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Author Interview and Giveaway – In a Far-Off Land – Stephanie Landsem

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There’s something magnetic about a fresh retelling of a Biblical story. And you’ve never seen the story of The Prodigal like this before. Stephanie Landsem takes readers into the glitter and sparkle of 1930s film-making. Readers see Hollywood glam and heartache first-hand, through the eyes of Tinseltown’s newest darling, actress Minerva Sinclair. Welcome to the Index, Stephanie!

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In a Far-Off Land

A story about the price of fame, the truth sacrificed on its altar, and the love that brings a prodigal daughter home.

As the Great Depression hits the Midwest, Minerva Sinclaire runs away to Hollywood, determined to make it big and save the family farm. But beauty and moxie don’t pay the bills in Tinseltown, and she’s caught in a downward spiral of poverty, desperation, and compromise. Finally, she’s about to sign with a major studio and make up for it all. Instead, she wakes up next to a dead film star and is on the run for a murder she didn’t commit.

Only two unwilling men—Oscar, a Mexican gardener in danger of deportation, and Max, a too-handsome agent battling his own demons—can help Mina escape corrupt police on the take and the studio big shots trying to frame her. But even her quick thinking and grit can’t protect her from herself. Alone, penniless, and carrying a shameful secret, Mina faces the consequences of the heartbreaking choices that brought her to ruin . . . and just might bring her back to where she belongs.

Stephanie’s Website

 

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Questions about Stephanie’s Story

Did any of the characters in this book “surprise” you?

Yes! In my first draft of In A Far-Off Land, Mina had an unscrupulous agent named Max who was taking advantage of her and was going to get his come-uppance. I’d written a few scenes with him when I realized . . . I like this man. He was worming his way into my heart and not becoming the villain I’d originally planned. I tried again with a new scene. Max surprised me again by being a stand-up kind of guy. I wasn’t sure what to do with him at that point.

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

I decided I needed to give Max a chance, so I sat down and wrote his backstory. I discovered in him a character that bridged the divide between the poverty of the Mexican-Americans who were struggling in 1930s Los Angeles and the over-the-top riches of the Hollywood elite. Max had experienced both extremes. He knew the love of family and longed to return to it and had witnessed first-hand the destructive power of fame and money. He wanted to save Mina from what he knew would be a dangerous life. He turned from my villain into my hero.

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Questions about Stephanie’s Reading

What was the last Christian Historical Novel that made you cry?

My last good book-cry was when I read Patti Callahan-Henry’s novel, Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I was surprised because I thought I knew Joy Davidman’s story and was ready for the tragic ending. But really, I wasn’t. It was so skillfully done, and so beautifully wrought with her spiritual journey and the amazing love that she had shared with Jack Lewis, that when the end came, I wasn’t ready for it and it broke my heart.

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

Again, that would be Joy Davidman. I’d love to sit in a comfy pub in Oxford with her (and C.S. Lewis if he wishes to join us) and talk about writing, faith, and marriage. Then we’d take a long ramble in the woods and talk some more. The Joy Davidman of Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a smart, real woman who has questioned God, sought answers to life’s most difficult questions, and found them in both her suffering and her joy.

Stephanie is giving away a paperback (Continental USA Only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**If you don’t want to enter the 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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Falling For the fifties by Stephanie McGee

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1956 – Mississippi

What would you do if you finally found Mr. Right…in the wrong time?

Maddie Palmer is done with dating. Internet matchmaking landed her one dud after another. Tired, frustrated, and finished with love, Maddie stays the night at a quirky Victorian bed and breakfast on the eve of her grandparents’ sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. When she suddenly wakes up in 1956, she gets the unexpected chance to witness her grandparents’ fairy tale love unfold and finally learn the secret to finding “the one.” But what is she going to do when she meets her own Mr. Right—only to discover he’s Mr. Wrong Time?

