The Lady’s Rescuer by Lauralee Bilss

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The Lady’s RescuerTheladysrescuer

1881 – North Carolina

JAKE HARRIS SAVES PEOPLE FROM THE SEA 
 
But Englishwoman Olivia Madison’s no damsel in distress. A woman on a mission, she intrigues Jake with her feistiness and determination—even as her stubbornness causes rifts between his tight-knit brotherhood of seamen. But just what is in her precious cargo? Olivia must sell her shipload of antiques to free her brother from an English debtor’s prison. But when her long journey ends in tragedy on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, she has nowhere to turn—except to the rugged man who fished her from the cold Atlantic. Can she prove that her purposes are honorable…and find true love with her rescuer?

Steadfast Heart by Tracie Peterson

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Steadfast Heartsteadfastheart

1888 – Washington

Despite her spoiled upbringing, twenty-year-old Lenore Fulcher isn’t pretentious. She simply believes a marriage should be built on true love. Her father, however, thinks she’s wasted enough time searching for the perfect husband. He wants to marry her off to one of his business partners–who is seventeen years her senior–an idea that is out of the question for Lenore. Kolbein Booth, a young lawyer from Chicago, arrives in Seattle looking for his headstrong sister, who he believes may have answered an advertisement for mail-order brides. Sick with worry, he storms into the Madison Bridal School, demanding to see his sister, only to learn she isn’t there. But Lenore Fulcher is, and something about her captures his attention. Is this the man Lenore has been searching for? She may not have long to find out…

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

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Beyond All Dreamsbeyondalldreams

1897 – Washington DC

Anna O’Brien leads a predictable and quiet life as a map librarian at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across the baffling mystery of a ship disappeared at sea. Thwarted in her attempts to uncover information, her determination outweighs her shyness and she turns to a dashing congressman for help. Luke Callahan was one of the nation’s most powerful congressmen before his promising career was shadowed in scandal. Eager to share in a new cause and intrigued by the winsome librarian, he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship. Opposites in every way, Anna and Luke are unexpectedly drawn to each other despite the strict rules forbidding Anna from any romantic entanglements with members of Congress. From the gilded halls of the Capitol where powerful men shape the future of the nation, to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library, Anna and Luke are soon embroiled in secrets much bigger and more perilous than they ever imagined. Is bringing the truth to light worth risking all they’ve ever dreamed for their futures?

Currency of the Heart by Loree Lough

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currencyoftheheartCurrency of the Heart

1882 – Colorado

Shaina Sterling hates the lie she’s living but feels she has no choice. Soon after the shocking death of her husband, the young widow learns how deeply entrenched in debt his lavish lifestyle has left her. To protect the legacy of his name, as well as her own reputation and her stately home at Sterling Hall, Shaina secretly sells off valuable possessions, piece by piece, and hopes that her wealthy Denver friends never discover the truth. Successful rancher Sloan Remington knows far more about Shaina than she realizes, but because of a promise he made to her husband as he lay dying, he guards her secrets as carefully as he looks after her safety. But soon, a series of additional misfortunes make Shaina beholden to him and threaten to expose a truth about himself that he’s long worked hard to keep hidden. Will trials and tragedies bring these two together? Or will secrets and the cost of exposing them drive them apart forever?

Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell

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Like a Flower in Bloomlikeaflowerinbloom

1852 – England

It’s all her uncle’s fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she’s reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte’s future–the only proper future for a woman–is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar. Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he’ll soon change his mind…and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society–a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion. Things aren’t perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She’ll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she’s most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?

Esther by Angela Hunt

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Estheresther

BC – Middle East

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king’s heart and a queen’s crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king’s permission to exterminate all Jews–young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people…and bind her husband’s heart.

Falling for the Enemy by Naomi Rawlings

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Falling for the Enemyfallingfortheenemy

1805 – France

Betrayed and stranded in France at the height of war, Lord Gregory Halston has few options. After rescuing his ailing brother from jail, they struggle to survive in hostile territory without outing themselves as Englishmen. Gregory hopes the feisty French peasant woman he meets is willing to guide them to safety. Danielle Belanger doesn’t wish to protect any man from the same country responsible for her brother’s demise. But there’s something about the determined Englishman that makes her willing to try. Though a match between Danielle and Gregory is impossible, their attraction can’t be denied. The only thing more dangerous than aiding the enemy…is falling in love with him.

Holly Daze by Gina Welborn

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Holly Dazehollydaze

1880 – Iowa

After a year of geological surveying northeastern Iowa, English paleontologist James Holly yearns to join a fossil dig in Colorado. Although amused by the town’s folklore and Christmas festivities, he doesn’t believe in superstitions or curses. Celebrating the holiday only reminds him of the family he lost. What goodwill he has for the townsfolk dissipates after someone steals one of his fossils. For once in his life he needs is a bit of luck on his side, and he’ll take it, even if it’s in the form of a charming lady.

