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Wagon Train Matchmaker by Linda Ford

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1848 – New Mexico

Mary Mae Clark has learned the hard way not to trust what a man says. Broken promises have made her wary and now she only wants to return to Santa Fe to help her friend Sophia keep her wee son.

Warren Russell has been freighting on the Trail for four years. He likes it that way. No ties. No family. No love. He doesn’t deserve it after his neglect of his wife and small son resulted in their deaths.

But the accidental death of his best friend on the trail leaves Warren as guardian to the man’s ten-year-old niece, Polly. He gratefully accepts Mary Mae’s help with the child but only while they are on the trail. Then he and Polly will move on. Only Polly has other ideas. Matchmaking ideas…

Can Polly match Mary Mae and Warren in time for her to have a family for Christmas?

The Sound of Distant Thunder by Jan Drexler

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1862 – Ohio

Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents’ insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother’s name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother’s place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.

Flame in the Night by Heather Munn

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1942 – France

In occupied France, a teen is torn between hate and love
Julien Losier has just turned eighteen. But this is Vichy France in 1942, and his coming of age is marred by the Nazi occupation of his homeland. His father has always taught him that evil is resisted by the power of God, not by the gun. But when the roundups of Jews begin and both his best friend and the girl he’s falling for become targets, Julien must question where real power lies. Can he be a man who protects the people he loves if he follows his father’s ways of peace?

His hometown is a fragile fortress where hundreds of Jewish youth hide in plain sight, protected only by the goodwill of their neighbors. Julien takes part in the intricate system of sentries and alert codes that keep them safe, doing what he can to resist the Nazis. As the Germans close in, he can see the moment coming when all the town’s careful defenses will fail. He’s torn between the faith of his father and his increasing surety that fighting violence with violence is the only way to win. How can the meek inherit the earth when the strong hold all the cards?

Now the young Jewish woman who has captured his heart comes under deadly threat, and there are no good choices. But for Elise, there’s nothing Julien won’t risk.

Based on actual events in Vichy France, Flame in the Night is a powerful examination of the strength of faith and peaceful resistance in the face of overwhelming odds.

Christmas Stitches

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Return to Christmases of yesteryear with three women who use their sewing talents to succeed in the late 1800s. But can love also be stitched into their lives?
 
A SEAMLESS LOVE by Judith Miller
1888 – Pullman, Illinois
Hannah Cooper possesses a special talent for embroidered fancywork and design which secures her a position in the Dressmaking and Millinery Shop in the Pullman Arcade near Chicago. There she encounters childhood friend Daniel Price who is disappointed to learn Hannah is being courted by a Chicago businessman. With two men vying for her attention, will Hannah seek God’s direction or ignore the warning signs He sets before her?
 
PIN’S PROMISE by Nancy Moser
1906 – Summerfield, England
Penelope (Pin) Billings and Jonathan Evers have loved each other since they were children, promising to one day get officially engaged. Both have distinct talents: Pin for sewing dresses and teaching others to sew, and Jonathan—a doctor right out of school—for helping the people of the village. As they become adults and the time to fulfill their promise seems right, a tragic event pulls them apart, making both question their future. Will they discover they are stronger together than apart?
 
MENDED HEARTS by Stephanie Grace Whitson
1890 – Nebraska
Rachel Ellsworth has always been encouraged to pursue her passion for art. She looks forward to taking the Grand Tour on her honeymoon and experiencing the great museums of Europe. But when tragedy strikes, Rachel’s plans are put on hold and she is forced to stay with two maiden aunts in a small Nebraska town where the most exciting things that ever happen are quilting bees and the county fair. Rachel expects her stay in Lost Creek to be temporary—until a letter from home changes everything. How can a budding artist who loves the big city expect to find happiness in the middle of nowhere? 

The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear

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1794 – Kentucky

Thomas Bledsoe and Kate Gruener are traveling the Wilderness Road when conflicts between natives and settlers reach a peak that will require each of them to tap into a well of courage.

