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Author Interview & Giveaway – The Hope of Azure Springs – Rachel Fordham

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If you’re one who’s looking for an unusual heroine in a romance (as in, not the gorgeous, flawless heroine) this may be the book for you! Welcome Rachel with her new book!

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The Hope of Azure Springs

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Rachel’s Website

rachelfordham

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Questions about Rachel’s Story

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

During the writing of this book my son became very ill. In fact he was so sick I didn’t open my laptop for five months. When I did come back to it I found a lot of strength from the words I had previously written. The Hope of Azure Springs is full of characters that have endured hard things and have to go on living despite them. In my writing I’d encouraged them to continue to find joy. At that time in my life I very much had to follow my own advice and like Em I had to live and love and trust in brighter days ahead.

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

I really came to love all of the fine folks of Azure Springs but Margaret might be my favorite. She was so true to herself, full of wisdom and she has an excellent sense of humor. If I lived in Azure Springs I’d want to be her neighbor!

Which scene is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with? Give us a reason to look forward to it.

Honestly, the epilogue is the scene that stands out the most to me. I was done writing this book and happy with how it wrapped up. Then days later I woke up in the middle of the night and just knew it needed a little bit more. An early reader said “it’s the cherry on top of a perfect sundae” and I agree. It’s not long but it’s what brings it full circle and I could not imagine the story without that little ending scene.

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Questions about Rachel’s Reading

ladyandthelionheart

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

The Lady and the Lionheart By Joanne Bischof. The setting was so intriguing but more than that it was the characters that won me over. By page one I was rooting for them. I still haven’t figured out how she did it. It’s really a wonderful read.

The Lacemaker

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

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz. It’s sitting where I can see it right now and as soon as I have a lull in my busy life (we have a houseful of little people) I’m going to pick it up and devour it.

Rachel is giving away either a signed paperback or ebook (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

The Secret Heir by Janice Broyles

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1022 BC – Israel

Years before, he was anointed future king of Israel. Now if the sitting king learns of his secret, it will mean death for David and everyone in his family. David’s secret destiny becomes more complicated when he falls in love with King Saul’s daughter, Michal. He will do whatever it takes to secure her heart, provided she doesn’t find out that David is the rumored rival to her father’s throne.

Now that Michal is of age, the Queen determines her daughter must be married as soon as possible. Michal resigns herself to a pre-arranged marriage with a man she does not love. Then by fate or God’s providence she meets the handsome, young lyre player standing outside her father’s chambers.

One lives in a palace; the other sleeps under the stars. Though they come from vastly different worlds, Michal and David are drawn together. When King Saul uncovers David’s secret and vows to kill him, Michal is torn between her love for her father and feelings for David. Two kings, two men she deeply loves but for different reasons — one heart broken in two.

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

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1604 – England

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th-century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

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1937 – Massachusetts

“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…”

Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times — including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square.  When he meets his cousin’s “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand.

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo nightclub.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build.

For the Love of Liberty by Heather Blanton

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1776/The Future (2026) – Time Travel – Massachusetts

Frustrated writer Liberty Ridley gets the opportunity to use her ancestor’s DNA to relive a memory from the time of the American Revolution. Overwhelmed by the stunning detail of the recollection, she is even more amazed to find she’s attracted to Martin Hemsworth—a man long dead. The feelings must belong to Liberty’s ancestor. She couldn’t possibly be in love with a ghost, a mere shadow from the past. 
But what if she is?

Frightened by the lethal fury in his own fists, Martin Hemsworth strives to live in peace and honor the king God has chosen for America. But when a mysterious woman awakens his heart, he realizes some passions a man lives for, some he dies for…and others he’ll kill for. What will he do For the Love of Liberty?

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

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1907/Present Day – Wisconcin

For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she’s wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she’ll uncover.

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father’s newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon’s son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town–but it isn’t until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they’ve waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it’s too late and they lose their future–or their very souls.

River to Redemption by Ann Gabhart

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1840s – Kentucky

Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who stayed in Springfield, Kentucky, when anyone with means had fled. A man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions. Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She’s determined to find a way to buy Louis’s freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she’ll face an uphill battle.

Based partly on a true story, Ann H. Gabhart’s latest historical novel is a tour de force. The vividly rendered town of Springfield and its citizens immerse readers in a story of courage, betrayal, and honor that will stick with them long after they turn the last page.

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

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1890 – Virginia

After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of nineteenth-century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred-acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.

But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.

As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?

In Dreams Forgotten by Tracie Peterson

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1906 – California

Judith Gladstone came to San Francisco after her parents died to find her last living relative, an aunt she has never met. Instead she has fallen head over heels in love with Caleb Coulter, her friend’s brother. Caleb has promised to help Judith find her aunt, but she can tell he thinks of her only as a friend, and she struggles to hide her feelings.

When Caleb traces Judith’s aunt to the wealthy Whitley family, Judith is reunited with her long-lost relatives. The truths she learns about her past and her parents are shocking and overwhelming, however, and the more she gets to know her new family, the more danger she uncovers. Someone does not want Judith in the picture, and they will do whatever it takes to get rid of her.

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

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1881 – Iowa

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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17th (1660s) and 19th (1820s) Century – Massachusetts

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?
Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

The Best of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason

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1919 – Canada

In the aftermath of WWI, Grace Abernathy is determined to reunite with her family, crossing an ocean to convince her widowed sister to return home to England. Yet Toronto holds more tragedy and her nephew Christian is now in the custody of his paternal relatives, the formidable Easton family, who rejected Grace’s sister because of her low social status.

Unconvinced the Eastons can be fitting caretakers, Grace jumps at the chance to be Christian’s nanny and observe the family up close under an assumed name. In the course of her new position, she is shocked to discover herself falling for Andrew Easton, the boy’s guardian. Unfortunately, Andrew is promised to a spoiled socialite who will make a terrible stepmother for Christian. Will Grace be able to protect her nephew . . . and her heart?

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

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1861 – Georgia

Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines—until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.

Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.

The Barefoot Brides Collection

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Connected to nature and carefree of heart seven historical women would prefer to travel through life without shoes, especially if giving away their only pair would comfort someone else in need. Will these women of faith change their ways under society’s pressures and the lure of romance?

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