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The Healer’s Touch: Tikva’s Story by Connilyn Cossette

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28 – Israel

When Jewish sailor’s wife Tikva received word, more than a decade ago, of a family tragedy, the shock of the news sent her into premature labor, and she delivered a stillborn son. From that time until this, despite chasing after a multitude of healers’ promises and spending all she had on torturous treatments, she hasn’t been able to stop the resulting hemorrhaging. The doctor she saw today, like all the others, had given her lofty promises of a cure but turned out to be yet another charlatan. Defeated, Tikva returns home to her aged mother-in-law, who has heard tell of a miracle-working Rabbi visiting their province. Does Tikva dare hold out one last hope for healing?

The Matchmaker’s Rogue by Regina Scott

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1804 – England

Grace-by-the-Sea: Where romance and adventure come home.

Polished Jesslyn Chance has one of the most enviable positions in the little Regency coastal village of Grace-by-the-Sea. She is the hostess of the spa, arranging introductions and entertainments and playing matchmaker to the ladies and gentlemen who come to take the waters, promenade through the shops, and dance at the assembly. But when a rogue returns from her past, Jess finds herself suddenly at sea.

Always an adventurer, Larkin Denby left Grace-by-the-Sea to right the wrongful death of his father. Now he’s back on a mission: to identify the mysterious Lord of the Smugglers who allegedly sails from Grace Cove and takes England’s secrets to France. But Grace-by-the-Sea is the perfect little spa town, run by the still oh-so-perfect Jesslyn Chance. When the village’s future is threatened, Jess must work with Lark to solve the mystery and protect the town’s own. In doing so, the matchmaker of Grace-by-the-Sea may just find that the best match for her is the rogue who stole her heart years ago.

Author Interview and Giveaway – An Uncommon Woman – Laura Frantz

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Uncommon danger calls for heroes and heroines to step up with uncommon courage, and Laura Frantz’s newest novel delivers both. Laura is visiting today to answer questions about her work and some of her favorite fiction reads. Welcome, Laura!

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An Uncommon Woman

Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa’s long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand–and heart–are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

Laura’s WebsiteLaura Frantz Author Photo (003)

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Questions about Laura’s Story

What inspired this story?

Reading Indian captivity narratives over the centuries, particularly the women. Mary Ingles, Jemima Boone, and other female captives are truly remarkable and reveal much about our history and the frontier American spirit.

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Using the Lenape language or any tribal language is always a challenge. Also, incorporating these languages in a respectful way that today’s reader can understand is challenging. Even a few words enriches the story and adds realism.

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

Keturah Braam, the Dutch Indian captive and childhood friend of heroine Tessa Swan. So much to admire in this character who not only survived but thrived along the thorny path life took her.

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Questions about Laura’s Reading

lovespursuit

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

I recently re-read Siri Mitchell’s Love’s Pursuit because it is beautifully written and defies the usual happily-ever-after ending. A brilliant book with memorable characters and a remarkable spiritual message. Plus, the cover is one of my favorites ten years later.

themusiciansquest

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

Robert Falconer, one of George MacDonald’s fictitious heroes. He is an incredible model of Christ in action on earth in bodily form, being the hands and feet of Jesus. MacDonald’s revised novels by Michael Phillips and Bethany House are my favorite reads.

Laura is giving away a paperback copy of An Uncommon Woman, US entrants only. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Double Jeopardy by Donna Schlachter

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1880 – Colorado

Mining, murder—and a mock marriage?

New York City socialite Becky Campbell inherited more than a speck of her father’s wanderlust. Now his murder bequeaths her a mystery, a ramshackle homestead, and a silver mine.

Zeke Graumann signs on as Becky’s foreman to keep his portion of his family’s ranch. He shares the workers’ reservations about a woman boss, especially one who burns water and prances around in dungarees. Even though she did look awful good in the dungarees.

