953 BC – Middle East
What questions did the Queen of Sheba come to ask King Solomon? Come explore her story with me as I look at the historical queen (two different versions of her tale) and try to determine a plausible story that imagines what might have been. Her experience and the outcome of her story might surprise you.
1883 – Traveling on the Trail
Missouri Mules are the best there is and Alda had grown to love the creatures as she worked side by side with her pa on their farm along the banks of the Missouri River. Her pa would be hopping mad when he realized his wife and daughter had colluded behind his back to sell a pack string. It didn’t matter that they were trying to save the farm.
1815 – England
Just as merchant’s daughter Felicity Mayson is spurned once again because of her meager dowry, she receives an unexpected invitation to Lady Blackstone’s country home. Being introduced to the wealthy Oliver Ratley is an admitted delight, as is his rather heedless yet inviting proposal of marriage. Only when another of Lady Blackstone’s handsome guests catches Felicity’s attention does she realize that nothing is what it seems at Doverton Hall.
Government agent Philip McDowell is infiltrating a group of cutthroat revolutionaries led by none other than Lady Blackstone and Ratley. Their devious plot is to overthrow the monarchy, and their unwitting pawn is Felicity. Now Philip needs Felicity’s help in discovering the rebels’ secrets—by asking her to maintain cover as Ratley’s innocent bride-to-be.
Philip is duty bound. Felicity is game. Together they’re risking their lives—and gambling their hearts—to undo a traitorous conspiracy before their dangerous masquerade is exposed.
1736 – Italy
Emilia Salvini dreams of marrying a man who loves music as much as she does. But in 18th-century Milan, her position as “second sister” means she’ll likely be sent off to a convent instead. Ironically, Emilia’s pious older sister, Maria, would gladly become a nun. But Father won’t allow it—her brilliant language skills are too important to his quest for noble status. Emilia’s only hope to avoid the convent is to prove that her musical talents are as indispensable as Maria’s skills. First, Emilia must earn the respect of the music tutor who has always disdained her, simply for being a girl. But before Emilia can carry out her plan, Mamma, her greatest supporter, dies in childbirth. In her sorrow, Emilia composes a heartrending sonata that causes the maestro to finally recognize her talent. He begins teaching her music theory alongside handsome violinist Antonio Bellini, the great-nephew of a wealthy marquis. The two begin as rivals, but making music together gradually melds their hearts. When Antonio abruptly quits their lessons, Emilia assumes it’s because her family isn’t nobility. More determined than ever to help Father acquire a title, she dedicates a set of compositions to Archduchess Maria Teresa. The archduchess is so impressed that she helps Father become a count. Having finally won Father’s favor, Emilia expects she’ll now be betrothed to Antonio. But the repercussions of her family’s new status threaten not only her dreams, but her sister’s very life.
1913 – Colorado
When sabotage threatens the Rudin Sugar Factory, Detective Jasper Hollock believes this will be his first real case. But dear Mr. Rudin—the only father Jasper has ever known—holds a different assignment for his private investigator.
“I’ve struck a deal with God, Jasper, and you’re my angel.”
Mr. Rudin charges Jasper to build a “case” of reasons for his employer to continue his life. If he fails, Mr. Rudin will end it in suicide on Christmas night.
As the incidents at the factory become life threatening, Jasper’s attempts at dissuading Mr. Rudin prove futile, and Jasper is left staring at the stark reality of his own soul. Time is ticking. Jasper must solve both cases by Christmas before Mr. Rudin, the company, and Jasper’s faith, are dragged to perdition. Will this be the Christmas Jasper truly discovers what makes life worth living?
Welcome to Jane Kirkpatrick! Isn’t this cover gorgeous? And the unusual romance has me intrigued, especially since it’s based on a true story, what about you?
