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Her Secret Song by Mary Connealy

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1874 – Colorado

After a rough winter spent alone, Ursula Nordegren realizes she must overcome her fears of the outside world and begins a trek down Hope Mountain. Along the way she finds a badly wounded stranger and realizes God may have used her decision to leave as a way of saving the man.

Wax Mosby was climbing Hope Mountain in part to atone for his terrible choices. He was hired to drive out the Warden family and now knows he was duped. But when he’s wounded during the climb, the last person he expects to rescue him is a beautiful blond woman with the voice of an angel.

As both Ursula and Wax weigh the costs of living new lives, the two find an unlikely bond. And they’re joined by Ursula’s sisters and the Warden family as the final showdown over the family ranch looms with the coming of spring.

The Shepherd’s Wife by Angela Hunt

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30s – Israel

Yeshua of Nazareth has two sisters: Damaris, married to a wealthy merchant’s son, and Pheodora, married to a simple shepherd from Bethlehem. When Pheodora’s husband suffers an unexpected reversal of fortune and is thrown into debtor’s prison, she returns to Nazareth, where she pins her hopes on two she-goats who should give birth to spotless white kids that would be perfect for the upcoming Yom Kippur sacrifice.

In the eighteen months between the kids’ birth and the opportunity to sell them and redeem her husband from prison, Pheodora must call on her wits, her family, and her God in order to provide for her daughters and survive. But when every prayer and ritual she knows is about God’s care for Israel, how can she trust that God will hear and help a lowly shepherd’s wife?

The Red Ribbon by Pepper Basham

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1912 – Virginia

An Appalachian Feud Blows Up in 1912
 
Step into True Colors — a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime
 
In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history. Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned. The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912.

Setting Two Hearts Free by Janet Grunst

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1789 – Virginia

Would their love survive the invisible wounds of war?

Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons, battling the British while enduring deprivation and hardship on every side. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal. Returning home to Virginia is in sight where a new life and his Mary wait for him.

Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary. Daily, she prays for Donald’s safe return, eagerly waiting for him … until that day the evil side of war touches her. 

Two hearts changed by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost; Setting Two Hearts Free?

A Heart’s Delight by Linda Ford

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1887 – Canada

Marriage of convenience? Not to this man.

Laura has been lied to before and vows to guard her heart. Especially from the likes of Cody Remington who seems not to take life seriously for one minute.

Cody was erreneously charged with murder. And the one woman he trusted—the woman he thought he loved—left him to hang. Trusting a woman is a mistake Cody doesn’t intend to repeat.

Neither Cody nor Laura can turn away from two abused and hungry children. When they are stranded overnight caring for the children, the townspeople insist they must marry.

How can Laura marry a man she can’t trust? Can Cody overcome his past to become the man Laura needs?

Colors of Truth by Tamera Alexander

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1866 – Tennessee

In a town battered and bruised by war, one woman embarks upon an impossible search–and one man must face the past in the very place that almost destroyed him.
   
Tennessee, 1866. According to the last letter Irish immigrant Catriona O’Toole received from her twin brother, Ryan, he was being dispatched to Franklin, Tennessee, where–as a conscripted Confederate soldier–he likely endured the bloody Battle of Franklin that claimed the lives of thousands. Catriona leaves behind the lush green of their Irish homeland in search of him, with nothing to her name except the sum of cash Ryan sent to their family. Now the sole provider for her seven-year-old spitfire sister, Nora, Catriona hopes to reunite the siblings–the only surviving members of their devastated family.
   
Wade Cunningham is a former Federal soldier who now works for the newly formed United States Secret Service and is trying to uncover counterfeiting rings in the postwar South. In order to infiltrate their sophisticated enterprise, he must pose as a former Confederate in Franklin–a town where counterfeit greenbacks run rampant. When Wade meets Catriona, he is immediately intrigued by her and the little redheaded scamp in her care–but what he doesn’t anticipate is that the cash in Catriona’s possession is some of the most convincing counterfeit money he’s ever seen. Soon the object of Wade’s affection is also the suspect in a major crime–one he’s expected to prosecute.
  