Then a series of accidents add threat to tension. Can Becky trust Zeke, find her father’s killer, and turn her mine into a profitable venture? Will Zeke be forced to give up his ranching dream to win Becky’s heart?

On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White

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1918 – England

All of England thinks Phillip Camden a monster–a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But as nurse Arabelle Denler watches the so-dubbed “Black Heart” every day, she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their paths twist together and he declares himself her new protector, she realizes she has her own role to play in his healing.

Phillip Camden would have preferred to die that day with his squadron rather than be recruited to the Admiralty’s codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved. What comes as a shock is the reborn desire to truly live that Arabelle inspires in him.

But when an old acquaintance shows up and seems set on using him in a plot that has the codebreakers of Room 40 in a frenzy, new affections are put to the test.

The Duke’s Refuge by Lorri Dudley

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1814 – British West Indies

When love comes in a tempest, who knew it would wear pink?

Georgia Lennox has traded in her boyish ways for pink gowns and a coy smile to capture the eye of the Earl of Claremont. However, on the day she’s convinced the earl will propose, Georgia is shipped off to the Leeward Islands to care for her ailing father. But when she arrives on Nevis, the last thing she expects is to learn that her abrupt departure was not at her father’s bidding but that of the infuriating, yet captivating, island schoolmaster. And now her plans may well be shipwrecked.

Harrison Wells is haunted by the memories of his deceased wife and hunted by the subsequent women who aspire to be the next Duchess of Linton. Desiring anonymity, he finds sanctuary in the Leeward island of Nevis. He’s willing to sacrifice his ducal title for a schoolmaster’s life and the solace the island provides. That is until unrest finds its way to Nevis in a storm of pink chiffon—Miss Georgia Lennox.

As Georgia and Harrison’s aspirations break apart like a ship cast upon the rocks, a new love surfaces, but secrets and circumstances drag them into rough waters. Can they surrender their hearts to a love that defies their expectations?

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

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1770 – Frontier Virginia

Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa’s long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand–and heart–are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

Forever Hidden by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

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1904 – Alaska

For Havyn Powell, growing up on her grandfather Chuck Bondrant’s dairy outside the 1904 gold-rush boomtown of Nome, Alaska, offered all she needed. She had the love of her mother, two sisters, and grandfather. But now, at 23, Havyn realizes the stability of her life may soon vanish. Havyn is determined to find a way to keep the family together, but her grandfather’s health is declining and everyone seems to be holding secrets from each other, including the handsome, dark-haired stranger who recently arrived.

John Roselli arrives in Nome looking for a steady, consistent job. He has grown tired of the promises of getting rich quick and just wants an honest job with honest pay. His grandfather once knew a Chuck Bondrant, and so when John arrives at the dairy, he’s quickly offered a job–and a path to more if he wants it.

Havyn’s plan for helping out the family means using her beautiful singing voice and her sisters’ musical talent at a local roadhouse. They’re an immediate hit, and it looks like her plan will be a success. But the spotlight brings with it dangerous eyes that covet Havyn and are jealous as she and John grow ever closer. But will they realize the peril before it’s too late?

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd

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1818 – England

Julia Twethewey needs a diversion to mend her broken heart, so when her cousin invites her to Lanwyn Manor, Julia eagerly accepts. The manor is located at the heart of Cornwall’s mining industry, and as a guest Julia is swept into its intricate world. It’s not long, though, before she realizes something dark lurks within the home’s ancient halls.

As a respected mine owner’s younger son, Isaac Blake is determined to keep his late father’s legacy alive through the family business, despite his brother’s careless attitude. In order to save their livelihood—and that of the people around them—the brothers approach the master of Lanwyn Manor with plans to bolster the floundering local industry. Isaac can’t deny his attraction to the man’s charming niece, but his brother has made clear his intentions to court the lovely visitor. And Isaac knows his place.