Oregon , Frontier America , 1860s, 1870s, 1880s , 1865-1880 (US Reconstruction) , Farming, Medical Professional , Based on Actual Characters or Events, Unusual Romantic Relationship , Addiction, Learning Disabilities , Kirkpatrick-Jane
Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s doesn’t approve of such innovations as women attending medical school. To leave grief and guilt behind, as well as support herself and her challenging young son, Jennie cares for an elderly woman using skills she’s developed on her own. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman’s widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal–but the road will be winding and the way forward will not always be clear. Will Jennie find shelter in life’s storms? Will she discover where healing truly lives?
Questions about Jane’s Story
What inspired your story?
I’m interested in the lives of actual historical persons and when I learned about a woman who had been married twice (her second husband was 37 years older than her), had three children and then enrolled in medical school so she could serve women and children, I wanted to know how that might have happened. What were the barriers she had to overcome? Where did she gather her strength from?
What was the hardest part of your book to write?
Jennie’s son was addicted to alcohol and she prayed, offered healing oils and aromatics, worked with doctors in the new field of psychiatry but he was unable to stay sober. It was difficult to write about a parent’s struggle and with the current opioid epidemic to realize people have suffered for generations. That Jennie could find the strength to let the past go and believe that while she couldn’t heal her son – and God had not yet done so – that she could still make a difference as a healer in the lives of others. Part of what she had to leave behind was guilt and powerlessness to trust that God works in all things.
Did you include a real historical character or incident in your story?
All of the characters except three were real historical people. One of the three was Jennie’s friend (she must have had one, right?) and her name was given to me by the winner of an educational fund-raiser in which I offered to name a character in my book. It raised money for scholarships and the name was the winner’s granddaughter’s name, Ariyah which means “pure music.” I thought that was lovely as music plays a part in Ariyah’s healing of great loss.
Questions about Jane’s Reading
If your job was to sell one author’s historical fiction, which author’s wares would you want to peddle? And which is your favorite by that author?
I really like Sandra Byrd’s work and my favorite of hers is To Die For that captures how Anne Boleyn’s faith helped her deal with the unpredictability of Henry the VIII, her husband and king. The details are exquisite and you feel as though you are in the court of Henry VIII. The intrigue and suspense is perfectly paced. Even when one knows the ending, the story is richly conveyed with new insights about those historical characters.
Which was the last Christian Historical Novel you read, and what was your favorite thing about it?
Karen Barnett’s The Road to Paradise. It’s set in a Rainer National Park and honestly, I thought for sure the author had climbed Mt. Rainer as those scenes – that were quite intense – were so authentic. And the character’s return to God, his forgiving of himself on top of that mountain was one of the most tender and realistic redemption scenes I’ve ever read.
What Christian Historical Novel in your To Be Read pile is begging you to make time to plop down with it right now?
Rebecca Demarino’s To Follow her Heart. I’ve had it sitting by my bed as a reward for when I finish writing my latest! It’s the last in a series and I might be letting it sit so that I don’t have to say good-bye to the characters.
Jane is giving away a copy paperback (usa only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!
**If you don’t want to enter Rafflecopter, tell me in a comment below: “I’m not entering the rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I can manually put you in there for a chance.**
1934 – Massachusetts
She longs to be the perfect mother.
He just longs for his wife.
Until they receive … the best gift of all.
Everyone knows Lizzie and John Brady have the perfect marriage. But when Lizzie’s desire to be a good mother eclipses her desire for her husband, the honeymoon is definitely over. Can the spirit of Christmas heal their hearts when Lizzie gives John the best gift of all?
1933 – Massachusetts
She’s desperate for a baby.
He’s desperate for an empty nest.
Love is desperate to surprise them both.
With a husband dead set against adoption, Charity O’Connor Dennehy has barely a whisper of hope for more children, but if hope doesn’t disappoint … will it be enough to find a precious bundle under her tree?
1905 – California
He’s everybody’s lovable rogue.
She’s nobody’s fool who hopes to steer clear.
Until a thunderstorm sinks them both into a sea of love.
Blake “The Rake” McClare has a notorious reputation as a womanizer, which is why soft-spoken Patience Peabody carefully avoids the lovable rogue attorney at the law firm in which they both work. Until a rare thunderstorm brings them together in a love soaked with the grace of God … and sparked with a little lightning of its own.