Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

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Treasured Grace

1847 – Washington

Grace Martindale has known more than her share of hardship. After her parents died, raising her two younger sisters became her responsibility. A hasty marriage to a minister who is heading to the untamed West seemed like an opportunity for a fresh start, but a cholera outbreak along the wagon trail has left Grace a widow in a very precarious position.

Having learned natural remedies and midwifery from her mother, Grace seeks an opportunity to use her skills for the benefit of others. So when she and her sisters arrive at the Whitman mission in “Oregon Country,” she decides to stay rather than push on.

With the help of Alex Armistead, a French-American fur trapper, Grace begins to provide care for her neighbors, including some of the native populace. But not everyone welcomes her skills–or her presence–and soon Grace finds herself and those she loves in more danger than she imagined possible.

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Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy

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Long Time Gone

1880 – New Mexico

The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they truly uncovered the real plot to take their New Mexico ranch? Rancher Justin Boden is now in charge. He is normally an unshakable and rugged man, but with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn’t help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on.

With her and the doc’s timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend, and Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the dangers facing them. It’s clear now that everything that’s occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they uncover all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the threat to the ranch even bigger than any of the Bodens could imagine?

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To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

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To the Farthest Shores

1904 – California

It has been six years since army nurse Jenny Bennett’s heart was broken by a dashing naval officer. Now Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher has abruptly reappeared in her life at the Presidio army base but refuses to discuss the inexplicable behavior that destroyed their happiness.

Ryan is in an impossible situation. One of the few men in the world qualified to carry out a daring assignment, he accepted a government mission overseas that caused his reputation to be destroyed and broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Honor bound never to reveal where he had been during those six years, he can’t tell Jenny the truth or it will endanger an ongoing mission and put thousands of lives at risk.

Although Ryan thinks he may have finally found a solution, he can’t pull it off on his own. Loyalty to her country compels Jenny to help, but she never could have imagined the intrigue she and Ryan will have to face or the lengths to which they will have to go to succeed.

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The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller

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The Elusive Miss Ellison

1813 – England

Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.

That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother–who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.

Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.

That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.

These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

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With Each New Dawn by Gail Kittleson

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With Each New Dawn

1943 – London

American RAF widow Kate Isaacs leaves war-torn London to parachute into southern France and aid the French Resistance. Her alliance with grieving Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter Domingo Ibarra brings both sorrow and relief as she discovers her familial roots, along with second chances.

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Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky

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Shine Like the Dawn

1903 – England

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart because she wonders if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

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Author Interview and Giveaway – Redeeming Grace – Jill Eileen Smith

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I’ve so enjoyed these pretty covers for Jill’s newest biblical series. These rich dark colors are just a favorite. AND totally go check out Jill’s website, the effect at the top is really cool! I hope you enjoy the interview.

Redeeming Grace-Book Cover

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Redeeming Grace

When famine visits Bethlehem, Boaz holds out hope for rain while his relative Elimelech moves his wife Naomi and their sons to Moab. For a while, it appears the Lord is blessing Elimelech’s family, and his sons marry two lovely Moabite women. But calamities strike, one after another, leaving Naomi alone in a foreign land with only her childless daughters-in-law for comfort. When news reaches Naomi that the famine in Bethlehem has lifted, only Ruth will hazard the journey to her mother-in-law’s homeland. Destitute and downhearted, Naomi resigns herself to a life of bitter poverty, but Ruth holds out hope for a better future. And Boaz may be the one God has chosen to provide it.

Jill’s Website

Smith_JillEileen

Other books in this series:

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Questions about Jill’s Story

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

Ruth’s story is so well known that I didn’t really give the book a lot of thought until I sat down to write it. But then I had to come up with backstories on each of the characters and delve into their possible mindset. And it struck me then that I related more to Naomi than to Ruth—not because I’m widowed (I’m not) or have lost children (I haven’t) but because of her age and status as a mother-in-law. And I wondered how I would have felt if my husband had decided to stop trusting God for our future and moved us to a foreign land rather than wait out the difficult circumstances in the land God had given to us.

I also had to put myself into Ruth’s character, so I was essentially playing the roles of both daughter-in-law and mother-in-law, of which I’ve been both. It was interesting to see life from two differing perspectives. Most of us probably relate to Ruth when we read Ruth’s story in Scripture, and because the book carries her name, we naturally think the story is hers. But I sensed, perhaps because I related more to her, that this was actually Naomi’s story. She is the one who suffered the greatest losses and ended up with the most joyous gains.

I will say, however, that I loved the relationship Naomi had with Ruth. Ruth’s devotion to Naomi went beyond the expected, even in her day. She could have returned, as Orpah did, to her mother’s house and remarried a man from Moab. I have to think Ruth’s choices were not only for Naomi but because she was in search of a better life with Israel and their God whom she was only beginning to know. Both women took great risks, and I admire that. If the time came for me to make risky choices because God said “go” or “do,” would I have the same kind of courage to follow where He leads?

Why did you choose the year your book is set?

The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly when Ruth’s story takes place. We tend to think of it coming after the book of Judges because that’s where it falls in our Bibles. But the book itself only tells us that the story took place during the time when the judges ruled. It does not tell us which judge ruled then.