With rich historical detail and multifaceted prose, USA TODAY bestselling author Tamera Alexander tells a riveting tale of truth, betrayal, and unlikely romance that unveils the many shades of God’s perfect redemption.

Sacred Honor by Lori Bates Wright

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1865 – Georgia

Her heart is shattered. Her home is left in shambles.
And she is forced to give up the only man capable of putting the pieces back together.

Aurora Haverwood has loved Zachery Saberton for as long as she can remember. Her dreams of being his wife are cruelly dashed when the American Civil War draws to a close with news that Zach is missing and presumed dead. Refusing to believe he will never return to her, she sets out to find the truth.

Captain Zach Saberton, notorious blockade runner for the Confederate Navy, has outfoxed the Yankee War Department once too often. In order to save his neck, Zach agrees to go undercover in London to help the Union recover a million dollars’ worth of gold bullion missing from the failed Confederate Treasury.

When Aurora discovers Zach Saberton is alive and well in England, attending one social affair after another, she decides to pay a visit to her uncle, the Earl of Kendal, in hopes of finding some answers. The journey from her devastated homeland to elegant London society plunges her into a web of danger.

Zach, desperately trying to avoid another civil rebellion, soon comes to realize that it’s Aurora who holds the key to their survival.

But in accepting her help, he risks losing her forever.

The Samurai’s Honor by Walt Mussell

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1577 – Japan

Younger daughter of the area’s most prominent swordsmith, Sen’s life is marked with jealousy, curiosity, and love. Jealousy that her older sister, Haru, gets to marry her father’s handsome apprentice. Curiosity about her father’s important customers. Love from a family that is planning her next step to adulthood. But when a high-ranking samurai visits her father to order a sword, Sen’s curiosity gets the best of her. She and her sister find themselves eyewitnesses to a murder and on the cusp of a plot that seeks the samurai’s demise. Will Sen’s curiosity lead to her own death?

Palmer Girl by Dawn Klinge

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1893 – Illinois

When insurance tycoon, Cornelius Nordeman, is recruited to work for the Exposition Corporation, the New Yorker brings his family to live at the Palmer House Hotel, far away from any reminders of a recent tragedy. He’s hopeful this move will offer respite from his family’s grief.

Elizabeth Nordeman, his daughter, has something to prove, which leads her to seek work as a florist at Marshall Field’s, Chicago’s finest department store.

John Lewis knows something is different and intriguing about the new florist he hired. When his boss, Marshall Field, informs him that Elizabeth is the Nordeman heiress, his job suddenly becomes more complicated–especially when he finds himself falling for her.

On the eve of the Columbian Exposition of 1893, Chicago prepares to prove that it’s a first-class city, and the brightest minds from around the country will plan the most spectacular fair the world has seen.

The World’s Fair will bring change and innovation into a society bound tightly by class and tradition. Elizabeth’s heart longs to push against those boundaries, so what’s holding her back?

Enduring Dreams by Sandra Ardoin

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1897 – Indiana

Loving her might be a blueprint for disaster.

Claire Kingsley once dared to assert herself into the male world of 1890s architecture. It cost her husband both his life and an heir. Now fear controls her choices and her dreams. When offered a chance to create another design, she fights against the pull, afraid of further disaster. But disturbing news ignites a fierce loyalty to her past love and a powerful attraction to a new one—an attraction she resists…for his sake.

Mark Gregory’s first architectural project in town comes with the proviso that he works with a female. He balks, even though Claire stirs his heart like no other woman. Yet, with a loan payment looming, risking his business on someone of unknown talent invites failure, a word he’s struck from his vocabulary.

When bigotry and Claire’s fears threaten an important commission, will she summon the courage to help Mark succeed, or will she destroy another man’s dream?

