Castles in the Clouds by Myra Johnson

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Castles in the Clouds

1932 – Arkansas and Kenya

The first book in the Flowers of Eden series introduced readers to Bryony Linwood, an orphan trying desperately to provide for her sisters in the shadow of the Great Depression. In Castles in the Clouds, we meet one of those sisters—Larkspur Linwood, a young woman who has a passion for teaching but yearns for something more than life as a small-town Arkansas schoolmarm.

Young and impressionable, Lark mistakes a college professor’s interest for romantic love. When he offers her the chance to join his efforts to start a school in Kenya, she pictures herself bringing the light of knowledge to hundreds of African children eager to learn. But the menial tasks she’s assigned at the school aren’t so different from life on the farm where she grew up. Miserable and deflated, with her fragile heart broken, she gives up and returns home.

Enter Professor Anson Schafer, whom she met briefly in Kenya. Partially blinded from an eye infection he contracted there, Professor Schafer cannot return to Africa. He has come to Lark’s school to recruit teachers like her for a more modest venture—the founding of schools and relief efforts here in the U.S. for those struggling through the Depression.

Still stinging from her experience in Kenya, Lark is reluctant to risk leaving her familiar surroundings, but she knows how great the need has become, and—although this isn’t the exciting life she’d envisioned—she finally agrees. As they work side by side, Lark begins to realize that the deepest satisfaction comes not so much from what you do, or where you do it, but from the attitude of your heart.

The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

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The Loyal Heart

1867 – Texas

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone. 

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.

He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well. 

Author Interview and Giveaway – An Elegant Facade – Kristi Ann Hunter

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Time to celebrate a new Regency author! Her debut book is racking up award finals this year, so I’m sure this one will be delightful!

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An Elegant Facade

Lady Georgina Hawthorne has worked tirelessly to seal her place as the Incomparable for her debut season. At her first London ball, she hopes to snag the attention of an earl.

With money and business connections, but without impeccable bloodlines, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. When he first encounters the fashionable Lady Georgina, he’s irritated by his attraction to a woman who concerns herself only with status and appearance.

What Colin doesn’t know is that Georgina’s desperate social aspirations are driven by the shameful secret she harbors. Association with Colin McCrae is not part of Georgina’s plan, but as their paths continue to cross, they both must decide if the realization of their dreams is worth the sacrifices they must make.

Kristi’s Website

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Other Books in this Series:

First one is FREE!

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Questions about Kristi Ann’s Story

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

By far the hardest part of writing An Elegant Façade was that it overlapped part of A Noble Masquerade’s timeline. I tried so many ways to keep from having them overlap, but it simply couldn’t be helped. Too much of Georgina and Colin’s story had to take place after their first meeting and that occurred within A Noble Masquerade, so the books had to overlap. I don’t recommend that method for anyone, but I am in love with the results this time.

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

I learned a lot about different learning disabilities and other conditions such as ADHD and depression. Researching so that Georgina was authentic beyond just her symptoms taught me a lot about how the mind works and why some people’s minds work differently than others. More than once I had to sit back and say, “Seriously? You mean, that isn’t normal?” It’s actually led to us making some changes in our house and we’re considering having me and one of our children go through some testing. Because I’d never struggled with grades I never even considered that my mind could be working differently than “normal”. Writing this book has set me off on a path to learn more about myself and make my life a lot easier.

Which scene (give us the chapter) is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with?

The library scene. I don’t want to say too much about it because it’s near the end of the book in chapters 29 and 30, but I love this scene. It was incredibly difficult to write, partially because it is the scriptural and spiritual heart of the book, but even now after so many workings of it, my eyes get teary when I read it. There’s so much honesty in that scene, from both Georgina and Colin. They’re both so human and relatable.

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Questions about Kristi Ann’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Lori Wick’s Kensington Chronicles series were the first Christian Historicals I ever read. I think they might have even been my introduction to Christian fiction. My roommate in college owned every Lori Wick book ever written and when she noticed I loved the regency time period, she told me I had to read them. I’ve been hooked ever since.

What Christian Historical Novel taught you something about the craft of writing because it was so well done? And tell us a bit about what it taught you.

I’d been seriously pursuing writing for nearly two years when someone recommended Karen Witemeyer’s To Win Her Heart. I hadn’t read any of Karen’s books at this point (I read all of them now. The day they come out, if possible.), but what really struck me was the person recommending them wasn’t a Christian, wasn’t a churchgoer, wasn’t even a devoted “clean” romance reader. She’d just happened upon Karen’s book and loved it because the spiritual elements were so intrinsically woven into the characters that she was able to escape into the pages even though she didn’t share the beliefs. That was the type of fiction I wanted to write. Stories about people who were Christians, written in such a way that a non-believer could enjoy the book and learn a bit about God along the way. I’ve done a lot of studying on the way Karen crafts her characters and tried to incorporate some of those same ideas into my own.