In 1794, when Kate Gruener’s father is ready to move the family farther west into the wilderness to farm untouched land, Kate is eager to live out her own story of adventure like she did during the War for Independence and to see untamed lands. And she sets her sights on learning more about their scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Thomas’s job is to get settlers safely across the Kentucky Wilderness Road to their destination while keeping an ear open for news of Shawnee unrest. But naïve Kate’s inquisitive nature could put them both in the middle of a rising tide of conflict. Is there more to Thomas’s story than he is willing to tell? Is there an untapped courage in Kate that can thwart a coming disaster?

Freedom’s Light by Colleen Coble

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1776 – Massachusetts

A young lighthouse keeper must navigate the dangerous waters of revolution and one man’s obsession with her to find safe harbor with the sea captain she loves. 

Hannah Thomas believes she’s escaped Galen Wright’s evil intentions by marrying an older lighthouse keeper. Seemingly safe in faraway Massachusetts, her world is upended when John is killed in one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Hannah is allowed to continue the difficult task of tending the twin lighthouses in John’s place, though she faces daily disapproval from John’s family. She thinks her loneliness will subside when her younger sister arrives, but she finds Lydia’s obsession with Galen only escalates the dangerous tides swirling around her.

A stormy night brings a shipwrecked sea captain to Hannah’s door, and though he is a Tory, her heart is as traitorous as the dark-eyed captain. Even though she discovers Birch Meredith isn’t the enemy he seemed at first, Hannah isn’t sure their love will ever see the light of freedom.

Never Past Hope by Janine Mendenhall

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1795 – England

Miss Mary Hope Adsley always considered herself to be the sensible one. But now, her sensibilities are unraveling around a man she thought she knew. After he attempted to marry her best friend—for money, no less—authorities charge Sir Steven Likebridge with masquerading as a gentleman and abduction. With his execution days away, Mary Hope desperately seeks to learn the truth about the man she loves.

Will the truth turn out to be worse than his lies?

The Captain’s Conquest by Susan Baganz

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1814 – Scotland

Captain Jared Allendale is weary of war, but Wellington gives him one final assignment before he is free of his obligation to the Crown: retrieve a package in Scotland and return it safely to London. Easy assignment for a man who’s been an aide-de-camp for the past several years—until the package turns out to be Lucy Cameron, daughter of the Duke of Diamond. Lord Diamonte was banished to France for his treasonous acts. As Jared fights old demons, the dangerous journey south begins. The spectre of death hovers over them as Lord Diamonte’s minions hunt Lucy and Jared. It will take love, gifts and their faith in God to help them overcome the evil that looms. Can Jared deliver his without either of them losing their lives…and their hearts?

 

Author Interview & Giveaway – Hidden Among the Stars – Melanie Dobson

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Hidden Among the Stars

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan―even their very lives―in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Melanie’s Website

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Questions about Melanie’s Story

What inspired your story?

A castle in Austria! My husband and I backpacked across Europe to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, and our favorite stop was the ancient town and alpine lake called Hallstatt. Along the lakeshore was a medieval castle that captured my attention, but it took me years to uncover its story.

On this trip, we discovered that this Austrian region is often called “Devil’s Dustbin” because the Nazis retreated through these Alps near the end of World War II, throwing all sorts of valuable items in the lakes. Because of the water’s depth and the many hiding places in the underwater forests, caves, and shifting sands, people continue searching for World War II artifacts here today.

Which scene is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with? 

The first chapter with Max Dornbach digging in the cemetery was my favorite scene to write. Annika, the girl who helps care for the Dornbach property, is watching her friend Max as he digs in this plot behind his family’s estate, and the first paragraph hints at the future for her character. Then the scene transitions into her longing to be loved by him.

I loved writing this chapter, because I wanted readers to hear Annika’s heart and see Max from her point of view. Also, I wanted readers to wonder what Max is burying in the cemetery.

Were there any historical facts that you discovered in your research that made you change something in your story?

A historical fact that I uncovered completely changed the direction in the second half of the story. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what it is because this unusual fact is pivotal to my contemporary character finding resolution to the almost eighty-year-old mystery in the book. 🙂

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Questions about Melanie’s Reading

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

Cathy Gohlke’s Secrets She Kept and Kristy Cambron’s The Lost Castle are both fascinating time-slip novels with stories set partially during World War II.

