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Love’s Pure Light by Various Authors

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Be transported to unique time periods as you follow a treasured family nativity set through four generations of the Shepherd family.
 
While Shepherds Watch Are Keeping by Susanne Dietze
Massachusetts, 1899
This Christmas, Pastor Seth Shepherd has little to offer his flock of congregants in their time of need until Jessalyn Grant, a mysterious newcomer, comes to his aid.
 
The Wise Guy and the Star by Shannon McNear
Charleston, South Carolina, to Kansas City, Missouri, 1919
While journeying by train, Stella Shepherd befriends war veteran Nat Wise. She helps him find renewed faith in God, but could he also be the answer to the wanderings of her own heart?
 
On Angel Wings by Janine Rosche
Kansas City, Missouri, 1945
Elodie Wise plans a fundraising ball with the help of her friend Benjamin Gabriel. But can she look past the swanky Hollywood headliner to see the man who truly loves her?
 
Making Room at the Inn by Deborah Raney
Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Present Day
Benjie Gabriel thinks the chef’s position she’s just taken at an award-winning bed and breakfast is temporary—just a stepping stone. The B&B’s owner, Trevor Keye, thinks the same. Will five months be long enough for them to figure out that what they’ve each been longing for, praying for, is right beneath their noses?

An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen

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1822 – England

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, joyous songs, and divine hope, work its magic in his heart . . . and hers as well?

A Joyful Christmas by Various Authors

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A Christmas Collection to Warm the Heart

Grab a warm cup of tea and watch as romance is kindled and joy is restored to broken lives during six bygone era Christmas celebrations.
 
A Christmas Castle by Cynthia Hickey
Married by proxy in Missouri, Annie Morgan sets off for Tombstone, Arizona, to join her new husband as a cattle rancher. But too soon she finds herself a widow with an unexpected daughter and butting heads with her handsome neighbor.
 
A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson
Wounded within Confederate territory, Union officer Jedediah Harrington finds refuge at the tiny cabin of Cora Sinclair and her grandfather. Still haunted by what she saw as a battlefield hospital volunteer, Cora finds that only Jed can understand. But, though she longs to give him her heart, the risks to both of them are too great.
 
An Irish Bride for Christmas by Vickie McDonough
When Jackson Lancaster’s brother and wife die, he takes his three-year-old niece home. But a meddling busy-body makes the judge give her custody “because an unmarried man shouldn’t raise a little girl.” Now Jackson has until Christmas to find a bride or lose his niece forever. Larkin Doyle is grateful her employer took in the orphan and believes Jackson abandoned his niece. When her heart says otherwise, will romance blossom? 
 
Under His Wings by Liz Tolsma
Adie O’Connell, orphaned and left alone in a dangerous Wisconsin logging camp, seeks the stability she once knew when both her parents lived. Despite the compassion and friendship offered by Noah “Preacher Man” Mitchell, she refuses to consider marriage to a man always drifting from one job to another for God.
 
Shelter in the Storm by Carrie Turansky
The daughter of a wealthy Tennessee doctor, Rachel Thornton begins nursing James Galloway, a wounded artist-war correspondent. As James recovers, their hearts draw closer together. Having already lost one sweetheart to the war, Rachel is hesitant to reveal her feelings for James, who insists on returning to the front lines. Would she be safer in the arms of another man?
 
Christmas Service by Erica Vetsch
Beth Sorensen has been put in charge of the Christmas pageant at the little log church, and this year she wants something different. But she didn’t count on a Minnesota blizzard paralyzing the whole town. Can the blacksmith teach this preacher’s daughter about what it means to serve one another in love through the storm?

A Heart’s Blessing by Linda Ford

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1887 – Canada

Two wounded hearts. Two children in danger.

Delcie Morton might be young, but she’s old enough to be responsible for her cousin’s orphaned children. To protect them from their evil uncle, she flees west to Willow Creek. As she settles into her new life running a bakery, she finds it difficult to let down her guard.

Ryder Remington has lost everything. His wife and child are dead. His brother has narrowly missed being hung for a murder he didn’t commit. All he wants is to be left alone so he can forget the past. But when he is wrangled into helping at the cafe, he quickly finds himself in too deep with Delcie and her charges.

When the children are snatched, it is as if Ryder’s past is repeating itself. Can he change the future and earn Delcie’s trust? And more… her heart?

