Brightest and Best by Olivia Newport

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brightestandbestBrightest and Best

1918 – Ohio

The collapse of a schoolhouse puts pressure on Amish families and their long-held educational values. Ella Hilty anticipates marrying Gideon Wittner and becoming a mother to his children. In a whirling clash of values, Ella seeks the solid ground that seems to have slipped away. Margaret Simpson, an English schoolteacher, wonders if she is losing her last chance at love. As the local authorities draw lines in the sand, Margaret puts romance at risk one final time. All eyes turn to Ella to make a sacrifice and accept a challenge that can bring unity to the Amish and understanding to the English.

A Heart’s Home by Colleen Coble

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aheartshomeA Heart’s Home

Post Civil War – Wyoming

Emmie’s hope for a life with Isaac is overshadowed by a tragic loss at Fort Phil Kearny.

Isaac Liddle is keen to marry Emmie, and she knows she shouldn’t hide her pregnancy from him any longer. But before she can tell him her secret, a widower friend asks the impossible of Emmie: Will she honor her promise to his dead wife by marrying him to care for the orphaned baby?

With the Sioux Wars threatening outside the fort, Emmie’s solemn vow threatens her happiness from within. Will she honor a promise sure to break her heart—and Isaac’s? Or is there another way to find a home for her heart?

Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

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throughwatersdeepThrough Waters Deep

1941 – Massachusetts

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

At Home in Persimmon Hollow by Gerri Bauer

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athomeinpersimmonhollowAt Home in Persimmon Hollow

1886 – Florida

At Home in Persimmon Hollow is the first book in a series chronicling the world of Agnes Foster and the people of frontier-era Florida. In 1886, Agnes is forced to leave the Catholic orphanage in New York where she grew up to start a new life as a teacher in Persimmon Hollow, a small Florida town she has seen only in a newspaper ad. With nothing but her strong Catholic faith to sustain her, she leaves behind the only home she’s ever known and the little girl she hopes to adopt, and encounters a wild and beautiful new landscape, and a town full of hardworking, faith-filled people. She also meets the difficult, yet handsome and hard-to-ignore Seth Taylor, a man whose heart has been hardened to God after a terrible loss. Just as Agnes starts to feel Persimmon Hollow could be a good home for her and her daughter, and that Seth could be her love, tragedy strikes in the form of a trio of evil men from both their pasts, intent on doing them more harm. Will their fragile new love survive? Will Seth return to his faith? Can Agnes finally escape her dark past and find a bright future? 

Pirate by Night by Lisa Asenato

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piratebynightPirate by Night

 At Sea

His uncle wanted him dead. Instead, Nicholas Collington was given to pirates. Robbed of his rightful title and position, Nicholas survived. Now he rides the high seas, helping the wronged and avenging the downtrodden while the man who stole his life goes unpunished. But it’s time to reclaim his title and lands…time to make his uncle pay. However, to get close enough, Nicholas has a role to play. Grace Thonburg is a gentle soul. Ostracized by the Ton after an accident leaves her maimed, she is content to minister to the villagers with her dear friend and elderly vicar, Finn. But Finn must leave, and a new vicar has arrived–A man so powerful and handsome that Grace is attracted to him in ways she hardly understands. She has accepted that she will never find love, but is this new vicar heaven sent? He seems unconcerned with her past or her position in Society…Yet, she senses he’s hiding something. After Nicholas assumes the role of the town’s new vicar, his desire for revenge pales when compared to the desire he feels for Grace. But she is a lady, and he is a pirate. He loves her unconditionally, but can he win her heart or will the weight of Nicholas’s secret quash their new-found love?

Among the Fair Magnolias by Various Authors

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amongthefairmagnoliasAmong the Fair Magnolias

In the most turbulent decade of our nation’s history, four Southern women–destinies forged by birth, hearts steeled by war–face near impossible choices on their journeys in life . . . and in love.  

To Mend a Dream by Tamera Alexander

Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her family home. So when new owner, Aidan Bedford, a Boston attorney and former Union soldier, seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée, Savannah jumps at the opportunity. But the clock is ticking. Can she find the box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front. This time, one of the heart.
 
An Outlaw’s Heart by Shelley Gray
When Russell Stark returns to Fort Worth, he’s determined to begin a new life. But when he arrives at his mother’s homestead, he discovers she’s very ill, and the woman he loved is still as beautiful and sweet as he remembered. With time running out, Russell must come to terms with both his future and his past.
 