Nathanial Hall is set on one mission. Pass his training exam and join the Hurricane Hunters at Keesler Air Force Base. When he mysteriously finds himself on base sixty-five years too early, there can only be one explanation. He has to save the crew destined to die in Hurricane Flossy. But when a beautiful singer snags his heart and derails his carefully planned life, he has to decide if staying in the past is worth risking his entire future.

 

Paint and Nectar by Ashley Clark

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1929 – South Carolina

In 1929, a spark forms between Eliza, a talented watercolorist, and William, a charming young man with a secret that could ruin her career. Their families forbid their romance because of a long-standing feud over missing heirloom silver. Still, Eliza and William’s passion grows despite the barriers, causing William to deeply regret the secret he’s keeping . . . but setting things right will come at a cost.

In present-day Charleston, a mysterious benefactor gifts Lucy Legare an old house, along with all the secrets it holds–including enigmatic letters about an antique silver heirloom. Declan Pinckney, whom Lucy’s been avoiding since their disastrous first date, is set on buying her house for his family’s development company. As Lucy uncovers secrets about the house, its garden, and the silver, she becomes more determined than ever to preserve the historic Charleston property, not only for history’s sake but also for her own.

Much Ado About Josie by Lacy Williams

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1880s – Montana

Mack has built a solitary life for himself as a railroad surveyor. The only person he can rely on is his brother and partner. But when his brother is gravely injured, Mack is forced to accept help from the lovely Josie and her sidekick Ruthie.

Josie is Mack’s opposite in every way. She’s a dreamer who has led a charmed life. She sees the good in people. She draws people in, makes them feel special.

Trapped on a mountain, surviving an avalanche, and exposure to the elements… being with Josie is the biggest risk of all. Because she makes Mack want things he’s never had before. Home. Family. Someone to love.

The Promise Tree by Janalyn Voigt

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1884 – Montana Territory

A preacher’s daughter shouldn’t encourage a troublemaker—no matter what her wayward heart desires.

Liberty has always believed she should marry a man of God, but Jake doesn’t qualify. The promises they’d made at age twelve can’t change that. If only Jake would stop pursuing her, she might keep from falling in love with him.

Jake fears he’ll lose Liberty to Beau, the new man in town. He doesn’t trust the smooth-talker—and certainly not with Liberty. Expressing his opinion sounds jealous and pushes Liberty further away. Jake’s efforts to forget the woman he loves lands him in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

A bounty hunter on the trail of a notorious outlaw gallops into town, and Liberty finds herself in unexpected peril. When Jake rides after her, he faces a test of faith. Jake and Liberty must each overcome their own false beliefs. Only then can they experience the truth of God’s redeeming love.

A Woman of Words by Angela Hunt

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40s – Israel

Disciple Matthew, a former tax collector, is invited to work with Peter, James, and John in Jerusalem. He dreams of preaching and performing miracles like his fellow apostles, but he finds his dreams postponed because of a request from Yeshua’s mother. Well aware of the passing years, Mary asks Matthew to help her record the stories of Yeshua while the eyewitnesses are still alive. Reluctantly, he agrees, though the longer he and Mary work together, the more difficult their task becomes. Not only are they pressured by opposition from friends and foes alike, but Gaius Caesar, better known as Caligula, is determined to raise a statue of himself in the Holy Temple, even if it means killing every man in Israel. As Matthew works to save his people, Mary encourages him to come to terms with issues from his past. When they finally near the completion of their project, Matthew realizes that the job he reluctantly accepted might be his God-given destiny.

The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna White

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1906 – England

Lady Elizabeth “Libby” Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn’t favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage’s former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished. 

Oliver Tremayne–gentleman and clergyman–is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he’s happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth’s summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it’s the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can’t quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.

As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.