Dogwood Plantation by Carrie Fancett Pagels

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1814 – Virginia

When a deadly yellow fever outbreak draws Cornelia Gill back home, her new independent life must be abandoned. Injured veteran, Carter Williams, likewise must return to Dogwood Plantation when he suffers grievous family losses. Both become caretakers to younger family members. As the War of 1812 heats up, two wounded hearts begin to heal. But can they manage all that life has handed them?

Her Only Hope by Julia Ridgmont

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1882 – Oregon

Running from her father’s murderers might keep her safe for a while, but it won’t protect her heart.

Alexandra Carter was supposed to marry Jacob Mahoney. At least, that was what her younger self believed when he worked in her father’s blacksmith shop years ago. At that impressionable age, she could have watched his well-muscled arms perform such manly work for hours. But then he suddenly disappeared and she became her father’s assistant, and in the process, discovered that females could do the work just as well, if not better.

Then, one fateful day, when everything falls apart, the only way Alexandra can escape immediate danger is to disguise herself as a young man–and find Jake. But where did he go? And what will she tell him when she finds him? If he knows that someone is after her, and possibly him, too, will he be willing to put his life on the line?

Jake Mahoney thinks he’s found his niche in the small town of Hope Hollow, Oregon. As the town’s blacksmith, folks trust him to perform quality work in a timely manner–and he’s able to deliver. That is, until a skating accident leaves him incapacitated. When a young apprentice offers his assistance, it seems that fate is smiling on him. But why does he seem so familiar? And what is he hiding?

By the time he discovers the answers to those questions, it might be too late.

Almost a Bride by Jody Hedlund

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1863 – Canada

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.

Among the Pages by Sara R. Turnquist

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1915 – New York

A woman’s choice…is in question.

Brianne is a somewhat naïve college freshman. She becomes disillusioned as her professors and peers challenge many of her long-held beliefs. When she finds a diary that belonged to a distant relative, she hopes it will offer much needed distraction. And she is soon drawn into the story of a passionate woman who seems to whisper from the past.

In 1915’s New York, idealist and primary teacher Margaret struggles with the problems women face at home and in society. She is first timid about speaking her mind, but in time cannot keep her impassioned spirit hidden—not even from the gentleman who teaches in the classroom next door. His concern for her stretches the limits of their friendship, pressing into something more. Caught up in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, she faces down authority figures and others who question her beliefs.

And so, Brianne is whisked along on this journey as Margaret joins the fight for women’s rights, all the while trying to work through her own questions and experiences with modern feminism.

Before long, things spin out of control and she wonders where her newfound relationship fits into everything? Are there any clear answers? Will she land on her feet? Or be forever lost to herself?

The Heart of Courage by Lynne Basham Tagawa

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1753 – Virginia Colony

No one would understand. But he had to obey his conscience.

It’s 1753, and troubling news comes to Russell’s Ridge . . .

Susanna Russell longs to escape her valley home. When war breaks out, she gets her wish to study in fabulous Williamsburg. But she realizes she’s lost something important along the way. Something—and someone.

James Paxton is studying for the ministry. But when violence threatens the valley, his path becomes clouded. What is God’s will for his life? The answer is alarming—and impossible.

Red Hawk spies white surveyors near his home, a harbinger of trouble to come. Shawnee chiefs go to Philadelphia to treat for peace, but the unthinkable happens, and Red Hawk loses all he once held dear. Then he has a strange dream. What can it mean?

War, romance, and gospel truth unite in this remarkable sequel to The Shenandoah Road.

I Love to Tell the Story by Faith Blum

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1936 – Kentucky

Her heart is in the right place…
Bored with her life in Castle Town, Montana, Lillian Sullivan follows her friend’s suggestion and joins the horseback librarian program in rural Kentucky. Not only does she anticipate sharing her love of books, but she also wants to spread the gospel among the mountain people.

However, Willow Hollow presents her with one trouble after another and she struggles to step outside her shyness to share the gospel.

What will it take for Lillian to share her love of the Best Story? Can the power of the gospel overcome the shyness of her own heart?

Heart of a Warrior by Angela K. Couch

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1859 – Oregon Trail

The Man She Fears Is Her Only Chance For Survival . . .

All Christina Astle wants is to reach Oregon before her baby is born, but the wagon train is attacked, and her husband killed, stranding her in a mountain labyrinth. Raised in the East, within civilization’s embrace, survival is not a skill she’s learned. Neither is evading the lone warrior dogging her trail.