Kristi Ann is giving away a copy of her book (Paperback – US only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

DON’T FORGET TO GET HER FREE PREQUEL NOVELLA FOR THIS SERIES!

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

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Courageous by Dina Sleiman

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Courageous

1219 – Roman Empire

Inspired by the vision of the Young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli. She gladly gives herself to the cause, as she’s haunted by a tragic mistake and no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church, but dreams of protecting the innocent as a knight. Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of young adolescents. When they face political machinations, danger, and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced to reconsider their priorities and the very nature of the God they serve.

Journey’s End by Renee Ryan

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Journey’s End

1901 – New York

Having grown up on the mean streets of nineteenth-century London, Caroline St. James is used to fighting to survive.

So when her beloved mother—abandoned and ignored by her wealthy family—suddenly dies, the scrappy twenty-two-year-old devises a plan to right this terrible wrong. With nothing to lose, she sails to New York to find the man who turned a cold shoulder to her mother’s suffering: Caroline’s grandfather. To settle the family score, Caroline infiltrates her grandfather’s privileged world, hoping to sabotage his business from the inside. But as she sets her plot in motion, she meets Jackson Montgomery, a virtuous man who is struggling to recover from a family scandal of his own. As their friendship grows, and Caroline begins to piece together the motives that led her family to turn its back, she is forced to make a decision: Should she risk everything in the name of justice? Or can she look toward the future and let love and forgiveness guide her instead?

Sarah’s Surrender by Vickie McDonough

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Sarah’s Surrender

1901 – Oklahoma

When Sarah Worley rejects Luke McNeil’s proposal to pursue property in the Oklahoma Territory land lottery in 1901, the ranch hand pulls up stakes and goes after her. But he’s the last person she wants to see. The land lottery gives Sarah the chance to realize her dream of independence and a home of her own. But with it comes challenges she never considered. When her dream becomes a nightmare, she must decide whether to stay on her land or give up and return to the life she left. Luke hopes that by winning a claim, he can give Sarah the home she’s always wanted. How can he prove his love and show the stubborn woman that he’s the right man for her?

Saving The Marquise’s Granddaughter by Carrie Fancett Pagels

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Saving The Marquise’s Granddaughter

1745 – France

In a land fraught with religious strife, they must break the barriers between status and faith to forge a fresh future in a new world… After her Huguenot father is arrested, aristocrat Suzanne Richelieu escapes Versailles. Handsome German peasant, Johan Rousch, risks his life to bring her to the safety of his family’s farm in the Palatinate duchy, but when Suzanne’s brother and the French army arrive with a warning that they plan to burn the area, she and Johan are forced to flee. With no money or options, both become indentured servants in exchange for safe passage to Philadelphia. Suzanne falls gravely ill aboard ship and marries Johan, only to survive with no memory of the wedding—a reality made worse when Johan spots the “priest” who married them working as a surveyor and later in Quaker cleric garb. Are their wedding vows valid? When Suzanne’s former fiancé arrives in port, planning to abduct her, Johan must save her again—but can he do so before Suzanne is lost to him forever?

Honor Redeemed by Christine Johnson

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Honor Redeemed

1852 – Florida

Two years ago, Prosperity Jones waved farewell to her beloved David as the army sent him to faraway Key West. Now with her parents gone, she has but one prospect for the future: make the dangerous journey from Nantucket to Key West to reunite with David and secure a happier life.

But when Prosperity arrives penniless in the South, she is dismayed to find David has not been eagerly awaiting their reunion. In fact, he is married to someone else. Scrambling to survive and nursing a broken heart, Prosperity gains the friendship–and the affection–of a kind doctor. Could he be the answer to her loneliness? Or will her life be upended by circumstance yet again?

Lawman in Disguise by Laurie Kingery

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Lawman in Disguise

1870 – Texas

When her son discovers an injured outlaw in their barn, the mysterious stranger instantly turns widow Daisy Henderson’s world upside down. But Daisy senses Thorn Dawson’s a good man…and there’s more to his story than he can tell her. So she can’t turn him away before he heals, even if she’s falling for him—something she swore she’d never do again after her husband died. 

An undercover lawman, Thorn never lets himself get too close to anyone. But that’s before he meets single mother Daisy and her spirited son. Now Thorn has to protect them from the Griggs gang—a gang that’s come to accept him as one of their own. And if he can’t keep up the charade, the woman of his dreams might just pay the price.

The Nanny Solution by Barbara Phinney

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The Nanny Solution

1882 – Colorado

When heiress Victoria Templeton learns her fortune is gone, she has to move to the Colorado frontier to live with her uncle. But with no money to pay for the trip, she must accept a position as a traveling nanny for a widowed rancher. And, much to the chagrin of the man entrusting his children to her care, she soon finds herself in over her head. 

Mitch MacLeod lives for two things: his ranch and his children. And pampered Victoria isn’t qualified to help with either. But the former socialite has more grit—and determination—than he first thinks. If her uncle has his way, though, Mitch will soon lose his ranch—and any hope of a future with Victoria.