When tragedy strikes, mysteries arise, and valuables go missing, Julia and Isaac find they are pulled together in a swirl of strange circumstances, but despite their best efforts to bow to social expectations, their hearts aren’t so keen to surrender.

The Year of the Barbarian by Elizabeth Ann Boyles

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1850s – Japan

A New York merchant risks all. A samurai’s daughter seeks truth. Pitfalls lie ahead in mid-nineteenth-century Japan.

Sumi Taguchi, a samurai’s daughter, eagerly anticipates the arrival of foreigners from the West, who will end Japan’s centuries-long isolation from the world. Maybe these foreigners will bring answers to life’s troublesome riddles. But to be free to meet these newcomers, she must first avoid a nightmarish betrothal and the fallout from her rash curiosity.

The young New York merchant, John Cardiff, risks his inheritance by sailing to the far side of the world. His fascination with Japan leads to a tantalizing, but dangerous trading venture. As trouble mounts, he dreads the shipwreck of not only his sail ship but his life.

The Christmas Ring by Shanna Hatfield

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1903 – Oregon

She’s desperate to forget her past. He’s determined to give her a future.

Victoria Carter flees from the gossip that dogs her every step. She hopes to embark on a new chapter of her life at her brother’s home in eastern Oregon. What she didn’t plan on was the stagecoach being robbed on the way there, or the immediate attraction she feels to one of the outlaws. Then she meets a telephone lineman she finds charming, witty, and kind. Despite her intentions to avoid all members of the male species, her affections are torn between the two men.

A man of many secrets and talents, Trace Travers knows he has to stay focused on his work. Yet, the lovely sister of one of his friends threatens to capture not just his attention but also his heart. Resolved to ignoring Victoria and the emotions she stirs in him, he discovers she is a difficult woman to overlook, especially when she keeps popping up in the most unexpected places.

Trace and Victoria are swept into the town’s festivities as they ring in the holiday season. But will Christmas bring the forgiveness they both need if they hope to have a future together? Enjoy this sweet holiday romance, rich with history, laughter, and heartwarming Christmas cheer.

Homefront Heroines by Various Authors

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Patriotic Service Leads to Victories in Romance
 
Relive life on the American homefront as four women of the WWII era join the workforce and discover romance in surprising ways.
 
Moonlight Serenade by Rita Gerlach
1941, Washington D.C.
When Kate St. Claire takes over a sailor’s job at the Naval Yard in Washington, DC, she is thrown into a romance she never expected.
 
Only Forever by Lauralee Bliss
1943, Springville, New York
Marilyn and Arthur learn the hard way that it’s not the outside that matters, but the inward working of the heart that is precious to God and each other.       
 
Blue Moon by Johnnie Alexander
1943, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
After humiliating each other, a WOOPs officer and an Army Intelligence agent team up to protect a top-secret atomic bomb facility from sabotage.
 
Dream a Little Dream by Amanda Barratt
1945, Palm Springs, California
When an army nurse and a former film star are reunited at a wartime hospital, can they move beyond their past and into a future together?

The Gray Chamber by Grace Hitchcock

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1887 – New York

Will Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late?
 
On Blackwell’s Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.
 
With her late parents’ fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. And Edyth fears she will never be found.
 
At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to leave the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?

Where Life Will Lead Me by Nancy Moser

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1879 – Kansas

When Justine Braden turned twenty she received the family gift of time travel. Its purpose? She is to follow God’s directives and travel back in time to facilitate justice.

Justine and her family move to Lawrence, Kansas to be near her fiancé’s family. Will Justine be called upon to use her gift of time travel in this new town? The answer is yes.

Justine travels into the past to right the wrongs of one very wicked man who has brought pain and suffering to many families. The man fights against Justine’s interference, but God’s justice prevails. Good conquers evil. And the victims revel in their newfound freedom.

Watch the transformation of Justine as she goes from being a spoiled socialite in 1870s New York, to a courageous woman of faith, living out her special God-given purpose.