Disgusted by the greed and cruelty of men like his white father, Towan has turned to the simpler existence of his mother’s tribal people. He is not prepared for the fiery woman who threatens to upturn his entire life … and his heart.

Piecing It All Together by Leslie Gould

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1840s – Indiana

When Savannah Mast’s fiance dumps her a week before their wedding, she flees California for the safety of her Amish grandmother’s farm near Nappanee, Indiana. She’s not planning on staying long but becomes unexpectedly entangled in the search for a missing Amish girl. She can’t leave–especially not when her childhood friend Tommy Miller is implicated as a suspect.

When Savannah accompanies her grandmother to Plain Patterns, a nearby quilt shop, the owner and local historian, Jane Berger, relates a tale about another woman’s disappearance back in the 1800s that has curious echoes to today.

Inspired by the story, Savannah does all she can to find the Amish girl and clear Tommy’s name. But when her former fiance shows up, begging her to return to California and marry him after all, she must choose between accepting the security of what he has to offer or continuing the complicated legacy of her family’s faith.

The Cry of Her Heart by Ora Smith

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1632 – England

A companion novella to The Pulse of His Soul: The Story of John Lothropp, a Forgotten Forefather

Punished for her choice to leave the Church of England and meet illegally with the secret Separatist community, genteel Penninah Howse is thrown into Clink Prison with little chance of release. To survive prison under the evil of Bishop William Laud’s tyranny, she must evade the advances of a malicious jailer, learn to live with a cruel cellmate, and battle the enemies of hunger, filth, vermin, and self-doubt. When Robert Linnell finally succeeds in buying visitation rights, her old and dear friend not only brings food, he brings hope. Is there a chance he’ll find a way to secure her release? Or will this be her life forever?

The Pulse of His Soul by Ora Smith

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1589 – England

Based on a true story of love and loss, family and faith.

At the height of Separatist suppression and enforced Anglican worship in England, Reverend John Lothropp meets and marries Hannah Howse. The witty, educated vicar’s daughter immediately challenges his decision to put God before a wife. In a world spiraling into hypocrisy, tyranny, and betrayal, Hannah refuses to break from her Anglican roots. But when John comes face-to-face with his deep-seated convictions about religious freedom, he’s forced to make a hard choice—renounce his orders with the Church of England to become an outlawed Separatist or conform and save his marriage, his family, and his life.

Considered one of the most important ministers to follow in the footsteps of the Plymouth Pilgrims, John Lothropp helped plant the seeds of religious freedom in America’s soil and left a legacy of well-known individuals who influenced the nation’s destiny.

Author Interview and Giveaway – A Life Once Dreamed – Rachel Fordham

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Raise your hand if you can’t wait to read the next Rachel Fordham book! With the classic combination of a schoolteacher heroine and doctor hero, this story is sure to be one for the keeper shelf. Welcome back to the Index, Rachel!

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A Life Once Dreamed

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie’s pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves–but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can’t seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Rachel’s Website

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Questions about Rachel’s Story

What inspired this story?

My mom saved a whole stack of papers from when I was in school. One of them was a list of questions I’d answered in Kindergarten. I listed Blossoms in the Dust as my favorite movie. I’m guessing I’d watched it with my mom and felt old and special by picking it. I decided to rewatch this old film that delved into the life of Edna Gladny, orphan rights and illegitimacy. That was the catalyst for writing this story. I’ve always felt bad for people who are labeled when they shouldn’t be and this was a prejudice that many people have forgotten.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

This was the first book I’d written where my characters knew each other before the first scene. I loved being able to start their relationship with chemistry rather than having to build up to it like I had in previous books.

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

A Life Once Dreamed has a lot of serious issues happening in it which I think adds to the quality of this story. In order to add comic relief the characters of Tommy (one of her students) and Minnie (one of her friends) show up and give everyone a good laugh. I enjoyed writing these two outspoken characters that say what they think without a filter!

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

I created a fictional town in the Black Hills because I’d been to the Black Hills and could picture them in my mind. I also felt that it was far enough from the world Agnes left to be a stark contrast. I hope readers enjoy this beautiful setting as much as I enjoyed writing it.

What do you hope readers learn from this story?

I hope readers are entertained and that they happy sigh when the book is done (that’s always my hope when I write a love story). I also hope that readers will close the cover of this book and feel a renewed commitment to never judge others based on things they can’t control. Illegitimacy is not the tragic label today that it once was but there are plenty of other ways we box people in or limit them based on things out of their control. Let’s fight those injustices together!