A Heart So True by Dorothy Love
Abigail knows all too well what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin Charles and take her place in society. But her heart belongs to another. A terrible incident forces Abby to choose between love and duty.
 
Love Beyond Limits by Elizabeth Musser
Emily has a secret: She’s in love with one of the freedmen on her family’s plantation. Meanwhile, another man declares his love for her. Emily realizes some things are not as they seem and secrets must be kept in order to keep those she loves safe.
 
Each novella includes a scrumptious Southern recipe that’s inherent to each author’s story and that will suit your book club meeting to a T!

The Cactus Creek Challenge by Erica Vetsch

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cactuscreekchallengeThe Cactus Creek Challenge

1888 – Texas

Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts

It’s Me, Giving away my New Books!

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This month is when I give away my newest release and I’ve got TWO!

And since interviewing myself every single time I have a release would be silly, I have to come up with something else fun.

12545 ABrideAtLast_mck.inddSo first, my prizes. I’m going to giveaway 5 SETS of books. Five winners get two books, A Bride at Last and The Convenient Bride blindedbylovecoverCollection. (And though the collection is not officially a part of the Unexpected Brides Series like A Bride at Last is, my story in the collection, Blinded by Love, is about a character you’ve met in the novella prequel of the series, Love by the Letter. So Neil sorta makes this collection part of the series!)

To enter my giveaway, you can get points for the normal things of course: Getting the Index’s Newsletter and Visiting the Index’s Facebook page where I post ebook sales.

And of course, if you dislike the rafflecopter, you can always email me that you want one free entry. 🙂 mjagears AT gmail DOT com

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Some Great Christian Fiction Novellas recommended by The Convenient Bride Collection Authors

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I’ve got a new novella out in The Convenient Bride Collection called Blinded by Love, and the nine other authors in the collection and I are giving away a loaded Kindle Fire in celebration!! Woot!

ConvenientBridefacebooknewsfeedpicture copy

I thought since we all wrote novellas, I’d ask them to recommend some good novellas to you before you entered the Rafflecopter for a chance at the Kindle Fire. I know there are plenty of you out there that think there is no such thing as a good novella (because I used to be one of you.) 🙂

Erica Vetsch says:

My favorite Novella is The Christmas Candle by Mary Connealy. It’s part of the Candlelight Christmas Collection. I loved it/recommend it because 1) it was written by Mary Connealy and I love all her stuff. 2) I enjoyed the way Mary used the children to bring the adults together. 3) I love Christmas novellas. 🙂

Jennifer Uhlarik says:

My favorite novella (at this moment) is Regina Jennings’ An Unforeseen Match in the collection A Match Made in Texas.” I loved it because the heroine’s journey brought me to tears in a couple of places.

Gabrielle Meyer says:

The first novella I enjoyed was in an old Barbour collection The Schoolhouse Brides. It was Prairie Schoolmarm by Grote. The reason I enjoyed the story was because it was the first novella I ever read that felt like a complete story, with fully developed characters and plot. It was set on the Minnesota prairie and was inspired by a true story. Both of those elements also appealed to me.

Amanda Barratt says:

I haven’t read a great deal of novellas, but one that made me realize a novella could be just as intriguing as a full-length story, is Roseanna White’s Fairchild’s Lady. Probably the reason I enjoyed this novella so much is because it featured a minor character from Ring of Secrets and I was so excited to see this character get their happy ending. Plus, Roseanna’s amazing writing style always completely captures my attention, no matter how long the story. AND IT’S FREE!

Melissa Jagears says:

The Sweetest Gift by Mary Connealy in A Home for Christmas was the first novella I read that I said “This was as good as any full length book” after I finished reading it. A lovely short story based on Mary’s ancestors if I recall correctly. And the one by Robin Lee Hatcher in that same collection was really, really good too. It’s worth the $3! (And I second An Unforseen Match by Regina Jennings. Great kiss!)

Mona Hodgson says:

Meeting Her Match by Mary Connealy in the Match Made In Texas collection is a favorite. All four stories drew me in, but I loved seeing the tables turned on a busybody matchmaker.

I thought I’d put the print collection of A Match Made in Texas here since two of the favorites came from this one! 🙂

 

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A Heart’s Promise by Colleen Coble

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aheartspromiseA Heart’s Promise

Post Civil War – Wyoming

Emmie makes a promise to her friend that, if fulfilled, could mean the end to her dreams of a future with Isaac.