Banished by Linda Byler

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1900s – Arkansas

It was the early 1900s when Obadiah (Oba) and Merriweather’s (May’s) parents died tragically, leaving them orphans at ten and eleven years old. When none of their nearby relations volunteer to take them in, they are set on a train to Arkansas to go live on their Amish aunt and uncle’s cotton farm. Once there, it didn’t take long to discover they would be treated cruelly, no matter what they did. May, always anxious to be a godly young lady, took on more and more responsibility, trying desperately to keep the peace and convince her older brother not to run away. But when they became teenagers and Oba received one especially cruel beating, he disappeared, leaving May to shoulder even more responsibility while navigating the dangerous and lonely world she’d been placed in.

When she encounters Clinton, a young black man, on the road one day, she sees a kindness in his eyes that she’s been thirsting for. He is immediately drawn to her, too, but quickly reminds her that he is black and she is white. In that time and place, there is no chance of starting a friendship. But still, they find themselves meeting discretely, spending more time together than is proper, finding joy and solace in each other’s company.

When things go from bad to unbearable at the farm, May realizes she must escape from her aunt and uncle. If only she knew where Oba had gone! Can she turn to Clinton for help? Where is God when she needs Him most?

Lassoed by the Lawman by Renae Brumbaugh Green

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1882 – Texas

Juliana Duke has always dreamed of owning a dress shop.

But as the only child of Oscar and Maria Duke and heiress of the vast Duke Ranch, her job is to marry a rancher and produce a male heir. When Lt. Cody Steves rides onto the scene, her resolve to place duty over daydreams is shaken. Now that her heart’s been lassoed by the handsome lawman, will she be able to love another?

Cody Steves wants marriage and family, but he loves being a Texas Ranger. At any time, he could ride into a job and not come out alive. How could any decent man marry, knowing he could leave a widow and orphans behind? But the beautiful Juliana Duke captures him in a way no other has. When this job is over, can he ride away with his heart intact?

When he learns of a secret plot to take over the Duke Ranch, Cody must risk everything to save Juliana. Little does he know, the outcome will be nothing like he’s planned or imagined.

In a Far-Off Land by Stephanie Landsem

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1931 – California/South Dakota

A story about the price of fame, the truth sacrificed on its altar, and the love that brings a prodigal daughter home.

As the Great Depression hits the Midwest, Minerva Sinclaire runs away to Hollywood, determined to make it big and save the family farm. But beauty and moxie don’t pay the bills in Tinseltown, and she’s caught in a downward spiral of poverty, desperation, and compromise. Finally, she’s about to sign with a major studio and make up for it all. Instead, she wakes up next to a dead film star and is on the run for a murder she didn’t commit.

Only two unwilling men—Oscar, a Mexican gardener in danger of deportation, and Max, a too-handsome agent battling his own demons—can help Mina escape corrupt police on the take and the studio big shots trying to frame her. But even her quick thinking and grit can’t protect her from herself. Alone, penniless, and carrying a shameful secret, Mina faces the consequences of the heartbreaking choices that brought her to ruin . . . and just might bring her back to where she belongs.

 

Rodeo and Juliet by Linda Ford

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1884 – Montana

Rodeo has never been closer to achieving his dream of buying his own ranch. But when his trick horse—his partner in every performance—falls for the lovely Juliet and refuses to leave her side, Rodeo’s plans go up in smoke. How can Rodeo persuade his stubborn horse to change his mind? Especially when Rodeo finds himself drawn to Jules, too…

Juliet is the careful twin, content to play it safe. She’s not interested in Rodeo—or his horse. But the more time she spends with the stubborn cowboy, the more she realizes there are hidden depths he doesn’t show anyone else. But feeling compassion for the man doesn’t mean she’s falling for him… does it?

Rodeo needs Jules’s help to convince his matchmaking horse to perform. Can these two put aside their pasts and embrace a future that fulfills dreams they won’t admit to?