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Questions about Rachel’s Reading

What Christian Historical Novel did you reread last, and why did you reread it?

I reread Redeeming Love. It’d been such a long time and I wanted to remember how Francine Rivers pulled off tackling such difficult topics with so much grace.

What Christian Historical Novel did you last personally recommend to someone and why did you recommend that one to them? The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin. Not only is it a great novel (excellent actually), but the opening scene is extremely compelling, and I used it as an example for another author of how to start with a bang.

Rachel is giving away a paperback (US entrants only). 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 Time for Healing by Ramona K. Cecil

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1824 – Missouri

Ginny Red Fawn McLain, a Shawnee medicine woman, is thrust back into the world of her birth family twelve years after her abduction. While she eschews the Christianity preached by her birth uncle who found her, Ginny’s heart refuses to shun his friend and fellow Christian minister, Jeremiah Dunbar.

Jeremiah Dunbar is immediately smitten with his friend’s long lost niece. But unless Ginny Red Fawn joins Christ’s fold–something she adamantly resists–any future with the woman he loves is impossible.

Amid an atmosphere of contempt and distrust, dreams and cultures clash. Ginny and Jeremiah are left to wonder whether their burgeoning love has any place in God’s plan.

Katharine’s Arrangement by Blossom Turner

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1865 – Virginia

Marrying him is her only choice to save her family, but Josiah Richardson isn’t at all the man she expected.

Katherine Williams’s family was left destitute when their home was burned to the ground by Yankee soldiers, so the ready solution presented by the prominent Mr. Josiah Richardson seems almost too good to believe. He’ll provide a home, work for her pa, and a new beginning for her family…if only Katherine will accept his proposal. A marriage of convenience is the last thing she wants, but there doesn’t seem to be a better option for her family or herself. Setting aside her dreams of love, Katherine agrees to the arrangement.

The gentleman in Josiah Richardson can no more force his frightened bride into his bed, than he can force her into loving him, so he sets out to gently woo her. He works hard to befriend her, to earn her trust and win her love.

Katherine is pleasantly surprised to find herself drawn to the man she thought she would never love, until an unexpected friendship tears apart all they’ve worked for. Where once the promise of love had budded between Josiah and Katherine, now they wonder what to do with their so-called marriage. Is love strong enough to weave its healing power through two broken hearts?

Rahab, Woman of Jericho

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1406 BC – Middle East

Some biblical scholars maintain that Rahab, the woman who hid Joshua’s two spies, was a harlot or prostitute. So how did she become one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ? Wouldn’t the Father ensure a pure lineage for His Son?

In this historical fiction, author Diana Wallis Taylor offers a beautiful story of intrigue that suggests Rahab was a descendent of Ephraim, one of the ten lost tribes of Israel. With no available Jewish men in her town, she marries Radames, a young Egyptian officer who is the new governor of Jericho. When the Israelites approach Canaan with their army, pharaoh sends word that he is withdrawing his troops. Radames fabricates a story to tell Jericho’s king, but Hammurabi doesn’t believe it…and he has his eye on the beautiful Rahab.

What will happen to Rahab after the lecherous king poisons her husband? How can she save her family from the invading Israelites? God parted the waters of the Jordan River for them—will He likewise provide miracles and blessings to her Ephraimite clan if they can rejoin their people?

Vying for the Viscount by Kristi Ann Hunter

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1817 – England

For Hudson, the newly titled Viscount Stildon, moving to England from India where he was born and raised was already an arduous enough endeavor. When he learns the fate of the racing empire he inherited along with his title depends upon him getting in the good graces of another stable owner, he’s even more at a loss.

The stable at the neighboring estate has been Miss Bianca Snowley’s refuge for years, and when a strange man appears to be stealing the horses, she jumps to their protection without a second thought. Upon learning Hudson is actually the new owner, she can’t help but be intrigued by the area’s newest eligible bachelor.

Any thought of romance is quickly set aside, however, when Hudson proposes they work together to secure suitable spouses for each other. As their friendship grows, Hudson and Bianca begin to reconsider what they truly want in life. But will societal expectations and the weight of their responsibilities keep them from pursuing their true desires?

A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

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1880 – Dakota Territory

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie’s pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves–but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can’t seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Fan-favorite Rachel Fordham brings to life the dusty streets of an 1880s frontier town in this story that affirms where you come from matters far less than where you’re going.