When Love Finds You by Virginia Wise

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1738 – Pennsylvania

Scandal drove Catrina Witmer from her life as a wealthy Englischer’s pampered daughter—to reluctant membership in Pennsylvania’s thriving new Amish settlement. Surprisingly, Catrina finds contentment and peace in this promising new land, though she won’t risk telling anyone about her past. But the unexpected sparks between her and bashful warm-hearted farmer Eli Webber suddenly have her dreaming of an impossible chance at happiness—as his wife.
 
Eli never imagined such a spirited woman would look his way. Or that he could ever deserve her, given his own guilty mistakes. But Catrina’s vivacity and kindness have him impulsively proposing. Unfortunately, his over-righteous sister, and the consequences of secrets on both sides, threaten to tear their marriage apart for good. Now Catrina and Eli must try forgiving themselves and finding strength in their bond if they are to have a joyous future together . . .

 

Gift of Faith by Shanna Hatfield

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1942 – Oregon

When their faith is tested, will Christmas bring a miracle?

Handsome and engaging, Marc Rawlings could have his choice of girls, but he only has eyes for gentle Amy Madsen. Ready to begin a future with her, he instead asks her to wait for him while he heads off to war. Bound by his duty to his country, Marc leaves his heart with her, counting on the day they’ll be reunited.

Amy Madsen spends her days working in her family’s bakery and her nights gazing up at the sky, hoping her fiancé knows she’s thinking of him. When tragic news arrives, Amy refuses to believe it, clinging to her promises to Marc and her faith that he’ll return to her.

It will take a miracle and a unique gift of faith to bring a happy holiday during a wartime Christmas in 1942.

Gift of Hope by Shanna Hatfield

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1892 – Oregon

A tender gift given can warm even the coldest heart…

When his affections are spurned by the girl he plans to wed, Graydon Gaffney rides off in the swirling snow, determined to stay far away from fickle females. Then a voice in the storm draws him to a woman and her two sweet children. Despite his intentions to guard his emotions, all three members of the DeVille family threaten to capture his heart.

Giavanna DeVille holds the last frayed edges of her composure in a tenuous grasp. In a moment of desperation, she leaves her sleeping children in her cabin and ventures out into a storm to release her pent-up frustrations where no one can hear her cries. Much to her surprise, a man appears through the blinding snow. He gives her a shoulder to cry on and something even more precious. . . hope.

Can the two of them move beyond past heartaches to accept the gift of hope for their future?

Gift of Grace by Shanna Hatfield

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1870 – Oregon

Sometimes the best gifts are those freely given form the heart…

Ready to begin a new life far away from the sad memories of the Civil War, J.B. and Nora Nash head west on the Oregon Trail. They settle into the small community of Pendleton, Oregon, on a piece of land where they’re excited to build a future and their dreams together.

A devastating tragedy leaves them both reeling as they draw further and further apart. Nora blames J.B. for her unhappiness while he struggles through his own challenges. Only a miracle can bring them through their trials and reunite them for Christmas.

Together, will they discover the gift of grace in this sweet holiday romance brimming with hope, history, and abiding love?

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Rebel Bride – Shannon McNear

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We’ve all been looking forward to the next installment in the Daughters of the Mayflower Series. Today Shannon McNear is on the Index answering questions about her book The Rebel Bride and her own favorite reads. Welcome to the Index, Shannon!

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The Rebel Bride

During the clash between Union and Confederacy, quiet Tennessean Pearl MacFarlane is compelled to nurse both Rebel and Yankee wounded who seek refuge at her family’s farm. She is determined to remain unmoved by the Yankee cause—until she faces the silent struggle of Union soldier Joshua Wheeler, a recent amputee. The MacFarlane family fits no stereotype Joshua believed in; still he is desperate to regain his footing—as a soldier, as a man, as a Christian—in the aftermath of his debilitating injury. He will use his time behind enemy lines to gather useful intelligence for the Union—if the courageous Rebel woman will stay out of the line of danger.

