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.

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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.

In Times Gone By by Tracie Peterson

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1906 – California

After getting left at the altar, Kenzie Gifford flees to San Francisco to start her life over, determined never to love again. She’s made new friends and has a good job in the office of her cousin’s chocolate factory. The only thorn in her side is Dr. Micah Fisher, who insists on pursuing her despite her constant rejection.

Then the Great 1906 Earthquake strikes the city, and everything changes. The devastation all around her makes Kenzie reevaluate her outlook on life–and possibly even her feelings for Micah. But then her world is rocked again when her ex-fiancé appears, full of apologies and determined to win her back. But Arthur already broke her heart once. Does she dare trust him again? The sudden arrival of a hidden danger will expose the motivations of all involved, but it could cost Kenzie her life–as well as her heart.

Deep Calling Deep by Carole Towriss

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61 – Rome

Praetorian Prefect Sextus Burrus has spent his life fighting for the glory of Rome, but that glory has lost its shine. As both his health and his career crumble, he is drawn toward the seemingly inexhaustible peace of one of his Jewish prisoners, the Apostle Paul. The moment Timothy hears his mentor and surrogate father Paul has been arrested, he rushes to Rome. Under the looming threat of execution, Timothy struggles to make sense of what is happening. Finally, an unexpected crisis requires him to reexamine everything, and places their hope for Paul’s freedom on the shoulders of Praetorian Prefect Sextus Burrus.

Enya’s Son by Cindy Thomson

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6th Century – Ireland

Is love enough for a mother who must be separated from her son? 

Having escaped a violent childhood, Enya is safe living with her husband’s powerful clan. When her long-awaited son is born, she must fulfill a vow made in desperation—the boy is dedicated to God and goes to live with the local priest. Still, she clings to the hope that the church’s influence will eradicate any trace of her bloodline’s temperament. The monks rename him Columcille, which means Dove of the Church. 

In a prophetic dream, Enya learns her son will grow in power and influence, and her heart is at peace. But while Enya understands her son’s influence will be for the good of the church, others believe the prophecy predicts political influence, and try to prevent Columcille from seeking temporal power—though he does not desire it. As he rises to prominence in the church, Columcille’s temper erupts when a king’s decision goes against him, and he calls his clan to arms. The consequences are more devastating than anyone could have imagined—and changes his life forever.

This retelling of the early life of St. Columcille and his mother will usher readers on a fateful journey through ancient Ireland’s monastic centers, her wild coastline islands, and the land Columcille believed was filled with holy angels, a place where he felt safe … yet was destined to abandon.

A Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter

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1850 – Missouri to California

Previously released in the The Westward Christmas Brides Collection

Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
 
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?

The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection

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Faced with the daily extremes of gluttony and want in the Victorian Era, nine women seek to create the perfect Christmas celebrations. But will expectations and pride cause them to overlook imperfect men who offer true love?
 
Paper Snowflake Christmas by Vanessa Riley
1837 Framlingham, England
How can widow Ophelia Hanover give her son a perfect Christmas when his guardian, the Earl of Litton, arrives early to take permeant custody of the boy?
 
One Golden Ring by C.J. Chase
1855 Devonshire, England
Wounded soldier Tristram Nowell returns home to indulge his mother’s wish for a family Christmas–and encounters Marianna Granville. Can he forgive the former heiress who jilted him years before?
 
Love Brick by Brick by Kathleen L. Maher
1857 Elmira, New York
SarahAnn Winnifred overcomes orphanhood apprenticing with pioneering doctors. Rufus Sedgwick, relocating his English estate, seeks help for his ailing Mum. Christmas reveals the secret wish of both hearts–for love.
 
The Sugarplum Ladies by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1867 Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Detroit, Michigan
When Canadian barrister Percy Gladstone finds his aristocratic British family unexpectedly descending upon him for Christmas, he turns to American social reformer Eugenie Mott and her fledgling catering crew for help.
 
Star of Wonder by Susanne Dietze
1875 County Durham, England
This Yuletide, Bennet Hett, Viscount Harwood, offers Lady Celeste Sidwell matrimony and the Star of Wonder diamond necklace, as their fathers arranged. When the diamond disappears, will they find a greater treasure?
 
