The Boden Birthright by Mary Connealy

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bodenbirthrightThe Boden Birthright

New Mexico

After the death of his wife, prosperous businessman Chance Boden heads west along the Santa Fe Trail with his son to escape the powerful, controlling hands of his in-laws. He has plans to establish his own ranch, but instead he finds work with Frank Chastain, owner of a vast amount of land.

Chance doesn’t want to work for anyone, but Frank’s beautiful daughter gives him reason to delay buying his own holdings. With winter coming, no home in which to live, and Veronica’s offer to care for young Cole while Chance learns the ways of successful ranching in the desert, Chance has little choice but to accept the Chastains’ offer to stay on.

When Frank is attacked, his dying wish is that Chance marry his daughter, but after dealing with his in-laws, Chance isn’t going to let anyone come between him and his son. Then Frank’s precarious hold on the land he received as part of an old Spanish Land Grant forces Frank to make a desperate choice to save Veronica’s inheritance–and also gives the men who attacked Frank reason to come after him.

Through the Shadows by Karen Barnett

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Through the ShadowsThrough the Shadows

1908 – California

The devastating earthquake is just two years past, but the city of San Francisco is still trying to recover. Destruction of this magnitude is not so easy to overcome-and neither are the past regrets shadowing Elizabeth King’s hopeful future.

Hoping to right her wrongs, Elizabeth dedicates herself to helping girls rescued from slavery in Chinatown brothels, even if it means putting her own life at risk to sneak through the gloomy alleys and rooftops where dangers lurk.

Putting her life on the line for a worthy cause is admirable. But opening her heart is even more terrifying. So when Elizabeth meets attorney, Charles McKinley—a man who dreams of reforming San Francisco’s crooked politics—Elizabeth begins to doubt: Can she maintain her pretense and hide her past? Or will her secret jeopardize both their futures?

INSPY Award Finalists – 2016

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 The Thorn Bearer by Pepper D. Basham

A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter

Love’s Rescue by Christine Johnson

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton

Not by Sight by Kate Breslin

The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

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Christy Award Finalists – 2016

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Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander

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God’s Will by Meghan M. Gorecki

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God’s Willgodswill

1930s – Illinois

Kathy Andrews is good at goodbyes. Her mother is sent to a sanatorium, her sister, left behind in Chicago, and her father, forced to roam looking for work. So she holds close to the only one she has left, her brother Danny. When the two go to live with the Marshalls in the sleepy town of Brighton, she doesn’t let anyone past hello. Elliott Russell frowns at his aunt and uncle’s generosity–even though he and his sister are on the receiving end. He frowns, too, at the uppity city girl with a chip on her shoulder whom he can’t get out of his head. When a tragedy rips apart what tenuous existence they manage to forge, will they find the sweetest place to be is in God’s will–or will they turn their backs on faith that fails to protect against pain?

No Neutral Ground by Terri Wangard

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noneutralgroundNo Neutral Ground

1943 – Sweden

Germany rejected him. America took him in. Now he’s back, at war with his homeland and his father, who turned his back.

After his father divorces his mother because of her Jewish ancestry, Rafe and the rest of his family leave Germany. As a B-17 navigator, he returns to Europe. On the ocean voyage, he meets Jennie, an artist journeying to Sweden to work with the OSS.

Sweden may be neutral, but its full of intrigue. When Rafe’s damaged bomber lands in Sweden, he teams with Jennie in the effort to gain intelligence and frustrate the Germans.

Along the way, he overcomes his anger and forgives his father’s betrayal.

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Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin

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1940s – Massachusetts

Nothing slows Lillian Avery down–not her personal challenges and certainly not America’s entry into World War II. She finally has a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The demands of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy–even if he is her brother’s best friend.

During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves–and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions Lillian has been filling?

As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question. But can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Mail Order Surprise by Lucy Thompson

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1881 – Colorado

Lydia Walsh is on the run. The quiet rancher she marries and expected to find safety and protection with turns out to have three siblings, next to nothing to live on, and is a crack shot who may or may not be one of the states best cattle rustlers.
Beau Harding wants to keep his family together and do the right thing by them. His mail order bride comes with her own set of baggage: two more mouths to feed and empty hearts begging him to fill. The job he took for some quick money gets him thrown in jail for rustling, and then to clear his name he takes on another job–and learns that his wife may have been the one plotting his family’s downfall all along.

A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton

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A Flight of Arrowsaflightofarrows

1777 – New York and Canadian Territory

Twenty years past, in 1757, a young Redcoat, Reginald Aubrey stole a newborn boy—the lighter-skinned of Oneida twins— during the devastating fall of Fort William Henry and raised him as his own.
 