Shannon’s Website

McNearPhoto

Other books in this series:

 mayflowerbridepiratebridethecapturedbridethepatriotbridecumberlandbridethelibertybridealamobridegoldenbrideexpressbride

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Questions about Shannon’s Story

Is there anything in this book that is inspired by/modeled after something in your own life or someone you know in real life

Pearl’s father’s health issues and her struggle to adapt and care for him was inspired by my own mother’s medical journey. She had advanced diabetes, had nearly every diabetic complication possible including being on dialysis, and suffered damage from several mini-strokes and a later heart attack. She didn’t ever not know who family was, but her perception of time was very skewed and hard to deal with. Her faith, though, was always “there” and we had no doubt that when she passed, she went immediately to be with Jesus.

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

I love Portius. He was one of those who just came out of nowhere and almost takes over the story.

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

Oh yes! For one, the premise of having Union POW’s quartered in civilian homes was a little thin—most were sent directly to Confederate prisons, regardless of condition. Also, I hadn’t fully understood the terms of parole, or how prisoner exchange worked (and though official exchanges were discontinued by that time, groups of wounded prisoners were exchanged on both sides after Chickamauga), or—and this was the biggest—that the Emancipation Proclamation really had no effect in Tennessee. It was interesting, though, to learn later that Tennessee governor Andrew Johnson freed his own slaves in October 1863, and effectively ended slavery in the entire state at that time. Also, the real-life timeline of the battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga were tricky to work with. Many times I had to tweak this or that in the storyline to fit with the actual historical events.

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 Questions about Shannon’s Reading

avoiceinthewind

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

Francine Rivers’s Mark of the Lion trilogy will always stand as one of my favorites. Be real to the time—and be real to your faith—regardless of the ugly or uncomfortable you might uncover or have to portray. And for anyone who has heard Francine speak—it’s part of the process to let your own spiritual journey shape the story, and be shaped in turn. Every story she’s written, I believe, has come from some struggle in her own faith walk. 

countedwiththestars

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

This doubles as an answer for another question, what’s the last one I binge read? 🙂 But, Connilyn Cossette’s Counted with the Stars. I read one of hers a couple of years ago and LOVED it, and in addition to her recent Christy award (Yay!! Well deserved!!!), my 17-yo daughter has been discovering her work and coming to me to discuss it, so I decided to go back and catch up on the ones I’ve missed. I love how she makes the era come alive with so much detail. Her characters are very real. And God used her portrayal of Moses (Mosheh) to encourage me in a way I didn’t know I still needed … and then that ending … wow. :-O So good. SO, so good. Anyway—I set aside almost everything else on a Sunday afternoon (including a nap, LOL) to read this one!

kingsmercy

What Christian Historical Novel in your To Be Read pile is begging you to make time to plop down with it right now?

Lori Benton’s The King’s Mercy. I’ve had it for a LONG time but was saving it until my last deadline was past. Hers are so deep and rich, and I always hit a stretch where I can’t bear to stop reading, but I’m making myself savor it a bit at a time. At least for now!

Shannon is giving away either a paperback (USA Only) or an ebook (International Entries welcome). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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The Piper’s Pursuit by Melanie Dickerson

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1424 – Germany

A plague of rats. A giant beast outside the village walls. A host of missing children. And one young woman determined to save her people.

In 1424 Hamlin, Katerina faces threats from all sides. An outbreak of rats has overtaken the village, a mysterious beast is on a killing rampage of the village’s children, and Katerina’s evil stepfather is a dark presence inside the walls of her own home. Katerina is determined to hunt and kill the Beast of Hamlin herself before more lives are lost.

When Steffan, the handsome but brash duke’s son, comes to town seeking glory and reward, Katerina decides he might be the ally she’s been looking for—even though the only gentle thing about him seems to be the sweet music he plays on his pipe. But there’s more to Steffan than she suspects, and she finds herself drawn to him despite her misgivings.