So I did some research and discovered that the placing of this story is tricky and can be confusing. As I mention in my Note to the Reader in the book, I chose to place Ruth’s story actually before Deborah’s because it was under the judge Ehud that Moab is most prominently mentioned. The death of Moab’s king at the hand of Israel played a significant role in crafting the story. There is some discrepancy with the placing of Salmon’s and Boaz’s birth by choosing this timing and setting, but wherever you place it, there is no perfect solution to understanding the time when Rahab birthed Boaz and Ruth bore Boaz a son. So I went with what made most sense to the story. If my timing is wrong, it doesn’t change the purpose or theme or truth of the story and that is what ultimately matters.

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

Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem during barley harvest. In Israel, the men of each tribe were expected to celebrate certain feasts, first at Shiloh and later in Jerusalem. The women and children often went along, but the men were required to be there. I had not expected the need to include the feasts, but found that studying them fascinated me. I wanted to show the reader what those celebrations might have looked like in Shiloh.

Years ago, my husband and I visited a replica of the Jewish tabernacle. You can also see pictures of it online and the Bible gives us the place where each tribe was to set up camp around it when they lived with the tabernacle in the desert. In a sense the people were making their dwelling where God had placed His name. In the same way, in the future, Jesus came (in the direct line of Boaz and later King David) and “tabernacled” or dwelt among us. He made His home in our midst, just as the people of the Old Testament came near to live as close as they could get to God’s presence, which was a shadow of things to come.

The Feast of Firstfruits is mentioned in connection with Feast of Weeks or Shavot, Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, and Passover. All of these feasts have spiritual meaning and connection to the Messiah, but the main purpose I focused on in the story was that by giving God the first of our harvest, or the best of our resources, our talents, our time, etc., is an act of trusting that God will supply our needs for the future—even if we cannot not see what that future might be.

That trust was pretty significant for Ruth and Boaz and Naomi that first year of Naomi’s return because they had just seen the end of a very long famine. If similar circumstances occurred in my lifetime, could I have the same kind of trust?

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Questions about Jill’s Reading

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

I rarely reread any book other than the Bible. I can count on one hand the number of novels or non-fiction books that I’ve read more than once. That said, there are a handful that are hands-down my all-time favorites. The one that jumps to the top of the list every time is Two From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes. This is a love story of Joseph and Mary and I first read it when I was sixteen. I read it nearly every Christmas for years after that. This is the book that inspired my love of the Bible and brought the people in it to life. It is also the book that inspired me to want to write biblical fiction.

But I had not read it in years once I married and had children. Then nine years ago, my dad got sick and moved on to heaven four years later. That was the last time I read Two From Galilee. There is something about a favorite book from childhood that comforts us even when we are grown adults. When my dad died, my sister and I both had that desire to go back and read our favorite childhood story. That was when I reread for the umpteenth time, this favorite of all love stories.

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

The last Christian Historical Novel I read was Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar. I read an early copy for endorsement and was honored to do so. I have read several of Tessa’s books, but this one has topped them all thus far. The story is about the woman with the issue of blood in the New Testament and Tessa captures her story so well. My favorite thing about the story is the way Tessa took a little known woman, who is not even named in Scripture, and beautifully created her world. She helped us see what life would have been like for this young woman in the culture of her day. I always appreciate it when an author stays true to Scripture and brings culture to life. When I can come away feeling like I have time traveled to that place and walked in their sandals, the author has done his or her job well.

Jill is giving away a copy paperback (usa only), and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of either 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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Bitter Eyes No More by April Gardner

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Bitter Eyes No More

1817 – Florida

Spanish Florida once sheltered Lillian McGirth from her fears. Now, it feeds them. Mercy is for the deserving; for Lillian, an unwed mother accused of treason, there is only battering and defeat, but her fall breaks softly in the arms of an unexpected arrival, a man too beautiful of soul to stain with her lost character.
Captain Marcus Buck sails in on a pledge to save Miss McGirth from herself and from her child’s father, a ruthless don. All the while, he’s to regard her as virtuous and worthy of protection and to guard said virtue from pilfering. But the terms are flawed since he must first guard her from himself. Regardless, he is determined. He will free her, repair her name—simple labor compared to dodging the army’s noose, mending wounds three years deep, and navigating a host of rebel Natives bent on inflicting more.
Through the steady crumble of his pledge, their friendship becomes a consolation, for she knows his pain as no other can or will. Their scars are one; their paths, however, might irrevocably become two…

Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

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Redeeming Grace

1297 BC – Israel

When famine visits Bethlehem, Boaz holds out hope for rain while his relative Elimelech moves his wife Naomi and their sons to Moab. For a while, it appears the Lord is blessing Elimelech’s family, and his sons marry two lovely Moabite women. But calamities strike, one after another, leaving Naomi alone in a foreign land with only her childless daughters-in-law for comfort. When news reaches Naomi that the famine in Bethlehem has lifted, only Ruth will hazard the journey to her mother-in-law’s homeland. Destitute and downhearted, Naomi resigns herself to a life of bitter poverty, but Ruth holds out hope for a better future. And Boaz may be the one God has chosen to provide it.

Combining meticulous research with her endless imagination, Jill Eileen Smith gorgeously renders one of the most beautiful stories in Scripture. Readers will adore this third installment of the inspiring Daughters of the Promised Land series.

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The Matchmaker Brides Collection

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The Matchmaker Brides Collection

Meet nine women of the late 1800s who have found themselves in the role of matchmaker. They think they have mastered the art of recognizing romantic potential in others, but when it comes to their own lives they have been unlucky in love. In small communities from Tennessee to Colorado, Wyoming to Indiana, love unexpectedly enters the women’s lives with men they never imagined marrying. But what will it take to get these ladies to say “I do”?

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