Father Christmas by Lorna Seilstad
Chicago, Christmas 1880
Widowed harpist Beatrix Kent believes love can only come once in a lifetime, but this Christmas, carpenter Hugo Sherman hopes to pull on the musician’s heartstrings and prove her wrong.
 
The Perfect Christmas by Erica Vetsch
1880s London
Melisande Verity might be in over her head trying to create the perfect Christmas window display, but if she succeeds, will she finally attract the attention of her boss, Gray Garamond?
 
A Christmas Vow by Gabrielle Meyer
London, England, Christmas 1899

Lady Ashleigh Pendleton is hosting a houseful of guests for Christmas when railroad executive Christopher Campbell unexpectedly arrives from America with a mysterious agreement signed by their fathers before their birth. 
 
The Holly and the Ivy by Rita Gerlach
1900. Small town along the Potomac near Washington DC
A glass ornament. Love letters tied in red Christmas ribbon. Lily Morningstar and British antiquities expert Andrew Stapleton are drawn into a family secret that binds their hearts together.

Old West Christmas Brides

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It is hard for a woman to make a decent living in the Wild West of the late 1800s, and as the Christmas season approaches, prospects for a happy celebration seem dim.
 
A Pony Express Christmas by Margaret Brownley
Stranded alone in Nebraska Territory in 1882 with a broken wagon and two stubborn mules, Ellie-Mae Myers has no way to continue searching for her twin brother along the deserted Pony Express route or of returning home to Kentucky. Could a man on the verge of being hanged be the answer to her prayers?
 
A Wife in Name Only by Rosey Dow
Katherine Priestly seeks a job to help support her mother and brother. A local ranch seeks a cook, but by 1884 standards, the owner, Brett Masten, will only hire a married woman to work among his men. Desperate, Catherine claims she is a married woman at the tender age of eighteen. Will her charade become a barrier to true love and send her home without enough money to buy Christmas presents?
 
Lucy Ames, Sharpshooter by Darlene Franklin
Lucy Ames’ dreams come true when her sharp shooting makes her the star act of Major Paulson’s Wild West Show in 1891. Gordon Paulson is traveling with his parents for one last season before accepting a teaching position at West Texas Christian College. As Lucy’s and Gordon’s love for each other grows, will God weave their gifts and dreams into a single calling?
 
A Badlands Christmas by Marcia Gruver
Noela Nancarrow and her pampered sister have been dragged into the Badlands by their adventurous father to live penniless in a sod house in 1885. When a local rancher invites Noela to a lavish Christmas party, will her holiday spirit return or will she learn a lesson far greater from the experience?
 
Unexpected Blessings by Vickie McDonough
Anna Campbell sets out to deliver two small orphans to their uncle in Texas during December of 1880. Erik Olson knows it’s impossible for those cute little pests to be his brother’s and refuses to accept them—regardless of Anna’s persistence. Little do they know that behind the scenes, Erik’s Uncle Lars and his buddies are doing a little matchmaking, hoping to give the children a father and a mother. 
 
A Grand County Christmas by Debra Ullrick
In 1883, Awnya O’Crean is on the brink of starvation and homeless in the Colorado Mountains. When she goes hunting for food, God places her in the path of Amadeus Josef. Will Christmas with the Josef family teach Awnya how God works in mysterious ways?

Wagon Train Wedding by Linda Ford

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1848 – New Mexico

Judith Russel is devastated by the death of her fiancé and vows to never again trust her feelings toward a man.

Gil Trapper is the wagon train scout and owner of several freight wagons. Freighting is going to give him the future he’d thought he lost. He has no interest in love after the woman he intended to marry broke his heart.

Judith and Gil are forced to marry after they spend a night alone together saving a lost child. Their marriage of convenience doesn’t change anything. Judith can’t trust Gil and Gil will never open his heart to Judith. But as they work together to care for the tiny child that needs them, they can’t help growing closer to each other.

Will time spent together facing the challenges of the trail, the joy of the child, and the truth about their past experiences force them to admit their growing love or drive them apart forever?

A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

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1853 – England

Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming but penniless rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost.

Can two hearts survive such deception?