Read the heartwarming historical romance, Enduring Dreams, the first novel in the Widow’s Might series.

Light in the Mountain Sky by Misty Beller

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1831 – Idaho Territory

This epic journey may seal her fate forever.

Determined to prove her worth, Meksem fiercely fought to earn her place among the warriors in her Nez Perce camp. When her half-sister is captured by an enemy tribe, she refuses to trust the rescue to anyone else. But her new friends insist on joining her mission, and she battles between relief and frustration at their presence. Especially the white man who peers at her as if he can see through the face of the warrior she struggles so hard to maintain.

Spaniard Adam Vargas thrives on adventure wherever his travels take him. He’s fallen in love with this Rocky Mountain wilderness, as well as the spotted horses the Nez Perce tribe raise. His fascination with this Indian maiden-turned-warrior catches him off guard though, including the way she seems to be fighting for more than her sister’s safe return.

The journey proves more perilous than any of the group expects, and the secret Meksem hides becomes impossible to conceal. If they live through this mission, the life they knew will never be the same again.

Beholden by Jody Hedlund

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Medieval – Fictitious Kingdom/Country

In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse…

A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery.

Upon the death of her wealthy father, Lady Gabriella is condemned to work in Warwick’s gem mine. As she struggles to survive the dangerous conditions, her kindness and beauty shine as brightly as the jewels the slaves excavate. While laboring, Gabriella plots how to avenge her father’s death and stop Queen Margery’s cruelty.

Prince Vilmar of Scania enslaves himself in Warwick’s gem mine as part of a royal test to prove himself the most worthy of three brothers to become the king’s successor. Amidst the hardships, he doesn’t anticipate his growing compassion for the other slaves, especially tenderhearted Gabriella.

As the annual summer ball looms nearer, Gabriella sets into motion her plan to end Queen Margery’s evil. When Vilmar learns of Gabriella’s intentions, he resolves to come to her aid and fight against Warwick’s queen. But doing so may require him to give up his chance of becoming Scania’s next king, perhaps even cost him his life.

Mercy’s Refuge by Rita Gerlach

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1620 – England/Holland

A young woman’s journey to the New World.

Inspired by William Bradford’s ‘Of Plymouth Plantation’, Mercy’s Refuge is a sweeping historical novel of romance and adventure in the year 1620. Mercy McCrea, orphaned as a child and raised by her aging grandparents, lives in poverty. The only thing keeping her and her family from starvation is to work as a kitchen servant for a rich nobleman.

When catastrophe strikes and Mercy’s life is in danger, she flees England for her uncle’s farm in Holland. There she meets Caleb, a carpenter, and finds refuge among the Separatists who fled the wrath of the English King. Beginning in Ipswich, a North Sea port town in Suffolk, England, the novel takes the reader on a voyage across the English Channel to Holland, and then aboard the Mayflower.

When Mercy and Caleb face the dangers of the sea, their faith and love for each other is strengthened by the strong bonds of a people whose courage forged a nation.

Five Simple Gifts by Sondra Kraak

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1893 – Connecticut

Langley Taft is a firm believer in the narrow way. She trained to work alongside her father in their lumber dynasty and married the man of her parents’ choosing. A man who turned around and issued her a humiliating divorce. Left alone to raise her sister’s illegitimate son, she defies her family to do what she knows is right: deliver the baby to his father—even if that man is Wilder Monaghan, the irresponsible heir to a rival lumber company who lives on the other side of the country. And who happens to be the scoundrel she once fancied in her youth.

A lover of adventure, opportunity, and all things exciting, Wilder isn’t prepared for the surprise appearance of the son he thought was dead, or for the woman who shows up with her life shaded by unjust accusations but determined to help him raise his son. Parenting alongside the stringent Langley might be his most challenging adventure yet. Or his most rewarding, provided he can teach her how to have fun and in the process win her affections. But why would a studious, responsible woman like Langley Taft look twice at him, a reprobate trying to find his course back to the narrow way?