A Sojourner Christmas by Linda Brooks Davis

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1923 – Texas

She relinquished her childhood home. Abandoned her former life. And set off for a faraway valley that’s touted as magical. As an aspiring newspaper reporter, Blossom Evans expects to find plenty of material with which to carve out a career. But alarming tales about the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas abound. Barely tamed, rugged brush land. Mexican bandits. Wildcats, rattlesnakes, and tarantulas as big around as dinner plates. Where will she find the courage to face—and overcome—such foes, even for her dream career?The first hint of an answer lies in the sleepy little West Texas town of Winters. An unexpected conflict is brewing, one that could launch a reporter’s career—or crush it before it begins. How will Blossom be lured into the fray? And where will she find the temerity to confront this particular brand of evil? It’s Christmas Eve 1923, and Blossom Evans is about to discover what’s she made of.

The Silver Shadow by Liz Tolsma

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1900 – Colorado

Denver of 1900 is still a dangerous place to be following the silver crash of 1893. And of out of the dark comes a shadow intent on harming women. Ambitious young Denver newspaper reporter Polly Blythe is searching for the big story that’s going to launch her career. On Friday evening, August 24, 1900, she gets her break when two women are cracked over the head within a two-minute walk of each other. But policeman Edwin Timmer thwarts Polly’s ideas of a serial criminal. . .until the shadowy figure strikes again. Will the reporter and the policeman team up to find the culprit before he strikes too close for comfort?

The Songstress by Lori Bates Wright

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1868 – Illinois

Rising opera star, Juliana Chamberlain, still has nightmares of the night she witnessed the assassination of the President of the United States from her spot on stage at Ford Theater. Recruited by The Pinkerton Detective Agency, Juliana was instrumental in bringing those responsible to justice.

Two years later, the Pinkertons once again ask her to join forces in exposing a corrupt political organization terrorizing her home in Texas.

Texas Ranger, Cade Matlock, has a job to do. He needs no help from a meddlesome lady agent with big ideas. However, he’s a man of his word, and commits to partnering with the lovely songstress to smoke out a political mastermind with a thirst for vengeance.

Juliana trusts no one until her life is placed in the hands of the handsome Ranger. Soon, they discover their only hope of survival depends on banding together, but will shadows of her past rise to destroy their future?

Rekindling Trust by Sandra Ardoin

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1897 – Indiana

Abandonment. Betrayal. Injustice.
Two broken hearts given a second chance to mend.

Widow Edythe Westin yearns for a peaceful home and independence from her controlling father. The goal seems within reach until her rebellious young son is suspected of arson and assault. With nowhere else to turn, she defies her father and appeals for help from the only man she ever loved—the man who once deserted her when she needed him most.

Attorney Barrett Seaton returned to his hometown to make his brother’s final days comfortable. Seeing Edy again raises Barrett’s guard, especially when she remains under her father’s thumb…just like the day she rejected Barrett to marry another man. A second betrayal by Edy would destroy him as surely as her devious father destroyed his brother by railroading him into prison.

After over a decade of hurt, how will trust be renewed in time to save Edythe’s son from an injustice that will haunt him the rest of his life?

Love’s Kindling by Elaine Marie Cooper

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1763 – Connecticut

During the American Revolution, Aurinda Whitney lives with her cold and calloused father, an embittered veteran of the previous war. Aurinda’s life changed forever when her father returned for her after that war, taking her away from the only place she’d ever experienced affection. Since her father blamed Aurinda for the death of his wife in childbirth, Aurinda is convinced she is unworthy of love.

Zadok Wooding believes he is a failure as he tends the smithy at home while others go to battle against the British. Just when he has an opportunity to become a hero, he is blinded in an accident. Now he fears he will never live up to the Biblical “mighty man of valor” for whom he was named.

When the couple meet, they are both challenged to overcome adversity as well as their inadequacies. Unexpected secrets of their past emerge that can change their lives forever. But can they look past their present circumstances to heal—and find love?