Prince Edward’s Warrant by Mel Starr

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1372 – England

Master Hugh won the Black Prince’s favour when he helped to ease the Prince’s illness. Now, in the autumn of 1372, the prince is suffering a relapse and sends to Bampton for Master Hugh to attend him. While at dinner in Kennington Palace, Sir Giles, the knight who escorted Hugh to London, is stricken and dies. Poison! Sir Giles is not popular, and there are many who would gladly see the fellow done away with… except for Prince Edward. The Black Prince feels a debt to the slain man because of his heroic behaviour at the Battle of Crecy, where the knight stood firm with the prince when the fight seemed of uncertain outcome. Despite caring little for Sir Giles, Master Hugh must once again place himself in jeopardy and seek to uncover the perpetrator of the crime…

Harbor Secrets by Melody Carlson

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1916 – Oregon

A Peaceful Coastal Town…Threatened by a Storm of Secrets

It’s 1916 when newspaper woman Anna McDowell learns her estranged father has suffered a stroke. Deciding it’s time to repair bridges, Anna packs up her precocious adolescent daughter and heads for her hometown in Sunset Cove, Oregon.

Although much has changed since the turn of the century, some things haven’t. Anna finds the staff of her father’s paper not exactly eager to welcome a woman into the editor-in-chief role, but her father insists he wants her at the helm. Anna is quickly pulled into the charming town and her new position…but just as quickly learns this seaside getaway harbors some dark and dangerous secrets.

With Oregon’s new statewide prohibition in effect, crime has crept along the seacoast and invaded even idyllic Sunset Cove. Anna only meant to get to know her father again over the summer, but instead she finds herself rooting out the biggest story the town has ever seen and trying to keep her daughter safe from it all.

Author Interview & Giveaway – Thief of Corinth – Tessa Afshar

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I had the privilege of reading this book early and recommend it. Those that prefer that the romance does not take center stage and those that want something of a romance involved should both be happy. If you’ve ever read Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion trilogy and have ever wanted to read something else like it, this book has the same feel without all the gladiator games. Ancient Corinth/Athens, underhanded Romans, the early church. Skilled writing.

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Thief of Corinth

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

Tessa’s Website

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Questions about Tessa’s Story

What inspired your story?

The apostle Paul had a special affection for the people of Corinth. Perhaps this was because he founded the first church there through his personal ministry. Many of Corinth’s inhabitants were on the naughty side. In his letter to the house churches he helped to build, Paul says they had been greedy, immoral, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers before Jesus grabbed a hold of them (1Corinthians 6:9-11). I wanted to write about a character that fit this mold. Someone who was a bit of a rascal, with a lot of spunk, and yet managed to be lovable. My favorite books are often about imperfect characters, people who make wrong choices and land themselves in deep pits. That is how my character Ariadne was born. A woman who seemed to have it all, but turned to theft in order to solve the mounting financial problems of her beloved family.

Why did you choose the year your book is set?

Most of this story takes place around 50 AD, smack in the middle of Paul’s second missionary journey. It is an exciting time both in history and in the world of faith. The Romans are at the height of their power and ingenuity. The city of Corinth sparkles with engineering marvels. They have figured out ways to install glass in their windows, an art which is subsequently lost for centuries. They have indoor plumbing (a fact I use to advantage in one of Ariadne’s heists. I’m afraid I have a weakness for bathroom humor.) The Roman Empire of the first century is one of the most exciting time periods to write about. Subtly running beneath this grand display of power is the river of faith that is flowing through the work of men like Paul. As a writer, I can’t ask for a better period to write about.

If you could be guaranteed to publish a book set anywhere and at anytime, what setting would you love to set a novel in?

I am known for writing biblical fiction. But I would love to write a historical novel based in England during Jane Austen times.

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Questions about Tessa’s Reading

Isaiah's Daughter

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

Biblical fiction is growing in popularity, and many writers are contributing to the genre. From Ted Dekker to Davis Bunn, Christian authors are penning stories based on Bible events and times. Other writers include the lovely Mesu Andrews, who recently released Isaiah’s Daughter, a novel set in the Old Testament era.

avoiceinthewind

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Hard to say. I have always been a fan of historical fiction. I think my first specifically Christian historical novel was A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. Of course I became a fan after that!