As secrets are revealed, driving a wedge between Wilder and Langley, they both must humble themselves to receive a gift they did not earn, a gift not bought with money or charm: the gift of a second chance.

The Refrain Within by Liz Tolsma

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1944 – Hungary

To save a life, would you betray everyone you love?

Hungary in 1944 is a dark place. The Nazis have invaded and turned the country upside down, their evil making its way into every life.

Clarinetist Eva Bognar is engaged to conductor and composer Patrik Kedves, happily planning her wedding. At first she doesn’t think the war will affect her directly; everyone around her can be trusted to do the right thing. Then her Jewish best friend and sister-in-law Zofia goes missing–and instead of the Gestapo being to blame, a friend says it was Patrik who led Zofia away. Has he betrayed Eva and everything the family stands for?

When the rest of the family’s lives are directly threatened, Patrik’s secrets must come to light. The Bognars flee for the border in hopes of getting out of the country to the safety of Palestine. Eva must put her life and the lives of everyone she loves in the hands of the very man who betrayed her–and they may not all make it out of the war alive . . .

Magnolia’s Measure by Kimberly Grist

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1892 – Tennessee

Choosing to participate in a matrimonial agency as a mail-order bride, Magnolia proceeds methodically and uses her skills as a cook to create the perfect recipe for a husband.

A successful businessman, the idea of putting another person’s needs in front of his own is foreign. He’s shocked when a young cook from an orphanage intrigues him. Can he measure up?

The Secret Place of Thunder by Alicia Ruggieri

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1936 – Kentucky

The mountains have imprisoned her long enough…

Edna Sue O’Connell came back to the Kentucky hills out of duty and can’t wait for the chance to escape again. Her work as a horseback librarian in rural Appalachia provides enough income for her invalid father to survive in the midst of the Great Depression, but it affords her with little else.

When an opportunity arises for Edna to take on an additional book delivery area, she spies a glimmer of hope that she might find a way out of Willow Hollow after all… and that she might actually make something of her life apart from the tragedy that has filled it thus far.

But the new routes give Edna more than she ever bargained for. Slowly, she finds that the mountains contain many valuable secrets – if she has the grit to meet them.

The Secret Place of Thunder is part of the Librarians of Willow Hollow multi-author novella collection. Each novella stands on its own but is connected to the others in this historical Christian fiction series set in 1930s Appalachia.

A Heart of Gold by Stacy Henrie

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1898 – Montana/Canada

They’ll have to conquer more than the Klondike Trail to reach her father in time—they’ll have to overcome their past too.

After months of silence from her father in the Klondike, Tava Rutherford finally receives word from him. Only the outdated letter reveals that her father is ill and may be dying. Desperate to discover his fate, Tava resolves to make the journey to the wilds of northwestern Canada. But Jess Lawmen, her ranch foreman and the man who broke her heart, insists she doesn’t go alone. Jess intends to keep his promise to look out for her—even if that means traveling thousands of miles with Tava, the woman he claims to feel just friendship for but has never stopped loving.

With their own ragtag group of travelers in tow, Tava and Jess confront one challenge after another as they join the hundreds of stampeders scrambling to reach the goldfields. But as the two of them come face to face with their past hurts and mistakes in their race to reach Tava’s father, they will have to decide whether to cling to safety or risk their hearts for something even greater.

Remember Me by Mario Escobar

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1934 – Spain

Amid the shadows of war, one family faces an impossible choice that will change their lives forever.

Madrid, 1934. Though the Spanish Civil War has not yet begun, the streets of Madrid have become dangerous for thirteen-year-old Marco Alcalde and his younger sisters, Isabel and Ana. When Marco’s parents align themselves against General Franco and his fascist regime, they have no inkling that their ideals will endanger them and everyone they love—nor do they predict the violence that is to come.