Together Katerina and Steffan must stop the enemy from stealing the children of Hamlin. But their interference might create an even worse fate for the entire village.

The Bridge to Belle Island by Julie Klassen

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1819 – England

After a humiliating mistake, lawyer Benjamin Booker resolves to never again trust a beautiful woman. When an old friend is killed, the senior partner isn’t satisfied with Bow Street’s efforts and asks Benjamin to investigate. Eager to leave London for a while, Benjamin agrees. Evidence takes him to a remote island on the Thames, a world unto itself, shrouded in mist and mystery. Soon he finds himself falling for the main suspect–a woman who claims not to have left the island in ten years. But should he trust her?

On Belle Island, Isabelle feels safe and leads a productive life, but fear keeps her trapped there. When Mr. Booker arrives with news of her trustee’s murder in London, Isabelle is stunned. She has not left the island, yet she has a recurring dream about the man’s death. Or is it a memory? She had been furious with him, but she never intended . . . this.

When a second person dies and evidence shockingly points to her, Isabelle doesn’t know who to trust: the attractive lawyer or the admirer and friends who assemble on the island, each with grudges against the victim. Can she even trust her own mind? While they search for the truth, secrets come to light and danger comes calling.

The Major’s Daughter by Regina Jennings

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1889 – Oklahoma

Caroline Adams returns to Indian Territory after tiring of confining society life. She wants adventure, and when she and her friend Amber come across swaggering outlaw Frisco Smith, they find his dreams for the new territory are very persuasive. With the much-anticipated land run pending, they may just join the rush.

Growing up parentless, all Frisco Smith wanted was a place to call his own. It’s no wonder that he fought to open the Unassigned Lands. After years of sneaking across the border, he’s even managed to put in a dugout house on a hidden piece of property he’s poised to claim.

When the gun sounds, everyone’s best plans are thrown out the window in the chaos of the run. Caroline and Frisco soon find themselves battling over a claim–and both dig in their heels. Settling the rightful ownership will bring these two closer than they ever expected and change their ideas of what a true home looks like.

Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel

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1922 – Pennsylvania

After losing the love of her life to a big city journalism job, Elissa Tillman pours herself into the suffragette movement and her secretarial work helping keep her father’s Pittsburgh newspaper afloat.

Cole Parker returns to the steel city with the phantom failures of his past nipping his heels. All he asks of the future is a second chance with the woman he once spurned.

The murder of a millionaire offers the perfect chance for Elissa to prove to her father and the world that she’s a serious journalist. But there’s a catch—she has to compete for the story. Against none other than Cole Parker, the very man who shattered her heart.

Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright

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1946/Present Day – Wisconsin

After Aggie Dunkirk’s career is unceremoniously ended by her own mistakes, she finds herself traveling to Wisconsin, where her grandmother, Mumsie, lives alone in her rambling old home. She didn’t plan for how eccentric Mumsie has become, obsessing over an old, unsolved crime scene–even going so far as to re-create it in the dollhouse.

Mystery seems to follow her when she finds work as a secretary helping to restore the flooded historical part of the cemetery. Forced to work with the cemetery’s puzzling, yet attractive archeologist, she exhumes the past’s secrets and unwittingly uncovers a crime that some will go to any length to keep quiet–even if it means silencing Aggie.

In 1946, Imogene Flannigan works in a local factory and has eyes on owning her own beauty salon. But coming home to discover her younger sister’s body in the attic changes everything. Unfamiliar with the newly burgeoning world of criminal forensics and not particularly welcomed as a woman, Imogene is nonetheless determined to stay involved. As her sister’s case grows cold, Imogene vows to find justice . . . even if it costs her everything.