Julie

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Catherine Marshall’s Julie compelled me to read and then write inspirational historical fiction. I empathized with the main character (a young writer) and was inspired by the powerful themes of faith and love in the story.

solaceofwater

Which was the last Christian Historical Novel you read, and what was your favorite thing about it?

I just finished reading The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts. It’s a beautifully-written story about three women, set during the 1950s in Pennsylvania’s Amish country. Elizabeth is a gifted wordsmith and invites readers into her fictional world in such a way that you feel deeply for the characters and their heartache, hoping they will find healing for their pain.

Melanie is giving away a paperback copy (USA only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more chances to win a paperback, Melanie is giving away ten on her website here. And there is a Goodreads giveaway from 9/4 – 10/4.

Magnolia Summer by Melanie Dickerson

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1880 – Alabama

Truett’s hometown needed a doctor, so after finishing medical school, he returned to Bethel Springs. Fighting a secret war with a corrupt lawman wasn’t in his plans, but Sheriff Suggs thinks he’s above the law and can lynch anyone who crosses him. When Suggs threatens his childhood friend, Truett dons a cape and hood and rescues him—placing “the Hooded Horseman” in Sheriff Suggs’s crosshairs.

Celia Wilcox arrives in Bethel Springs, Alabama, in June of 1880. She’s come from Nashville to help her sister care for their younger siblings. She hopes only to be on the small farm for the summer, just until her mother recovers from the shock of Celia’s father’s death. She must return to Nashville to fulfill her dream of opening her own dress shop, especially now, to provide for her family.

The lovely Celia catches Truett’s eye, and he finds himself wanting to impress her. But she flatly refuses to flirt with him or to fall for his—if he does say so himself—considerable charm.

Celia’s growing attraction to the young Dr. Beverly terrifies her, and even if she could marry him, which she cannot, what will happen when Sheriff Suggs discovers Truett is the Hooded Horseman? Will Celia be able to prevent the sheriff from carrying out one last lynching?

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson

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1938/Present Day – Austria

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

 

An Hour Unspent by Roseanna White

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1915 – England

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge–and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger–and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.

A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund

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1395 – Wales

A desperate noblewoman, a rebellious peasant, and a forbidden love.

While fleeing an arranged betrothal to a heartless lord, Lady Isabelle becomes injured and lost. Rescued by a young peasant man, she hides her identity as a noblewoman for fear of reprisal from the peasants who are bitter and angry toward the nobility.

Cole Warwick cannot turn his back on a person in need and soon finds himself falling for Izzy, the gentle and beautiful runaway who is mending in his cottage. As the leader of an imminent uprising against the nobility, he tries to resist his growing feelings for Izzy to protect her from the dangerous life he’s chosen. But the longer she stays, the more he hopes she’ll never leave.

When Izzy’s true identity is revealed, Cole feels betrayed. With the rebellion underway, can Cole forgive Izzy and find a way to save her from an unhappy marriage? Or will he and his peasant army be destroyed before he has the chance to fight for the people and the woman he loves?

Everything She Didn’t Say by Jane Kirkpatrick

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1870s-1920s – Several States

In 1911, Carrie Strahorn wrote a memoir entitled Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage, which shared some of the most exciting events of 25 years of traveling and shaping the American West with her husband, Robert Strahorn, a railroad promoter, investor, and writer. That is all fact. Everything She Didn’t Say imagines Carrie nearly ten years later as she decides to write down what was really on her mind during those adventurous nomadic years.

Certain that her husband will not read it, and in fact that it will only be found after her death, Carrie is finally willing to explore the lessons she learned along the way, including the danger a woman faces of losing herself within a relationship with a strong-willed man and the courage it takes to accept her own God-given worth apart from him. Carrie discovers that wealth doesn’t insulate a soul from pain and disappointment, family is essential, pioneering is a challenge, and western landscapes are both demanding and nourishing. Most of all, she discovers that home can be found, even in a rootless life.

With a deft hand, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick draws out the emotions of living–the laughter and pain, the love and loss–to give readers a window not only into the past, but into their own conflicted hearts. Based on a true story.

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