Tessa 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.**

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The Reckless by MaryLu Tyndall

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1694 – Caribbean

Captain Reena Charlisse Hyde always gets what she wants. She wanted to be the best female pirate on the Caribbean and she is. She wants to find the mythical Fountain of Youth and she knows the location of the map. And now after searching across the Caribbean for the man she intends to marry, she has found him. There are only two problems. He doesn’t want to be found, and he’s on board a Royal Navy frigate—the last place a pirate should venture.

Frederick Carlton thought he was finally safe from the woman who held his heart. But her attempt to rescue him labels him a deserter from the Royal Navy. He’s turned his life over to God and plans on being a preacher, but every moment he spends with Reena drives him deeper into a past he longs to forget.

Mutinies, deserted islands, treasure maps, battles, traitors, and villains send the couple sailing on a tsunami of adventure throughout the Caribbean in search of the Fountain of Youth. Frederick longs to escape the lure of the woman he loves. Reena longs for Frederick to love her again. But in the end, they will both have to choose between eternal youth or the lives of everyone they love.

Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

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1st Century AD – Greece

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar

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1943 – Poland

Auschwitz Lullaby brings to life the story of Helene Hannemann—a woman who sacrificed everything for family and fought furiously for the children she hoped to save.

On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined.

After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself.

Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history.

Based on a true story, Mario Escobar’s Auschwitz Lullaby demonstrates the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity—even when all hope seems lost.

Cowboys and Angels by David Stearman

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1860 – Arizona

Deep in the red-rock country of 1860s Arizona, rancher Jessi Burke catches out-of-work cowboy Slade Jackson with one of her prize horses. Despite his claims of innocence, she’s convinced he has rustled her missing herd. But when a band of Apache raiders chases the pair across the desert plains, Jessi and Slade must set aside their dispute and work together to save their lives.

Jessi and Slade become trapped atop a mesa with vengeful Apache warrior. There, the survival of these three enemies will depend on mutual understanding . . .and Providence.

 

Wagon Train Baby by Linda Ford

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1848 – New Mexico

A life-altering betrayal leaves Donna Grace alone, unmarried, and pregnant. She’s desperate to leave St. Louis, Missouri, and return to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she grew up, and the only way back is by wagon train. The wagon master refuses to let a single woman drive a wagon without a male escort. Donna knows she can’t trust men, but it seems she’s going to have to partner with one if she wants to get back home.

Luke Russell failed to protect his fiancée. Because of his neglect, she was murdered. He vows to never leave another person to face dangers on their own and to never again open his heart to love. When he overhears Donna Grace’s predicament he offers her a marriage of convenience that they will dissolve as soon they reach Santa Fe.

But the trail forces them to work together. The birth of Donna’s baby unites them in a way they can’t deny. Will the dangers and joys of the Santa Fe Trail break down the barriers these two have built around their hearts?

The Southern Belle Brides Collection

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Welcome to the Old South where hospitality is king and charm is queen. Can lasting love been found here amidst chaotic life challenges?
 
The Belle of the Congaree by Lauralee Bliss
Columbia, South Carolina—1866
Mason Bassinger reluctantly travels to post-war South Carolina seeking lands his carpetbagger brother can buy. Elisa Anderson barely survives after her family’s plantation was destroyed. She welcomes visits by the handsome and wealthy Mason who makes the cottage by the Congaree feel like a home. But when Mason’s true purpose is revealed, will her heart be broken by betrayal?
 
Thoroughbreds by Ramona Cecil
Lexington, Kentucky—1918
A family tragedy reunites Ella Jamison with her childhood tormentor, igniting surprisingly different sparks. Clay Garrett questions why God would allow him to fall in love with the one woman least likely to return his affections. But when love blooms against all odds, old secrets threaten to destroy it and, in the process, tear an entire family apart.
 
The Marmalade Belle by Dianne Christner
Ocala, Florida—1893
A decade-old note draws Maribelle Sinclair into the arms of Jackson, her childhood hero, but the Cavalry dragoon’s soul appears dark and dangerous as the Florida everglades. Virgil, on the other hand, is sweet as mama’s orange marmalade and optimistically forthright. If hearts are windows, like the glass-bottomed boats on nearby Silver River, Maribelle can trust hers to make the right choice.
 