Christmas at the Circus by Joanne Bischof

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1890s – Louisiana

A Short Story from the Greatest Season on Earth

Newlyweds Charlie and Ella Lionheart are spending their first holiday season together within the circus at New Orleans. It’s Ella’s first Christmas away from her mountain home and with thoughts of family and new beginnings, see what surprises the kindhearted lion tamer has in store for her on Christmas Eve.

Hope Unchained by Carol Ashby

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106 – Dacia ( Romania)

Can the deepest loss bring the greatest gain?

Rome’s conquering army took Ariana’s family and freedom, but nothing can take her faith in Jesus. When she rescues a tribune’s wife from certain death, her reward is freedom and a chance to free her brother and sister. But first she must catch up with the slave caravan before they vanish forever, and tracking them from Dacia to the coast seems impossible for one woman alone.

Discharged from the legion with a hand crippled by a Dacian knife, Donatus faces a future without hope. When the tribune asks him to escort Ariana on her quest, it’s the only work he can find. It means four weeks with a Dacian woman and a gladiator bodyguard, but it takes money to eat. A man without options must take what he can get.

But a lot can happen in four weeks. Even battle-hardened men can be touched by love and forgiveness, and it’s easier to face an enemy with a sword than to face the truth. When his moment of truth comes, what will Donatus choose, and what will that mean for both of them?

Kin Davis’s Christmas Send-Off by Lynnette Bonner

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1890s – Washington

Kin Davis itches to leave Wyldhaven and experience life in the big city of Seattle. He only has one concern. Without Parson Clay’s taming influence, will he degenerate into an abusive drunk like his pa was? The question haunts him.

But there’s no escaping his departure. Word has gone out and his tickets are purchased. He only has to make it through the shindig Zoe organized for the townsfolk to offer their farewells. If anybody else was putting it on, he might skip town early, but he wouldn’t hurt Zoe for all the world. His escape would come soon enough.

Yet, as he goes throughout the day, the kindness of each Wyldhaven family touches him deeply. These are good people. Too bad there isn’t a woman in town who holds his interest.

Then a chance encounter with the pretty niece of Wyldhaven’s new bankers, rocks him to his core. And suddenly his trip to Seattle has lost most of its shine.

The Forever Sky by Janalyn Voigt

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1870 – Montana

Can a young widow with no faith in love, hope for a future with the man who broke her heart?

Maisey isn’t about to give Rob another chance to reject her love. Why should she believe that the man who left town without a backward glance three years ago cares about her? Life had taught her all about broken dreams, and she didn’t want to hope again. If only her young daughter would stop adopting Rob as a father, ignoring him—and her own emotions–would be a whole lot easier.

Thoughts of the woman he’d left behind haunted Rob for three long years. It wouldn’t have been fair to ask Maisey to wait while he mined a gold claim. After making his fortune, he’d returned to his family in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. Rob was ready to settle down, and he’d rather do so with Maisey. But after their first encounter, it was clear that he’d lost her forever.

Circumstances force Maisey and Rob into one another’s company. They learn, through hardship and loss, that the only way to one another is to surrender first to God’s love.

Based on actual historical events during a time of unrest in America, The Forever Sky explores faith, love, and courage in the wild west.

The Rebel Bride by Shannon McNear

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1863 – Tennessee

Can Love Form Amidst Tensions of War?

During the clash between Union and Confederacy, quiet Tennessean Pearl MacFarlane is compelled to nurse both Rebel and Yankee wounded who seek refuge at her family’s farm. She is determined to remain unmoved by the Yankee cause—until she faces the silent struggle of Union soldier Joshua Wheeler, a recent amputee. The MacFarlane family fits no stereotype Joshua believed in; still he is desperate to regain his footing—as a soldier, as a man, as a Christian—in the aftermath of his debilitating injury. He will use his time behind enemy lines to gather useful intelligence for the Union—if the courageous Rebel woman will stay out of the line of danger.

Wings Like a Dove by Camille Eide

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1933 – Indiana

Can the invisible walls that separate people ever come down?

