heart Set Free by Janet Grunst

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1770 – Virginia

In 1770, Heather Douglas is desperate to escape a brewing scandal in her native Scotland. Penniless and hoping for a fresh start far away, she signs a seven-year indenture and boards a British merchant vessel headed to Virginia.

Widowed planter Matthew Stewart needs someone to help raise his two young children. The tall blond standing on the Alexandria quay doesn’t look like much after her harrowing sea voyage, but there’s a refinement about her that her filthy clothing cannot hide. Could God be leading him to take this unknown indentured servant as his wife?

When Matthew purchases Heather’s indenture, marries her, and takes her to his farm, she is faced with new and constant challenges. And Matthew wonders if they can ever bridge their differences and make a life together.

But in the Virginia countryside, Heather begins her greatest journey, one of self-discovery and of maturing faith. Here, she discovers that her emotional and spiritual scars bind her far more than her indenture . . . and love will finally set her heart free.

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Author Interview and Giveaway – Blue Ribbon Brides Collection – Various Authors ft. Angela Breidenbach

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This month, I decided to feature a collection! I’ve had Gina Welborn and Carrie Fancett Pagels here for an interview so I decided to highlight Angela Breidenbach for this collection!

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The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection

Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?

Angela’s story is: Seven Medals and a Bride

When the Montana women travel to Chicago for the World’s Fair, they win seven medals for their scientific botanical displays and intend to find a bride for beloved miner, Luke Edwards… But for the up-and-coming botanist hired to care for the Montana display, Bettina Gilbert, mining is an offense scarring nature. How could she ever marry a man who would do that to God’s green earth? With the shortage of women in Montana, Luke agreed to go manage the mining exhibition all summer because of the opportunity to find a wife. But that pretty botanist keeps disrupting his mining presentations… And his chances to meet the right woman! A city girl who despises his way of life would be the worst choice for a miner’s wife, wouldn’t she?

Angela’s Website

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Questions about Angela’s Story

What inspired your story?

When I was researching my Montana Beginnings series, I ran across a blurb in an antique book that mentioned the Montana women earned seven medals at the Chicago World’s Fair. I dug a little deeper and found out they’d created a massive display on botanical science unique to the brand new state of Montana—and they created a wave of national news at that time! I couldn’t help it. I had to know more. So began my fun journey with Bettina, Luke, and the matchmaking ladies in Seven Medals and a Bride. Many of the cupids in this story are named after the true women who planned, implemented, manned the pavilion (meaning they traveled to and lived in Chicago for six months), and then brought home those 7 awards. In 1893, that was Herculean. But when I found out they’d achieved it all on 10% of the state budget and still brought home $2800 that went into the State Treasury plus $3000 in furniture? (The furniture is mentioned in the story, and by the way, graces many state buildings to this day.) Holy cow, I was astonished at the ingenuity and prowess. I had to remind people today of the incredible accomplishments of women who have gone before us.

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Learning enough about botanical science, the schematics of the pavilions, and being historically accurate about the Colombian Expedition of 1893 to be able to write about them intelligently. But what I learned about the bitterroot flower that was featured in the display, Montana’s state flower now, I was also able to use in yet another story, Bitterroot Bride. I find my research for one story often spawns another one and another one. So though it’s sometimes hard, my research becomes valuable for more than one book.

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

I included quite a few historical characters and incidents in Seven Medals and a Bride. The fictional characters are Bettina and Luke (and their families). The cupid ladies like Jennie H. Moore and Lydia Fitch were real women, though I attributed personalities to them only based on the few words mentioned in club and state documents. The Reverend Doctor F.D. Kelsey of Oberlin College was also a real person.

Were there any historical facts that you discovered in your research that made you change something in your story?

One unusual incident I include is an omnibus crash that happened on the morning of July 8th, 1893. An omnibus was a huge carriage that could hold 12-20 people, drawn by draft horses, it acted like a public bus. The crash was reported in the Chicago Tribune along with the Columbian Expo concert schedule I was researching. Because it was so unusual, and true, I had to use it in the story.

What research did you have to look up to make your character’s professional decisions authentic?

I sat in the Montana Room of my public library reading quite old books searching for every snippet about Montana’s participation in the 1893 World’s Fair. I had to do a lot of definition searches when I found out it was botanical science!

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

The environmental argument between Luke and Bettina really stretched me personally. I had to dig into both sides of the argument and understand mining as a much more complex situation than just digging up the ground or causing poisonous tailings. People’s lives were affected (and still are) in a myriad of ways. I grew to understand it’s not even a pro or con situation. It’s more like an octopus with major ramifications regardless of which way you go. I’m much more thoughtful about my response now.

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Questions about Angela’s Reading

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

I have a couple of Tracie Peterson’s books in my TBR right now, particularly the Sapphire Brides series. A Beauty Refined looks wonderful!

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

Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee has heightened my sense of generational responsibility as a mother and grandmother and down even further.

Angela is giving away a copy of the collection and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of either of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**If you don’t want to enter Rafflecopter, tell me in a comment below: “I’m not entering the rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I can manually put you in there for a chance.**

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Angela and I are both involved in a huge 55 Christian Historical novels + Kindle Fire giveaway this week. If you sign up for her newsletter here, might as well go grab you an entry in this contest as well!

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My Enemy, My Heart by Laurie Alice Eakes

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myenemymyheartMy Enemy, My Heart

1812 – At Sea (Caribbean)

The sea is Deirdre MacKenzie’s home, and the crew of her father’s Baltimore clipper is the only family she loves. She’s happier wearing breeches and climbing the rigging of the Maid of Alexandria than donning a dress and learning to curtsy. But when the War of 1812 erupts, the ship is captured by a British privateer, leaving her father, the captain, dead. Deirdre watches her crew herded into the hold, destined for the notorious Dartmoor prison in England. Though her fate as a noncombatant is uncertain, she knows she must find a way to free her crew.

Kieran Ashford has caused his family one too many scandals. On his way to exile in America, he is waylaid by the declaration of war and a chance to turn privateer and make his own fortune. But he regrets his actions as soon as the rich prize is secured. Now his best chance at redeeming himself in the eyes of his family is to offer Deirdre the protection of his name in marriage.

But love and loyalty clash as Kieran begins to win Deirdre’s heart despite her plot to betray him. Will Kieran’s plan mend the relationship with his family, and can this fated couple find true love despite the secret lies between them?

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