No one connected to Reginald escaped unscathed from this crime. Not his adopted daughter Anna. Not Stone Thrower, the Native American father determined to get his son back. Not Two Hawks, William’s twin brother separated since birth, living in the shadow of his absence and hoping to build a future with Anna. Nor Lydia, who longs for Reginald to be free from his self-imposed emotional prison and embrace God’s forgiveness— and her love.
 
Now William, whose identity has been shattered after discovering the truth of his birth, hides in the ranks of an increasingly aggressive British army. The Redcoats prepare to attack frontier New York and the Continentals, aided by Oneida warriors including Two Hawks, rally to defend it. As the Revolutionary War penetrates the Mohawk Valley, two families separated by culture, united by love and faith, must find a way to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

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The Magnolia Duchess by Beth White

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magnoliaduchessThe Magnolia Duchess

1814 -Alabama

As the War of 1812 rages across the newly formed United States, another war rages in Fiona Lanier’s heart–one that threatens to tear her family apart.

Fiona can scarcely take in the news of her brother’s capture and imprisonment by the British Navy. It is almost as unbelievable as the half-drowned British sailor who is washed ashore on the beach of Navy Cove.

Charlie Kincaid claims to have no memory of his life before being discovered by Fiona, but in a world that seems saturated with treachery, she cannot be sure he is telling the truth.
As Charlie’s memory returns in agonizing jags and crashes, he and Fiona discover that falling in love may be as inevitable as the tide. But when political allegiances collide, they’ll each have to decide where their true loyalty lies.

Rumors and Promises by Kathleen Rouser

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1900 – Michigan

Sophie Biddle, an heiress on the run with a child in tow, considers herself abandoned by her family and God. Wary, self-reliant Sophie is caught off guard when meeting a kind, but meddling and handsome minister at the local mercantile.

Reverend Ian McCormick is determined to start anew in Stone Creek, Michigan, believing he has failed God and his former flock. He works harder than ever to forget his mistake, hoping to prove himself a most pleasing servant to his new congregation and once again to God.

While Sophie seeks acceptance for the child and a measure of respect for herself, the rumors swirl about her sordid past. Should Ian show concern for Sophie’s plight, he could risk everything – including his position as pastor of Stone Creek.

Now the pair must choose to trust God and forgive those who slander and gossip, or run. Will the scandals of their pasts bind them together forever, or drive both deeper into despair?

Stitching a Life in Persimmon Hollow by Gerri Bauer

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Stitching a Life in Persimmon Hollowpersimmonhollow

1888 – Florida

In At Home in Persimmon Hollow, readers’ hearts were captured by Agnes Foster as she built a new life for herself in a very special frontier town amid the Florida wilderness—and found love along the way. Now, in the second novel of the Persimmon Hollow Legacy series, we meet starry-eyed seamstress Josefa Gomez.

Living with her aunt and uncle, the housekeeper and caretaker at Agnes and Seth’s Taylor Grove compound, Josefa longs for the glamorous life of a fashion designer far beyond her small town. But her dreams of designing exquisite gowns for rich women in Paris and New York alarm her Tia Lupita, who fears that Josefa’s ambitions are unrealistic for a girl of her station. In late 19th century America, a Mexican woman’s best prospect may well be a suitable marriage and a position in the household of a kind employer. When Lupita announces a plan for Josefa to move away from Persimmon Hollow to live with distant relatives in Texas and prepare for an arranged marriage, the headstrong beauty knows she has to make an audacious choice.

Will Josefa follow her dreams of glamor or submit to her aunt’s plans for stability and security? Can she find a way to use her gifts in a truly productive way? And when a choice arises between two suitors, will she choose a rich man who could give her all the outward trappings she desires, or a quiet carpenter who has fewer material goods—but a bigger heart?

Tainted by Morgan Busse

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Steampunk

What Happens When Your Soul Dies?

Kat Bloodmayne is one of the first women chosen to attend the Tower Academy of Sciences. But she carries a secret: she can twist the natural laws of science. She has no idea where this ability came from, only that every time she loses control and unleashes this power, it kills a part of her soul. If she doesn’t find a cure soon, her soul will die and she will become something else entirely.

After a devastating personal loss, Stephen Grey leaves the World City Police Force to become a bounty hunter. He believes in justice and will stop at nothing to ensure criminals are caught and locked up. However, when Kat Bloodmayne shows up in his office seeking his help, his world is turned upside down.

Together they search World City and beyond for a doctor who can cure Kat. But what they discover on the way goes beyond science and into the dark sphere of magic.

The Sound of Emeralds by Rachelle Rea

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soundofemeraldsThe Sound of Emeralds

1567 – England

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

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