In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can’t make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she’s with child, her mother gives her little choice but to leave. Deciding her best course of action is to try to find her father, she strikes out…hoping against hope to somehow redeem them both.

When Anna stumbles upon a house full of orphan boys in rural Indiana who are in desperate need of a tutor and a cook, she agrees to postpone her journey. But she knows from the moment she meets their contemplative, deep-hearted caretaker, Thomas Chandler, that she doesn’t dare risk staying too long. She can’t afford to open her heart to them, to him. She can’t risk letting her secrets out.

All too soon, the townspeople realize she’s not like them and begin treating her with the same disdain they give the Sisters of Mercy–the nuns who try to help Thomas and the boys–and Samuel, the quiet colored boy Thomas has taken in. With the Klan presence in the town growing ever stronger and danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe…and staying to fight beside them.

Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest…

Sew in Love by Various Authors

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When four women put needle and thread to fabric, will their sewing lead to love?
 
HEARTS SEWN WITH LOVE by Darlene Panzera
Gold Bar, California, April 1850: During the California gold rush, a beautiful seamstress finds her heart torn between the men who want to marry her and the one fortune hunter who won’t.

WOVEN HEARTS by Jacquolyn McMurray
New York City, 1911: A shirtwaist factory fire survivor struggles to provide for her family despite the disastrous misguided intentions of the handsome union organizer who tries to help.
 
A  LANGUAGE OF LOVE by Kimberley Woodhouse
New York City, 1911: A milliner with thick Irish accent and a renowned baseball player with speech impediment meet at the office of a language teacher. But the issues with their backgrounds that first brought them together will also drive them apart.

TAILORED SWEETHEARTS by Debby Lee
Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Summer 1945: A parachute seamstress struggles with her faith in desperate circumstances. A fighter pilot teaches her to hope in her darkest hours.

More Than a Pretty Face by Karen Witemeyer

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Found in paperback in Serving Up Love

1902 – Texas

Rosalind Kemp became a Harvey Girl five years ago to get away from Texas and the repercussions of a youthful indiscretion. When an unexpected assignment lands her in Gainesville, she hides behind fake spectacles and strict professionalism to discourage male attention. Yet not even a prudish disguise can dissuade local attorney Caleb Durrington from pursuing her. His gentle, persistent wooing tempts her to let down her guard, but when her secret is exposed, will Caleb turn away from her shame? Or will his love give her the courage to finally face her greatest folly?

Intrigue a la Mode by Regina Jennings

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1898 – Kansas

Willow finds herself drawn to the hotel’s new busboy, Graham, but little does she know he’s a railroad heir working undercover to track down criminals using his trains. As he sets out to find the truth, another truth soon becomes equally urgent–will the Harvey Girl he has come to love care for the railroad heir as much as she cared for the lowly busboy?

Grand Encounters by Jen Turano

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1908 – Arizona

Finding herself the object of society’s pity after her fiancé falls for another woman, Myrtle seeks out adventure working as a Harvey Girl, content to hold fast to her vow of remaining a confirmed spinster–until she meets Jack, a self-made man and a frequent guest at the hotel who makes that vow difficult to uphold.

Grand Encounters is a novella from humorous historical romance author, Jen Turano, about a down-on-her-luck heiress who finds unexpected love working at a Harvey House restaurant near the Grand Canyon in 1908.

A Flood of Love by Tracie Peterson

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1929 – New Mexico

After traveling the West for the past ten years, working as a Harvey House girl, Gretchen Gottsacker learns her next assignment puts her back in the town of her childhood. She quickly forms a friendship with a precocious girl named Katiann, until one of their visits leads her face to face with Katiann’s father–the man who abandoned Gretchen on the eve of what she was sure would be a marriage proposal. Now a widower, Dirk Martinez is intent on gaining her trust and forgiveness. Can she risk getting swept up in their strong attraction once again, or will the danger of an impending flood decide her future for her?

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