Emmie Croftner let Isaac Liddle go to avoid telling him about her past. But Isaac remains determined to win Emmie’s heart and hand. Though Emmie resolves to keep her heart in check, it hurts when she sees that another woman has set her bonnet for Isaac.

Then Emmie’s dear friend extracts a costly promise: if anything happens to her in childbirth, Emmie will marry her widower and raise the baby herself. And it seems Emmie may have to fulfill that promise. But can she live happily without Isaac?

A Heart’s Betrayal by Colleen Coble

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aheartsbetrayalA Heart’s Betrayal

Post Civil War – Wyoming

Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.

When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband’s home, she discovered an awful truth: her deceased husband was a bigamist. And what’s more, the home she thought she inherited never belonged to her at all.

Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can’t stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she’s pregnant—and without a husband. The new start she’d hoped for slips from her fingers. 

But then she meets Isaac Liddle, a handsome soldier with a kind heart. When he begins to court her, Emmie wonders whether she could ever really be his—and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man’s baby.

The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah Ladd

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The Curiosity Keeperthecuriositykeeper

1812 – England

“It is not just a ruby, as you say. It is large as a quail’s egg, still untouched and unpolished. And it is rumored to either bless or curse whoever possesses it.”

Camille Iverness can take care of herself. She’s done so since the day her mother abandoned the family and left Camille to run their shabby curiosity shop on Blinkett Street. But when a violent betrayal leaves her injured with no place to hide, Camille has no choice but to accept help from the mysterious stranger who came to her aid.

Jonathan Gilchrist never wanted to inherit Kettering Hall. As a second son, he was content working as a village apothecary. But when his brother’s death made him heir just as his father’s foolish decisions put the estate at risk, only the sale of a priceless possession—a ruby called the Bevoy—can save the family from ruin. But the gem has disappeared. And all trails lead to Iverness Curiosity Shop—and the beautiful shop girl who may or may not be the answer to his questions.

Curious circumstance throws them together, and an intricate dance of need and suspicion leads the couple from the seedy backwaters of London to the elite neighborhoods of the wealthy to the lush, green Surrey countryside—all in the pursuit of a blood-red gem that collectors will sacrifice anything to possess.

Caught at the intersection of blessings and curses, greed and deceit, two determined souls must unite to protect what they hold dear. But when a passion that shines far brighter than any gem is ignited, each will have to decide how much they are willing to risk for their future, love, and happiness.

The Marriage Agreement by Renee Ryan

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The Marriage Agreement themarriageagreement

1896 – Colorado

Always the dutiful daughter, Fanny Mitchell surprised everyone when she broke her engagement. Now she’s working at the fancy Hotel Dupree—and falling for the mysterious, handsome owner, Jonathon Hawkins. But when she and her boss are caught in an unexpected kiss at a ball, will her reputation be tarnished forever? 

The son of a woman of ill repute, Jonathon knows that gossip can destroy lives in an instant. And he won’t allow sweet, lovely Fanny to suffer the consequences. When he proposes a marriage of convenience, Jonathon believes he can keep his heart to himself. But the more time he spends with Fanny, the more he realizes he may just be in love—with his wife… 

The Lawman’s Redemption by Danica Favorite

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The Lawman’s Redemptionthelawmansredemption

1881 – Colorado

Former deputy Will Lawson is fighting to regain his reputation—and Mary Stone is his only lead to the bandit who framed him. Now that he’s tracked Mary to Leadville, Colorado, Will needs the proud beauty to reveal her past. Instead, his efforts spark a mighty inconvenient attraction… 

Mary’s only real crime is that she once believed an outlaw’s lies. Still, she fears disclosing the truth to Will may land her in jail—and leave her young siblings without protection. Now she must choose between honesty and safeguarding her family. And if Will does clear his own name, can he convince the woman he loves to share it?

Cowgirl for Keeps by Louise M Gouge

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Cowgirl for Keepscowgirlforkeeps

1883 – Colorado

Rosamond Northam’s plans of building a high school take an unexpected turn when her father informs her she’ll be overseeing construction of a new hotel instead—with Englishman Garrick Wakefield. The newly arrived aristocrat seems to turn his nose up at all she loves about her Colorado hometown. The man is entirely insufferable…yet undoubtedly handsome. 