When the Mexican government promises protection to the imperiled children of Spain, the Alcaldes do what they believe is best: send their children, unaccompanied, across the ocean to the city of Morelia—a place they’ve never seen or imagined. Marco promises to look after his sisters in Mexico until their family can be reunited in Spain, but what ensues is a harrowing journey and a series of heartbreaking events. As the growing children work to care for themselves and each other, they feel their sense of home, family, and identity slipping further and further away. And as their memories of Spain fade and the news from abroad grows more grim, they begin to wonder if they will ever see their parents again or the glittering streets of the home they once loved.

The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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1936 – Kentucky

A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback—and learns to trust the One who truly pens her story—in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.
 
During the Great Depression, city-dweller Addie Cowherd dreams of becoming a novelist and offering readers the escape that books had given her during her tragic childhood. When her father loses his job, she is forced to take the only employment she can find—delivering books on horseback to poor coal-mining families in the hills of Kentucky.
 
But turning a new page will be nearly impossible in Boone’s Hollow, where residents are steeped in superstitions and deeply suspicious of outsiders. Even local Emmett Tharp feels the sting of rejection after returning to the tiny mountain hamlet as the first in his family to graduate college. And as the crippled economy leaves many men jobless, he fears his degree won’t be worth much in a place where most men either work the coal mine or run moonshine.
 
As Addie also struggles to find her place, she’ll unearth the truth about a decades-old rivalry. But when someone sets out to sabotage the town’s library program, will the culprit chase Addie away or straight into the arms of the only person who can help her put a broken community back together?

Bride by Blackmail by Debbie Lynne Costello

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1880 – South Carolina

A broken heart, a controlling father, and an intrusive Scot leave Charlotte Jackson reeling. Accused of stealing an heirloom pin, she must choose between an unwanted marriage and the ruin of her family name. With the futures of her three younger sisters at stake, as well as her own reputation, Charlotte must navigate through injustice to find forgiveness and true happiness. Eager to find the traitor that caused the death of his brother, Duncan Mackenzie comes to America and attempts to fit in with Charleston society. But when the headstrong Charlotte catches his eye, Duncan takes on a second mission—acquiring the lass’s hand. After being spurned several times, he uses unconventional ways of winning her heart.

Patriot’s Courage by Penelope Marzec

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1794 – Ohio Territory

In retaliation for his brother’s death, Ryan McGowan vows to kill every Indian in Ohio territory. When his captain assigns him to teach English to a woman found sobbing over a dead warrior, he resents the task. But the woman melts away his vengeance. He begins to understand the way to peace is through forgiveness. Then he learns the woman carries the child of her Indian husband in her womb.

Màxkchulëns, a white woman adopted by the Lenape at the age of four, is confined at the fort and longs to return to her people. Though Ryan leads her to recall part of the faith her biological parents held dear, she struggles to understand it and the power of grace.

Can she rely on that grace in desperate times? And will faith protect her unborn child as well?

The Heart of the Midwife by Various Authors

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Four Women Fight for the Right to Life and Love
 
Love Charm by Cynthia Hickey
Ozark Mountains, 1868
Bound by a common bond of wanting to help the Missouri hill people they’ve grown to love, Phoebe Hudson, socialite-turned-midwife, and Luke Morris, the schoolteacher, find themselves mediators in a family feud.
 
Love’s Rebirth by Darlene Franklin
Denver, 1871
Dr. Vaughan Strahan, a war veteran, wants to work with expectant mothers so others don’t die like his wife and child, but there is already a midwife working in the old mining district whose approval he is determined to win.
 
If Not For Grace by Patty Smith Hall
New York City, 1889
After her friend’s death in childbirth, Grace Sullivan converts her family home into a haven for immigrant families preparing for the birth of a child. But when the city threatens to close her down, her only hope is to ask for help from an unlikely source—her former friend, Patrick O’Leary.
 
Between Two Worlds by Marilyn Turk
New Orleans, 1890
Camille Duval confronts Madam Lafleur, the local voodoo queen, when she attends one of her first births since moving to New Orleans. How can Camille convince the young mother to trust her instead of voodoo for the health of her baby? Can Camille enlist the support of the young family physician, Julian Charbonnet who doesn’t seem interested in “women’s affairs”?