Carolina Homecoming by Heather Blanton

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1860s – South Carolina

Even in the shadows of the Blue Ridge, war will find them.

Widowed by the Civil War, Ruth Grant insists on accompanying her grieving mother-in-law Noemie back to her roots in the beautiful but isolated foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This escape to a place barely touched by war will prove to be anything but peaceful for the two strong-willed women.

Montgomery Boaze is the wealthiest farmer in the upstate. He also happens to be a handsome widower. When distant relative Noemie returns home and butts heads with a mutual enemy, Montgomery appoints himself her and Ruth’s protector. Not such a difficult task since he adores his kin…and finds the beautiful, young widow bewitching.

Together, the three will become entangled in a battle over land, loyalty, and love that has nothing to do with North versus South.

A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero

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1936 – Kentucky

Journey with a horseback librarian into the hidden crevices of Kentucky mountains….

Lena Davis is the daughter her mom never wanted. But she survived. Through stories. Because books didn’t judge. Books weren’t angry she was alive. Books never expected her to be anything but who she was.

As she grows up, her beloved library becomes her true home. So when the library is designated part of President Roosevelt’s Packhorse Library Project, Lena is determined to get the job of bringing books to highlanders, believing she’ll finally be free of her mom forever.

But earning the trust of highlanders is harder than she imagined, and her passion for books might not be enough to free her from her chains.

Rich Beyond Measure: Zlata’s Story by Robin Lee Hatcher

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33 AD – Israel

After losing her parents, husband, and child, Zlata is left dependent upon her in-laws who regard her as nothing more than a servant.

Worse still, she is left with a heart overcome by bitterness.

But then she hears a new teacher speaking. He says that she is blessed although she is poor and in mourning. She thinks this Yeshua might be the madman that her father-in-law, a Pharisee, claims Him to be.

Yet she can’t stop seeking Him out and listening to what He has to say because His words are making her feel whole again. Then her father-in-law threatens to turn her out if she seeks out Yeshua one more time.

Will fear hold her back or will she dare to trust Yeshua by giving God everything she possesses?

In High Cotton by Ane Mulligan

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1929 – Georgia

While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?

The Soldier’s Lady by Various Authors

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Join four adventurous women making their home at Old West forts. Faced with daily challenges—and stubborn men—they bring civility to the frontier.
 
The Colonel’s Daughter by Gabrielle Meyer
Minnesota, 1828—Fort Snelling
Major Nathaniel Ward is tasked with guarding his commanding officer’s daughter, Ally Benson, from the amorous soldiers at Fort Snelling, but he finds the hardest person to keep in line is himself.
 
Frontier of Her Heart by Susanne Dietze
California, 1854—Fort Humboldt
All is fair in love and war, but the contest of wills between fort cook Emily Sweet and Assistant Surgeon Boyd Braxton is all about pride, not romance. . .until they must work together to stop an epidemic.
 
Save the Last Word for Me by Lorna Seilstad
Kansas, 1864—Fort Riley
Determined schoolteacher Adelina Dante believes every man, woman, and child deserves the chance to read and write, but when she approaches Colonel Isaac Scott about why he should allow his illiterate soldiers to attend special classes, she’s the one who gets educated in matters of the heart.
 
Forever Fort Garland by Janette Foreman
Colorado, 1879—Fort Garland
Annie Moreau arrives at Fort Garland to marry her soldier pen pal, Martin, but encounters two surprises—Martin has died in battle and she’s been corresponding with dashing Captain Jefferson Gray all along.

A Heart’s Yearning by Linda Ford

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1887 – Canada

Jenny has a secret dream that she’s nurtured since childhood. It’s a simple dream. She longs to have a family of her own. But Jenny has always been told she’s far too pretty to make a good wife. Her beauty attracts the wrong kind of attention and after an evil man tries to force himself on her she flees west.

Orphaned. Unwanted. Finn has always wanted to belong, but after being taken in by a neighboring family, he learned that the only way to protect himself was to keep his mouth shut and work hard. He stays alone in the mountains with only his mule for company.

When Finn’s long-ago sweetheart dies and leaves her only son in Finn’s custody, he realizes his mountain life is no place for a child. He needs a wife. After an accident, he finds himself being forced to marry the beautiful Jenny. He’s been shackled to a family that didn’t want him once before. What if it happens all over again?