Garrick wants nothing more than to prove himself to his uncle, who has backed the building of this hotel. But he finds himself ever at odds with his pretty cowgirl partner over the plans. The American West is so different from his British home, but with Rosamond showing him the ropes, maybe he’ll commit to Western life…and a Western lass

Heartbreak Trail by Susan K. Marlow

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heartbreaktrailHeartbreak Trail

1883 – California

Andrea Carter can ride, rope, and cut out cattle with the best of her brothers’ ranch hands. Yet, her mother has always held the family’s youngest daughter back from fully participating in ranch activities.

With the approach of her fifteenth birthday, even the ranch boss, big brother Chad, can’t deny that his baby sister is better at ranch skills than some of his cowhands. When Andi announces that her quinceañera birthday wish is to join the upcoming cattle drive, her family is stunned. But after further discussion and multiple newspaper clippings about spirited women who balked at society’s expectations, even Mother agrees that the only way to get this cattle-drive notion out of Andi’s head is by letting her and her cousin Levi go along as Cook’s helpers. Andi is elated. What can go wrong on a two-week drive to Los Angeles?

Andi quickly discovers that a cattle drive is a dirty, dangerous business with little sleep and the same food day after day. Between late nights, dust, mosquitos, and an abrasive cowhand trying to win Andi’s attention, it is definitely not a holiday. Andi grimly determines she will stick it out. When a river crossing goes wrong and Chad is shot in a gunfight with suspicious men who have been shadowing the herd, Mitch the trail boss finds himself dangerously shorthanded. Andi and Levi can no longer just give Cook a hand. It’s time to pitch in and help Mitch get their cattle to market―any way they can.

Captive on the High Seas by Christina Rich

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captiveonthehighseasCaptive on the High Seas

668BC – Israel

Sold into slavery by her jealous sisters, Ada finds herself captive on the ship of a Greek merchant. Expecting a harsh new master, she’s surprised to find the captain compassionate—and attractive. Yet she can’t fall for the man who owns her—not when she watched her enslaved mother pine after her unyielding father. 

Nicolaus only wants to rescue the beautiful, mistreated woman from the auction block. He plans to free Ada, just as soon as he secures his inheritance. Which means racing the ship back to his homeland to best his brother. If he loses, all his cargo will be forfeited—including Ada. But as perilous storms reveal her courage and grace, the question becomes, can his heart stand to let her go?

To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

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tocaptureherheartTo Capture Her Heart

1653 – New England Area

It is 1653 and Heather Flower, a princess of the Montaukett tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her. Though her ransom is paid by an Englishman, she is bound by her captors and left to die–until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.

Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of the Hortons, English friends of her people. Torn between her affection for Dirk and her longtime friendship with Ben Horton, Heather Flower must make a difficult choice–stay true to her friend or follow her heart.

 

 

In Good Company by Jen Turano

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ingoodcompanyIn Good Company

1882 – New York

After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren’t always well-received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position.

Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he’s desperate for competent childcare.

At wit’s end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance–with each other. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons. But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children’s parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?

A Lady of Esteem by Kristi Ann Hunter

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aladyofesteemA Lady of Esteem

1812 – England

Miss Amelia Stalwood may live in London at her absent guardian’s townhouse, but she’s never actually met any nobility, and instead of aristocrats, her closest friends are servants. Quite by happenstance, she’s introduced to the Hawthorne family and their close family friend, Anthony, the reformed Marquis of Raebourne . They welcome her into their world, but just as she’s beginning to gain some confidence and even suspect she may have caught Anthony’s eye, she’s blindsided by an unexpected twist in her situation accompanied by nasty rumors. Will she lose her reputation when the world that has only just accepted her turns its back on her, or will she rest in the support of the friends who’ve become like family and the man who’s shared his faith and captured her heart?

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

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irishmeadowsIrish Meadows

1911 – New York

Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he’s put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry–as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O’Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears

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ABALA Bride at Last

1885 – Missouri/Kansas

Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.

Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she’d been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she’ll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony–until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy’s father.

Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?

The Convenient Bride Collection by Various Authors

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The Convenient Bride Collectionconvenientbridecollection

Sometimes marriage is a must, not a desire. . .as it is in this collection of romances that follows nine brides of convenience into marriages in historical settings from the mountains of Colorado, to a steamship on the Mississippi, along the Oregon Trail, into high society of New York City, plus many more. Each couple tries to secure their future with marriage, never dreaming that God might take their feeble attempts at security and turn them into true love stories for His glory. Readers will enjoy watching love grow from questionable beginnings.