A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna White

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1918 – England

Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon’s loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple’s future dreams–it becomes a matter of ending the war.

Under the Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee

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1929 – Tennessee

Sixteen-year-old Lorena Leland’s dreams of a rich and fulfilling life as a writer are dashed when the stock market crashes in 1929. Seven years into the Great Depression, Rena’s banker father has retreated into the bottle, her sister is married to a lazy charlatan and gambler, and Rena is an unemployed newspaper reporter. Eager for any writing job, Rena accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers’ Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates Rena.

As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured—especially because Rena’s ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie’s story challenges Rena’s preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming?

Have Cash Will Marry by Renee Yancy

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1899 – New York

The Honorable Robert Alexander Radclyfe, heir of the ninth earl of Wentwater, is in New York City to find an heiress to wed. Under strict instructions not to return home to England until he has procured a wealthy American bride, Rob has one secret stipulation his father isn’t aware of—Rob is determined to find a woman to marry for love first and dowry second.

Anna MacDougall is tired of the endless balls of the social season and the stuffy English aristocrats who only want her money. After one broken engagement to such a fortune hunter, she’s determined never to marry, believing it’s not possible to know if a man truly loves her or her fortune.

When their paths cross, and Rob falls in love, can he convince Anna he loves her and not her inheritance?

The Battlefield Bride by Renee Yancy

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1862 – Kentucky

When the Secretary of War appoints Dorothea Dix superintendent over the female nurses assigned to the Union Army, any woman who desires to serve must meet strict criteria: She had to be above thirty years of age, wear only plain, dark colors, and have no “ribbons, curls, bows, or hoops” about her person.

Kate Wilkes fits all the criteria but one. Her father always said her curls were so tight even God couldn’t straighten them.

When Kate starts tending the wounded soldiers at the Union Hospital in Paducah, Kentucky, chief surgeon Major James Logan doesn’t believe a battlefield hospital is any place for a woman. His attempts to send her packing only increase Kate’s stubborn determination to serve the wounded men.

Can Kate manage to stay long enough to change Major Logan’s mind?

The Secret Life of Lady Evangeline by Jan Davis Warren

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1186 – England

Everyone believes Lady Evangeline is dead, so why not let them? Her survival depends on it.

After escaping from assassins and healing from her injuries, Evangeline Stanton finds refuge in a crumbling abbey. Her physical scars are nothing to the wounds left by the death of her daughter and abandonment of her husband. She spends most days disguised as Sister Margaret Mary, but when necessary, she dons the disguise of the recently deceased bandit, the Fox, to steal from the rich and help the starving children and widows who come for aid.

Lord Henry Stanton still grieves the death of his beloved wife, Evangeline. Raising their young daughter is now the most important role in his life, even though the child serves as a daily reminder of the love he and his wife once shared. He may never shed the weight of his guilt for not protecting Evangeline from the band of outlaws who killed her, as well as the lies sown by his sister-in-law, which he allowed to separate him from his wife just before her death.

When Henry’s ailing father-in-law sends an urgent request for help to manage his lands, he has no choice but to take his daughter with him to Castle Brighton. But the nun who comes to care for the sick man catches Henry’s notice from the first moment he catches sight of her. When the life of their precious daughter is threatened, can they overcome the lies and secrets of the past and join forces to save their daughter before it is too late?

Escape to another century in this action-packed inspirational medieval romance!

The Easter Sepulchre by Mel Starr

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1374 – England

Keeping watch over the Easter Sepulchre, where the Host and crucifix are stored between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, is considered a privilege. So, it is shocking when it is discovered that Odo, the priest’s clerk, has abandoned his post. But as the hours pass and Odo is not found, Hugh de Singleton is called upon. 