Debt of Love by Lynn Coleman
Palatka, Florida—1868
Adeline Edwards, a Southern Belle with strong calloused hands from tending cattle, no longer attends balls. Banker, Phineas George Hamilton III, arrives at the plantation to recover the bank’s debt and discovers strong-willed Adeline doubts the bank’s claim. Can they figure out the debt, or will they find balance in love?
 
Hometown Bride by Patty Smith Hall
Marietta, Georgia—1870
Jilly Chastain never lied, but when her mother fabricates a marriage with her childhood sweetheart, Grayson Hancock, Jilly goes along with it, never expecting Grayson to show up, ready to make their make-believe marriage real.
 
Miss Beaumont’s Companion by Grace Hitchcock
Baton Rouge, Louisiana—1892
When lady’s companion Aria St. Angelo is coerced into posing as her political employer’s absent daughter for the evening at the Louisiana Governor’s masquerade ball, she wasn’t planning on falling for Byron Roderick, the most eligible bachelor in the capitol.
 
Above All These Things by Connie Stevens
East central Georgia—1855
Pre-conceived opinions and stubborn pride builds walls of resentment between Annulet Granville, the belle of Thornwalk Manor, and a visiting stranger. Annulet’s parents urge her to find a husband, but she labels Peyton Stafford the enemy. So what is she to do with Christ’s command to love her enemies?

The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

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1774 – Pennsylvania

Spies Work Together for the Patriot Cause

Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

The Abolitionist’s Daughter by Kathleen Maher

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1860 – Maryland/Virginia

The crusading daughter of a Washington politician, Marietta Hamilton comes between twin brothers as the country plunges toward Civil War. Horse traders from Virginia, Ethan Sharpe and his brother Devon would defend their livelihood from her interfering kind. When love ignites, friends become enemies separated over the course of a long and brutal conflict. Can the very influences which carved a chasm unite a torn family against all odds?

The Lady of Tarpon Springs by Judith Miller

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1905 – Florida

Much to the dismay of her Greek family, Zanna Krykos makes a living as a lawyer in Tarpon Springs, Florida. When her friend Lucy needs legal advice about the business she inherited upon her father’s passing, she ends up asking Zanna to run the business instead so she can focus on her medical career.

Nico Kalos is a Greek diver who has worked on sponging boats in the Aegean Sea since the age of 14, giving him a vast knowledge of the trade. When he hears of an opportunity to lead a group of spongers to the United States, he seizes it. But his excitement is quickly quelled when he arrives only to discover that a young woman with no experience in the business will be in charge of the new crews.

But as Zanna and Nico face even more complications than they could have imagined, they must learn to work together or risk everything they’ve worked so hard for.

A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

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1866 – England

Tressa Harlowe’s father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn’t take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they’re really up to. She’ll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father’s fortune–before someone else finds it first.

Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano

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1883 – New York

Miss Temperance Flowerdew is on her way to work when a stranger suddenly grabs her off the street and sends her on a Chicago-bound train before she can figure out what happened.

When Mr. Gilbert Cavendish is called upon to rescue a missing woman, he follows the trail to Chicago only to discover that the woman is his good friend Temperance. Before they can discover who was behind the abduction, they’re seen alone together by a New York society matron, putting their reputations at risk.

Gilbert is willing to propose marriage–except Temperance will have none of it. She’s finally stepped out of the shadow of her relations and won’t give up her independence. But when it becomes clear the misunderstanding in Chicago has escalated into a threat on her life and followed her to New York, accepting Gilbert’s help in solving the mystery may lead to more than she ever could have dreamed.

A Simple Singing by Leslie Gould

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Civil War Era/2013 – Florida

For years Marie Bachmann thought of herself as the “good” daughter. She was the most loving to their mother, the most dedicated to their Amish way of life. But when a Mennonite farmhand, Gordon Martin, shows interest in her she can’t help but be flattered–until her mother sends her off to Florida. While there, Marie begins spending time with bad-boy Eli Jacob, the bishop’s son from back home.

When Gordon shows up in Florida to volunteer in a homeless shelter, her life becomes even more complicated. At the same time her aunt begins telling her of a Civil War-era ancestor and the woman’s uncommon bravery . . . a story that begins to work at Marie’s heart.

Marie hopes returning home may simplify life, but Eli soon follows. As Marie grapples with whether she should court Eli or leave the church for Gordon, the story of Annie Bachmann shines a light on what God has for Marie’s future.