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Refining Fire by Tracie Peterson

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refiningfireRefining Fire

1889 – Washington

Twenty-two-year-old Militine Scott is in training at the Madison Bridal School in Seattle, yet she has no intention of pursuing marriage. What respectable man would have her? But she has found the school provides the perfect opportunity to keep her unsavory past hidden.

Thane Patton, though fun-loving and fiercely loyal to his friends, hides a dark secret, as well. He finds himself drawn to Militine, sensing that she harbors a haunting pain similar to his own.

Will they allow God to make something new and beautiful from the debris of their past?

Change of Heart by Molly Jebber

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changeofheartChange of Heart

1899 – Ohio

Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish faith’s strict rules—until her fiancé jilted her before their entire community. She’s never been away from home, but the bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt’s wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.

With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . .

Direct Hit by Mike Hollow

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directhitDirect Hit

1940 – England

On the first night of the Blitz, a body is discovered in a van in the back streets of West Ham. DI John Jago is called to the scene and recognises the body as local Justice of the Peace and businessman Charles Villiers. Shortly afterwards a blast destroys the scene. Jago quickly establishes that Villiers’ wife and adult son Edward both have possible motives, and that there was a rift between Villiers and his brother Arthur. But as he begins the investigation, Jago is annoyed when his boss tells him to help an American journalist who’s writing about public morale – even more so when he finds it’s a woman, Dorothy Appleton. As Jago and Appleton follow leads, they realize that the dead man held many secrets, some of which reach back to World War I. Rather a lot of people wished Villiers dead – and an air raid is a good time to bury bad news.

The Reckoning by Marylu Tyndall

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thereckoningThe Reckoning

Time Travel

When Morgan Shaw crept into the hold of an old pirate ship replica at San Diego’s Annual Tall Ship Festival, her only intention was to avoid the guy who had just dumped her and who was now boarding the ship with two women on his arm. What she didn’t expect was to wake up aboard a real pirate ship three-hundred years in the past. But of course, it wasn’t real. Her wealthy father had obviously staged it all in an effort to get her mind off her upcoming chemo. Or had he?

Pirate Rowan Dutton seeks enough treasure to repay a debt to his sister and reinstate the Dutton name among British Jamaican Society. He is but one major haul away from accomplishing his goal when a strange woman appears on his ship and causes him to lose his prey. Despite his anger, he is enthralled with the little minx, her strange clothing, odd speech, and her insistence that they are all actors playing a charade paid for by her father.

Yet when the brazen little lady divulges Rowan’s secret to a longtime nemesis, events are triggered that could cost them both their lives and change the course of history forever.

Blessing by Lyn Cote

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Blessingblessing

1848 – Ohio

An impetuous love swept Blessing Brightman away from the Quaker community, into the highest ranks of Cincinnati society. But behind the glitter of ballroom and parlor, her spirit slowly eroded in an increasingly dangerous marriage. Widowed young, determined never to lose her independence again, Blessing reclaimed her faith and vowed to use her influence to fight for women’s rights and abolition.

Gerard Ramsay, scion of a wealthy Boston family, arrives in Cincinnati hoping to escape his father’s clutches with a strategy that will gain him independence. His plan is soon complicated, however, by the enchanting widow. Never before has a woman spoken as if she’s his equal―or challenged him to consider the lives of others.

In a city nearly ablaze with racial tensions quickly dividing the country, can two people worlds apart possibly find common ground?

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson

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shadowsofladenbrookemanorShadows of Ladenbrooke Manor

Present/Past 1954 – England

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett

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Beyond the AshesBeyond the Ashes

 1906 – California

Where better to rebuild and face one’s fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes? Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she’ll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn’t anticipate finding new love.
Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he’d always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert’s widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed.
Ruby and Gerald’s fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they’re striving to cure. Together they must ask—is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?

The Sound of Diamonds by Rachelle Rea

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soundofdiamondsThe Sound of Diamonds

 1566 – The Netherlands

Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.

With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle’s castle. She doesn’t dare to trust him…and yet doesn’t dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her—but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope…or be overcome.

Annabelle’s Ruth by Betty Thomason Owens

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annabellesruthGoodreads ~ Purchase ~ Sample

1954 – Tennessee

After their husbands perish in a fishing boat accident, Connie Cross determines to follow her mother-in-law, Annabelle, from Southern California to Tennessee. Her misgivings begin as they cross the bridge over the muddy Mississippi River. In their new town, where living conditions are far below their previous expectations, they must set up a household and hunt for work to survive. Thanks to the kindness of Annabelle’s handsome, young cousin, life begins to settle down. But Connie has a secret that could uproot them once again.