It is Hugh that finds the dried blood before the altar, and fear grows for the missing man… Will Hugh be called upon to investigate another murder, or will the man be found hale and hearty? But if so, where has the blood come from?

Author Interview and Giveaway – Almost a Bride – Jody Hedlund

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In The Bride Ships series, Jody Hedlund has woven rich description with deep, conflicting emotions, bringing to life a complex and unusual time in history. We’re all so excited to read the next bride’s story, because we know her journey to love will be full of adventure! Welcome to the Index, Jody!

Almost a Bride

Always close, but never a bride.

Longing to find true love, Kate Millington arrives in British Columbia on a bride ship. With countless men waiting to snag a bride, Kate has no trouble getting engaged. It’s staying engaged that’s the problem. After traveling to the remote mining town of Williamsville to marry her newest fiancé, she finds herself single again.

As the prosperous owner of a gold mine, Zeke Hart has everything he’s ever wanted except for a wife. At Kate’s arrival, he takes it upon himself to protect his childhood friend from the men clamoring to court her. The more he renews her friendship, the more he wants to win her for himself. But as much as Kate admires Zeke, she’s resolved not to marry someone who doesn’t share her faith.

When Zeke begins receiving anonymous threats, he unwittingly puts them both in grave danger. In the midst of peril, the past rises up to haunt them both, and Zeke realizes the fight for Kate’s affection may be his biggest challenge yet.

 

Jody’s Website

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Questions about Jody’s Story

What inspired this story?

During the course of my research, I came across information regarding bride ships to the Pacific Northwest. While I’d heard stories of bride ships leaving England and sailing to Australia, I’d never heard of efforts to send brides elsewhere. As I explored the concept further, I discovered that in the 1860s, several bride ships left England’s shores with the destination of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, which at that time were both separate colonies of England and not yet part of Canada.

The more I researched these ships and the women who took the voyages, I looked frantically for the answer to the question: What sort of desperation did these women face that would drive them to take part in one of the bride ships?

I was utterly horrified and fascinated by the idea that women would willingly board ships, leave everything they’d ever known behind, and sail to a strange land, all for the purpose of marrying complete strangers. I couldn’t help but ask myself what kind of woman would do such a thing and why? The series is my attempt to answer those questions.

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

In Almost a Bride, my hope is to show the perspective of one of the brides who came on the second bride ship that sailed to Victoria. This ship, called the Robert Lowe, left approximately four months after the Tynemouth (the bride ship highlighted in the first two books in the series).

While the women aboard the Robert Lowe were sponsored by the Columbia Emigration Society the same as the Tynemouth women, a distinct difference exists between the two groups. The group on the first ship came largely from the London area and was comprised of wealthy middle-class women as well as the poor plucked from orphanages and slums

The Robert Lowe women, however, were from the cotton manufacturing districts in Manchester, England. The calamity in the midlands was widespread, with tens of thousands of cotton-mill workers suffering from unemployment as a result of the cotton shortage brought about by the American Civil War. The women chosen to immigrate aboard the Robert Lowe were among the many who’d lost their jobs. In light of the bleak conditions in their homeland, the three dozen Manchester mill girls were happy to be offered the chance at a better life in the colonies where work and husbands awaited them.

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

The English colony of British Columbia was overflowing with male settlers, primarily because of a gold rush that had occurred in the Canadian Rockies starting in 1859 and lasting for many years. As a result, miners and those hoping to profit from the gold rush, swelled into Vancouver Island and British Columbia, creating an influx of male settlers. A 1861 census showed that females only made up 11% of the population there. With so few women available, men who wanted wives had slim pickings.

With the men complaining about the lack of women, an Anglican missionary among the miners of British Columbia, Reverend Lundin Brown, finally was the one to write a letter to his sponsors in London, asking for Christian wives for the miners. As a result, the Columbia Mission Society formed an emigration committee and soon began making arrangements for the transport of reputable women who could come and marry the men and in so doing create families and bring stability to the wilderness towns.