Everyone knows fortune favors Lena Reinhardt. That’s why on St. Barbara’s Day since she turned eighteen, she’s the lucky one who places the cherry twig in the holy water. The town believes her good fortune causes the year’s windfall of crops and livestock, and it will continue as long as she stays unmarried. This year, though, Lena believes God sent James to change her luck. Now if she can only convince him…

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Author Interview for Masterpiece Marriage by Gina Welborn

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masterpiece-marriageMary Varrs prefers botany to romance.

She thinks studying the growth pattern of her tomato seedlings is more time-worthy than pursuing a mate. When she needs illustrations of her prized plants, Mary turns to Priscilla Dane Osbourne for help.

Zenus Dane also seeks help from his Aunt Priscilla. In order to salvage his flooded textile mill, he wants to sell her hand drawn quilt patterns alongside his repurposed fabric scraps. No quilter had national name recognition like his aunt, but Priscilla is fiercely protective of her patterns. Convincing her would not be easy.

It seems Priscilla is the answer to both their prayers. But Priscilla would rather weave a masterpiece marriage for her nephew than save his flooded business. Trouble is, her plans don’t include Mary, whose own growing attraction for the textiler could jeopardize Priscilla’s good will toward her. If faced with a decision between love and ambition, will Mary be able to choose?

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Thank you, Gina, for coming to share about your story, some good historicals, and hosting a giveaway!GINA 2012 (2)

Questions about Gina’s Story

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

Chapters 14-16 were originally plotted to be five chapters instead of three. With deadline looming, I didn’t have the leisure of spending a day at Starbucks brainstorming a solution with my brainstorming partner, Becca Whitham. At dinner, I kept muttering, “How am I going to condense five chapters into three?” My loving family kept offering solutions. Hubby finally said, “Kill someone.” Soon our kids were pounding the table, chanting “kill someone!” I didn’t kill anyone fictionally or otherwise. I did, however, scrap all my pre-planned scenes and came up with a new idea.

Melissa says: Ha! I love the chant for murder 🙂 My own hubby, poor thing, has to deal with me asking “what shall I do???” and I rarely do whatever he proposes, yet he’s game to propose things anyway!

Did any of your characters “fight” with you until you succumbed and changed their personality or the story choice you were forcing them into?

Sort of. When I was writing chapter 2, my heroine Mary leaves the café and is heading home. I remember typing, “Mary Varrs! Miss Mary Varrs!” and then stopping. Why did I type that? Who in the world is calling her name? I had no idea so I deleted it. Only my brain wouldn’t give me any word to say next. Mary was literally frozen at the intersection. I finally gave in and retyped “Mary Varrs! Miss Mary Varrs!” Next thing I knew I “saw” Mary (in my mind) look over her shoulder. The rest of that scene was the easier of the book to write. A few days later I met my brainstorming partner at Starbucks. I said, “I just had the strangest thing ever happen to me. This person—Arel Dewey—forced her way into my story. She came out of nowhere. She’s strange and driving me and Mary crazy.” To this day, I adore Arel … and want to smack her upside the head.

What research did you have to look up to make your character’s professional decisions authentic?

I originally intended Zenus’s mill to be damaged by fire. But after researching insurance companies and policies offered during the Victorian era (not at all interesting information), I went to my husband for help. He sells church building insurance. We talked natural disasters, acts of God, pre-existing conditions, blah blah blah. In the end, my fire became a flood. While there wasn’t an actual flood in Philadelphia in the year of my story, I based mine on one in the 1980s. I also had to do a lot of research about women earning botany degrees, doctorates available, what universities offered masters and doctorate degrees, job opportunities, etc. The historical details in the last chapter aren’t fictional. Christine L— and the Martin fellow really existed, descriptions accurate too.

What is your home on the internet?

www.GinaWelborn.com

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Questions about Gina’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

The first Christian Historicals I read were written by Lori Wick back in the early 1990s. Her stories had what I loved about ABA romances yet no sex. I used to read her books over and over again.

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And Gilbert Morris. I loved how he began a series in colonial American and carried it through the changes in America over the next 250 years.

 

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

When I read DeeAnne Gist’s The Measure of a Lady, I remembered thinking this is the type of Christian romance I want to read and to write. Her heroine was likeable despite her pious attitude. The sexual tension between the leads was realistic and not forced for the sake of having tension. Their spiritual growth/change came as a result of both having to make not-easy sacrifices.

What was the last Christian Historical Novel whose characters stayed in your head days after you finished reading it?

The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson isn’t the traditional Christian Historical. Most of the setting, though, is prior to 1970, and I figure anything that takes place before I was born is historical enough for me. My friend, author Dina Sleiman, insisted I read the book. A nun heroine. First person pov. Told through journal entries. Takes place over 70 years. Nope, not the book for me. Once I started the book, I couldn’t stop reading . . . and couldn’t stop praying, “Jesus, I want to have a passion for you like Mary-Margaret had.” That is real romance.