The Black Midnight by Kathleen Y’Barbo

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1889 – England

Two Series of Murders Seem Mysteriously Connected…

Three years before Jack the Ripper began his murderous spree on the streets of London, women were dying in their beds as The Midnight Assassin terrorized the citizens of Austin, Texas. Now, with suspicion falling on Her Majesty’s family and Scotland Yard at a loss as to who the Ripper might be, Queen Victoria summons her great-granddaughter, Alice Anne von Wettin, a former Pinkerton agent who worked the unsolved Austin case, and orders her to discreetly form a team to look into the London matter.

The prospect of a second chance to work with Annie just might entice Isaiah Joplin out of his comfortable life as an Austin lawyer. If his theories are right, they’ll find the The Midnight Assassin and, by default, the Ripper. If they’re wrong, he and Annie are in a bigger mess than the one the feisty female left behind when she departed Austin under cover of darkness three years ago.

Can the unlikely pair find the truth of who is behind the murders before they are drawn into the killer’s deadly game? From Texas to London, the story navigates the fine line between truth and fiction as Annie and Isaiah ultimately find the hunters have become the hunted. 

A Bride’s Journey to the Colorado Territory by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

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1867 – Colorado Territory

She’s running from grief. He’s running from war memories. Can they find love on this dangerous journey west? 

Cornelia’s parents send her to America hoping to heal her heart. Accompanied by her protective brother, they’ll travel by covered wagon to the Colorado Territory to search for gold. When Cornelia meets a man who seems as troubled as the friend she lost, it seems she might be given a second chance to save someone before it’s too late.

Jake, once a prisoner of the Union Army, leaves Tennessee in disgrace. He wants nothing more than to find enough gold to start a new life. The last thing he wants is to fall in love.

Can the feisty Cornelia make him leave his past behind?

As the wagon train brings them together, will they look beyond past promises and old pain and discover treasure worth more than gold?

The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

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1814 – England

He only wanted a duchess for a day–but she’s determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she’s meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life–as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She’s determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society–the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she’d remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

Hope in Cripple Creek by Sara Turnquist

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1890s – Colorado

Tragedy strikes Katherine Matthews and the small town of Cripple Creek, Colorado. An epidemic teams her with an old enemy, Wyatt Sullivan, the town’s doctor. In the midst of desperation and death, Katherine has decisions to make. But she has no idea to what extent they will affect her daily life and livelihood.

The town is turned upside-down when the gold miners go on strike. The owners bring in outside reinforcements, ready to break the resolve of the Western Federation of Miners. Everything in an upheaval, Katherine faces a crisis of faith and hard choices. Will life ever be normal again?

A Blessing to Cherish by Lauraine Snelling

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1913 – North Dakota

Though she has known hardships in her life, Ingeborg Bjorklund chooses to focus on all she has been given. Blessed with children and grandchildren, she enjoys the friendship and support of the entire Blessing, North Dakota, community. And after several years of widowhood, she has reached a place of contentment with her life.

Meanwhile, her stepson Thorliff is raising two children alone since his beloved Elizabeth died. But there is a new schoolteacher in town, Louisa Gutenburg, and Thorliff doesn’t seem to be himself whenever she’s around. It isn’t just his obvious fascination with Louisa, but the fact that he seems completely oblivious to it that makes Ingeborg smile. How long before Thorliff realizes what everyone else can see a mile away?

But not everything is comfortable for Ingeborg. One of her dearest friendships is changing–and she will have to decide if her settled, predictable life is worth more to her than a future she hardly dares to imagine.

Author Interview and Giveaway – Set The Stars Alight – Amanda Dykes

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Lost ships, a hidden tale, and mysterious ruins on the East Sussex Coast… Set the Stars Alight is a split-time story set in both present day and Regency England that will waft readers into the mists of another time. Welcome to the Index, Amanda!

Set the Stars Alight

Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

Amanda’s Website

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Questions about Amanda’s Story

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

One underlying foundational element of this book is stories about true, amazing things. An underground city, a house hidden beneath a grand opera house staircase—all true! It was such a joy to get to collect those stories along the way.

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

Ooh, it’s a toss-up between Frederick and Dash. Each one carries his own wounds, each one finds redemption in different ways, each one embodies the theme of sacrifice and friendship.

If you could be one of your characters, who would you choose to be and why?