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Questions about Jody’s Reading

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

I recently read Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson. I especially love how well Melanie intertwines the present story to the past.

What was the last Christian Historical Novel that you read that taught you something you didn’t know? What did you learn? 

I read We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels, and I learned a lot about racial issues in Michigan during the Civil Rights movement. Since I live in Michigan, it was particularly fascinating.

Jody is giving away either a paperback copy (USA Only) or an e-book (International entries welcome). 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 Promise of Hope by Julie Lessman

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1937 – Massachusetts

She’s a woman of deep faith,
Till one careless comment steals it away.
He’s a man of deep joy,
Till his wife’s pain takes it away.
Fortunately they serve a God of deep love,
Whose promise of hope brings blessings to stay.

Emma O’Connor’s gratitude knows no bounds. God has healed her painful past with a wonderful marriage, three beautiful adopted children, and a close-knit extended family to call her own. But when one careless comment sows the seeds of discontent over her infertility, both her joy—and her faith—begin to unravel.

Sean O’Connor has never met a woman of deeper faith honed by pain than his precious wife, Emma, which is why he vowed to give her a life of love and joy no matter the cost. But when her spirits dive along with her faith, he’s at a loss how to heal the woman he loves. Until the God of Hope intervenes with the promise of hope.

Hearts on Lonely Mountain by A. M. Heath

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1936 – Kentucky

Can two lonely people find more than a fleeting friendship or will a prejudiced town keep them apart?

When Ivory Bledsoe left the city to minister to the people of the rural mountain town of Willow Hollow, she never expected to be shunned rather than welcomed. Seeing the town as a lost cause, she’s eager to return home, but when the bridge leading out of town is washed away during a flood, she finds herself stranded in the last place she wants to be.

Ben Thrasher was content with his quiet life until he met the new librarian. He can’t help but be drawn to the friendly and lively Ivory Bledsoe, despite her being at the center of the town’s latest superstition. It’s only a matter of time until she captures his heart, turning his world upside down in the process.

Has Ivory gotten God’s plan for her all wrong or is there still a way she can serve these people? And can Ben ask her to stay in a place where so few are willing to embrace her?

Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

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1928 – Wisconsin

The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day
The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton

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1793 – North Carolina

Ian Cameron, a Boston cabinetmaker turned frontier trapper, has come to Mountain Laurel hoping to remake himself yet again—into his planter uncle’s heir. No matter how uneasily the role of slave owner rests upon his shoulders. Then he meets Seona—beautiful, artistic, and enslaved to his kin.

Seona has a secret: she’s been drawing for years, ever since that day she picked up a broken slate to sketch a portrait. When Ian catches her at it, he offers her opportunity to let her talent flourish, still secretly, in his cabinetmaking shop. Taking a frightening leap of faith, Seona puts her trust in Ian. A trust that leads to a deeper, more complicated bond.

As fascination with Seona turns to love, Ian can no longer be the man others have wished him to be. Though his own heart might prove just as untrustworthy a guide, he cannot simply walk away from those his kin enslaves. With more lives than his and Seona’s in the balance, the path Ian chooses now will set the course for generations of Camerons to come.

A story of choice and consequence, of bondage and freedom, of faith and family.

Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick

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1853 – Oregon

In 1853, Abigail Scott was a 19-year-old school teacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When financial mistakes and an injury force Ben to stop working, Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family. What she sees as a working woman appalls her, and she devotes her life to fighting for the rights of women, including their right to vote.

Following Abigail as she bears six children, runs a millinery and a private school, helps on the farm, writes novels, gives speeches, and eventually runs a newspaper supporting women’s suffrage, Something Worth Doing explores issues that will resonate strongly with modern women: the pull between career and family, finding one’s place in the public sphere, and dealing with frustrations and prejudices women encounter when they compete in male-dominated spaces. Based on a true story of a pioneer for women’s rights from award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick will inspire you to believe that some things are worth doing–even when the cost is great.

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