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Gina has been nice enough to offer one paperback (US resident only) of Masterpiece Marriage. I’ll give away a copy of any book mentioned in the interview in ebook form. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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The Whistle Walk by Stephenia McGee

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whistlewalkThe Whistle Walk

1862 – Mississippi

A Mississippi Plantation: Civil War pits countrymen against one another and tears a nation asunder. Life and death are held in the balance where everyone is a slave to something.

One is born free, yet lives as a soul in bondage…
Lydia Harper never intended to purchase a slave. But when she witnesses a woman being beaten in the street, all her pretenses begin to unravel. A bride to a man she barely knows and bound by her secrets, Lydia will risk everything to save a stranger. Amid the War Between the States, the mistress of Ironwood faces the battles in her own heart and discovers strength in a way she never imagined.

The other is born to serve, yet holds the spirit of freedom…
Ruth, standing on the threshold of desperation, has lost everything she holds dear. After being pulled from the dirt, she is no longer a field hand but the personal maid to the lady of Ironwood. Ruth soon realizes adversity pays no mind to the color of skin. When propriety slips, she discovers they have more in common than she dreamed possible. In a time when fear brings the South to its knees, two women will forge a friendship in the fires of redemption and thrust Ironwood into a new future – where the battle for freedom has merely begun.

The Bracelet by Dorothy Love

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The Braceletbracelet

1858 – Georgia

Celia Browning dreams of the day when her childhood sweetheart Sutton Mackay comes home to Savannah after two years in Jamaica managing his family’s shipping interests. Sutton has all but proposed, and their marriage will unite two of the city’s most prominent families. But just as Sutton returns, a newspaper reporter arrives in town, determined to pry into twin tragedies that took place at the Browning mansion on Madison Square when Celia was a child. While the journalist pursues his story, someone is trying to frighten Celia. When she receives a series of anonymous notes, and a bracelet imbued with a chilling message, Celia realizes that her family’s past has the power to destroy her future. As the clouds of war gather over Savannah, and her beloved father’s health worsens, Celia determines to uncover the truth about what really happened all those years ago. Inspired by actual events in one of Savannah’s most prominent 19th-century families, The Bracelet is the story of a young southern woman whose dreams fracture under the weight of her family’s tragic past.

Petticoat Detective by Margaret Brownley

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Petticoat Detective petticoatdetective

1883 – Kansas

Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne is no stranger to undercover work. But posing as a lady companion named Amy at Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots is a first for her. She’s finally landed a high-profile case and is on the trail of the notorious Gunnysack Bandit, when one of Miss Lillian’s girls essential to her investigation meets an untimely demise. Only a handful of people are in the house at the time of her death, including handsome Tom Colton, a former Texas Ranger determined to clear his brother’s name. Amy has many reasons to suspect Tom of murder—and one very personal reason to hope that she’s wrong about him.

Big Sky Daddy by Linda Ford

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Big Sky Daddybigskydaddy

1889 – Montana

Caleb Craig will do anything for his son, even ask his boss’s enemy for help. Not only does Lilly Bell tend to his son’s injured puppy, but she offers to rehabilitate little Teddy’s leg. Caleb knows that getting Teddy to walk again is all that really matters, yet he wonders if maybe Lilly can heal his brooding heart, as well. Precocious little Teddy—and his devoted father—steal Lilly’s heart and make her long for a child and husband of her own. But Lilly learned long ago that trusting a man means risking heartbreak. Happiness lies within reach—if she seizes the chance of love and motherhood she never expected…  

A Season of the Heart by Dorothy Clark

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A Season of the Heartaseasonoftheheart

1841 – New York

Rugged logger Daniel Braynard meets none of Ellen Hall’s husband requirements. Groomed for a prestigious marriage, she already has a choice between two wealthy suitors. She plans to make her decision by Christmas while visiting her hometown. But when tasked with creating the town’s decorations, she and Daniel are forced to work together. And her former childhood rescuer has matured into a man she can no longer ignore. Daniel hardly recognizes the ambitious socialite Ellen has become. Somewhere beneath her airs is the spirited, warmhearted friend he has never forgotten. As Christmas nears, will the chill between them thaw to reveal the gift of a sweet love that was meant to be?

Conveniently Wed by Angel Moore

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Conveniently Wedconvenientlywed

1879 – Texas

Husband by Necessity 
 
To save her family’s homestead Daisy Mosley will do whatever it takes, even if it means marrying a rugged cowboy who thinks he knows best. But though the widowed mother of two takes Tucker Barlow into her home as her husband, she isn’t ready to welcome him into her heart. Tucker knows his marriage to Daisy is about convenience, not love. But after years of hiding his feelings for his childhood friend, he wants to shower her with affection and favor her twin sons with the fatherly attention he’d missed. Can he show Daisy that he is more than just a practical groom—he is a man worthy of her love?