I wish I had some of Clara’s panache in the kitchen! She can whip up a service of tea and scones whose warm fresh-baked scent wafts down the country lane…it makes me hungry just to think about! I’m not a whiz in the kitchen, so it’s fun for me to write a character who is. 🙂

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

Give us a reason to look forward to it. I believe it is chapter 38—and it has to do with something called “Skylarking”, something sailors used to do aboard ships with the rigging. It was one of the first scenes I envisioned, and it’s one of the last scenes in the book—so it helped me dig to find out what the story behind the scene was. It still makes me a little giddy and smiley to think of it!

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Questions about Amanda’s Reading

What Christian Historical Novel taught you something about the craft of writing because it was so well done?

The character development and emotional pull of Joanne Bischof’s The Lady and the Lionheart will always be so inspiring to me!

Which character in a Christian Historical Novel do you wish you could spend time with in the real world and why?

I wish I could spend time with Silas and Eden from Laura Frantz’s Love’s Reckoning. They are just two characters, so tenderly wrought, that have always stuck with me. Laura is a master!

What was a Christian Historical Novel that you read that taught you something you didn’t know?

I loved learning about the White Rose society in Amanda Barratt’s newly-released The White Rose Resists, and I also loved learning about Christopher Wren’s architectural endeavors to rebuild churches in London following WWII. Both such fascinating and inspiring histories!

Amanda is giving away a paperback copy (U.S. Residents 18 or older). 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 Peasant’s Dream by Melanie Dickerson

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Medieval – Germany

In this reverse Cinderella story, a poor farmer’s son, who dreams of using his talent as a woodcarver to make a better life for himself, falls in love with a duke’s daughter and must fight for a chance to win her heart.

Adela is the youngest daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Hagenheim and is never allowed outside of the castle walls. She loves her family, but she sneaks away one day to the market in the town center. There she meets a handsome young man and wonders what it might be like to fall in love with a poor farmer with a kind heart instead of marrying the man her family is suggesting for her.

Frederick earns the income for his family and defends his mother from his father’s drunken rages. He also uses his talent and creativity to carve figures, animals, and scenes into wood, and he’s asked to carve these scenes into cathedral doors when his talent is noticed. Frederick is inspired by the sweet and beautiful Adela, but he has no knowledge of her true identity. When he gets swept up into a plan to kidnap the duke’s daughter, both are shaken by what they learn about the other.

With the heartbroken Adela resigned to an arranged marriage with her noble suitor, Frederick must decide what he’s willing to risk for love.

The Slaves of Autumn by Mark E. Fisher

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408 – Ireland

In A.D. 408, an Irish king desperate to save his clan raids the Welsh coast for slaves and plunder. But when he steals Anwyn across the sea, a Roman patrician’s son embarks on an impossible quest to bring her back.

Macrath will do anything to save his clan, a people cursed after the red wolf appeared to him three years ago. When he returns from a disastrous raid, he pleads with Athairne, an outcast druid, for help. Athairne receives a vision from the Great Light that conflicts with one from Dagda, the traditional god of their Celtic people. But Macrath rejects the vision. He breaks an age-old taboo. He raids the shores of distant Britannia.

Anwyn’s a spunky lass looking forward to her marriage with Quintus, a Roman patrician’s son. But when the men of her family’s Welsh villa leave to seek help from the departing Roman legions, Macrath’s raiders steal her into slavery across the sea. Gradually, as Macrath shows her kindness and she realizes she’ll never see home again, she develops feelings for her captor.

When a distraught Quintus discovers his love has been stolen, he sets sail with men and weapons. He’s a skilled swordsman, but no one has ever returned from Hibernia, a wild and untamed land ruled by treacherous druids, powerful kings, and warring clans. They live and they die by the sword. They kill or enslave foreigners. And they sacrifice to pagan gods. Yet he vows to bring her back.

From the shadows comes the red wolf. Half again as large as any earthly carnivore, is it a supernatural creature as some claim? Macrath blames it for cursing his clan. Having tasted the blood of men, it now stalks both Macrath and Quintus.

Against such obstacles, how can Quintus ever find his betrothed? Even then, will he have to win her back? Will the Great Light save Macrath’s clan? Or will the red wolf undo everything?

The Slaves Of Autumn is not only a love story set in history, but a tense action adventure, an epic saga that will transport the reader from wealthy Roman villas to the thatch-roofed villages of ancient Celtic Ireland, and its world of deceitful druids, sword-wielding warriors, powerful kings, and early Christians.

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

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1810s/Present Day – England

Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

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