Author Interview and Giveaway – Karen Witemeyer – A Worthy Pursuit

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Who doesn’t love Karen’s whimsical covers? I remember seeing her first, A Tailor-Made Bride, and thought the cover itself told the story and I was so happy to have the inside story match the cute story on the cover. How many can’t wait to see if this cute cover is just as great? 🙂 Maybe you’ll win the AUTOGRAPHED copy! Hope you enjoy the interview!

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A Worthy Pursuit

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A Worthy Pursuit

A teacher on the run. A bounty hunter in pursuit. Can two enemies learn to trust each other before they both lose what they hold most dear?

Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.

Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan’s Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the orphaned girl entrusted to her care. Charlotte promised Lily’s mother she’d keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.

When Miss Atherton produces documentation that shows her to be Lily’s legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he’s been led to believe. Is she villain or victim?

Then a new danger forces Charlotte to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone vows to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he’s ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte’s heart.

Karen’s WebsiteGreen High Resolution

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Questions about Karen’s Story

What inspired your story?

There is usually a single spark that get’s a book idea started. For A Worthy Pursuit, that spark was the idea of incorporating gifted children—child prodigies, each having a gift in a different field. And the one who doesn’t consider himself gifted ends up being the one who saves the day, proving he is, in fact, remarkable.
I also wanted to play with the idea of opposites attracting. So I chose a refined, educated headmistress who doesn’t trust men and paired her with a man of action and intrigue who practically walks off the pages of a dime novel. Charlotte has to learn to trust the man who was sent to destroy her in order to protect the children in her care, and Stone must dig deep to unearth the patience it will take to win the heart of the plucky woman he comes to admire.

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

All right. I admit it. The heroes in my books are always my favorites. I suppose it’s because I’m a romance reader first and foremost, so when I write, I create heroes that I, myself, would fall in love with if I was the reader. My philosophy is to write heroines that I wish I could be, and write heroes that make me fall in love with them.

So, in A Worthy Pursuit, Stone is my favorite. He was orphaned at a young age and forced to toughen up in order to survive. He found a career that suited his skills and became the best in the business. However, he’s not a shoot-first-ask-questions-later type of bounty hunter. In fact, he leaves the outlaw chasing business and hires himself out as a retriever in order to use his brain more than his gun. He’s intelligent enough to piece together clues to find things/people nobody else can find. And he’s a man of honor. That’s why when he finds Charlotte and the kids he’s open to hearing her side of the story instead of focusing solely on the paycheck at the end of the job.

He also woos Charlotte with a patience and gentleness that goes completely against his action-oriented nature. There is a scene where he takes her on a walk to watch the sun set, and the triumph he experiences when she finally relaxes enough against him to lay her head on his shoulder always makes me melt. His relentless yet patient pursuit wins not only Charlotte’s heart but mine as well.

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Questions about Karen’s Reading

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

Mary Connealy writes books that are similar to mine. Western settings, cowboy heroes, late 1800s timeframe. She also incorporates a lot of action and humor into her stories that I really enjoy. In fact, I’m reading her latest right now. It’s called Now and Forever and features a rugged mountain man and a fearless sheep-raising heroine. I’m about a third of the way through and having a great time!

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

When I first started delving into Christian Historicals, Deeanne Gist was the first author to completely captivate me. She wrote fabulous romances that were rich in history and just a touch of lighthearted humor to keep me smiling. A Bride in the Bargain was my favorite of hers.

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Karen is giving away an autographed copy of her book and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of the three books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Wagon Train Proposal by Renee Ryan

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wagontrainproposalWagon Train Proposal

1843 – Washington Territory

A marriage of convenience? Rachel Hewitt couldn’t possibly accept. Not even for the sake of three adorable little girls who desperately want a new mother. Sheriff Tristan McCullough offers Rachel a home and family, but not the one thing she truly seeks—someone to love her for herself. 

Tristan McCullough hoped to find a wife on the wagon train, not a nanny. The hardworking widower wants a marriage without emotional risks. But independent Rachel intrigues him. One minute she’s winning over his shy little girls, and the next she’s tackling danger head-on. She might just be Tristan’s unexpected second chance at happiness…if he’ll risk his wary heart again.