The Lady’s Second Chance Suitor by Regina Scott

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1804 – England

Hester Todd hoped never to run into her first love, Rob Peverell, again, until she does just that at the annual Grace-by-the-Sea Harvest Ball. Rob broke her heart seven years ago, sending her flying into the arms of a dashing naval lieutenant instead. Now a widow with a daughter she adores, Hester has finally found a little peace with her past. But one moment in Rob’s company, and her heart begins to whisper of a different future.

A tragedy propelled the rapscallion younger son to the title of viscount, and Rob is struggling to become the man his sister and tenants need. Romance at the moment is out of the question, but Hester always knew the way to his heart. When smugglers once more try to infiltrate the little coastal village, Hester and Rob must find a way to trust each other and protect their families and friends. In doing so, they may find that true love always deserves a second chance.

Bent Tree Bride by Denise Weimer

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1813 – Tennessee

Susanna Moore can’t get him out of her mind—the learned lieutenant who delivered the commission from Andrew Jackson making her father colonel of the Cherokee Regiment. But the next time she sees Lieutenant Sam Hicks, he’s leading a string of prisoners into a frontier fort, and he’s wearing the garb of a Cherokee scout rather than the suit of a white gentleman.

As both Susanna’s father and Sam’s commanding officer, Colonel Moore couldn’t have made his directive to stay away from his daughter clearer to Sam. He wants a better match for Susanna—like the stuffy doctor who escorted her to Creek Territory. Then a suspected spy forces Moore to rely on Sam for military intelligence and Susanna’s protection, making it impossible for either to guard their heart.

The Sword and the Secrets by Jan Davis Warren

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 Medieval – England/Scotland

When Julianna’s final mission proves more deadly than she imagined, help comes from the most unlikely of places.

Raised in a castle on the remote border of England and Scotland, Lord John Stanton is the last male heir of his royal lineage. He has the responsibility to marry and carry on the family name, but a secret vow to God, after a near-fatal battle wound, could change his future from royal heir to humble servant of the church. His journey to the monastery to become a monk is interrupted when he meets a dangerous, but beautiful, woman who has plans and secrets of her own.

Abandoned by her father and raised in an institution as property of the Crown, Julianna Westerfield longs to be free to pursue love and have a family of her own. Trained to be a spy and assassin, she has a chance to earn her freedom by completing this last and most dangerous assignment. Her mission to uncover a murderous plot and the identities of the Black Guard has already cost several agents their lives, and now the assassins are after her. To survive she must depend on a handsome monk and his cantankerous donkey.

Was it divine intervention that caused John and Julianna’s paths to cross? Can they put aside their differences and join forces to deliver stolen papers containing vital information to the king in time to save countless lives?

Winning the Gentleman by Kristi Ann Hunter

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1817 – England

Aaron Whitworth hasn’t had control over most aspects of his life, but he’s always taken pride in being an honorable businessman and better-than-average horseman. When both of those claims are threatened, he makes the desperate decision to hire the horse trainer of a traveling circus as a temporary jockey for his racehorses.

Sophia Fitzroy knows that most horsemen don’t take her seriously because she’s a woman, but she can’t pass up the opportunity to get away from the tumultuous world of travel and performing. As she fights for the right to do the work she was hired for, she learns the fight for Aaron’s guarded heart might be an even more worthwhile challenge.

As secrets come to light and past vulnerabilities are confronted, will Aaron and Sophia sacrifice their former dreams and forge a new one together–against all odds?

A Time to Seek by Tracy Higley

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1300s BC/1922 – Egypt

Sahara Aldridge, a young Egyptologist in 1922, is making a name for herself on the digsite soon to become Egypt’s most sensational discovery—the tomb of the boy-king, Tutankhamun. Despite opposition from a mostly-male profession, Sahara fights to continue the legacy of her Egyptologist parents, who died tragically at sea when she was a teen.

But then a childhood friend finds a lost journal written by Sahara’s mother, hinting at the bizarre possibility of time-travel, and a crazy suspicion forces Sahara to confront a freak incident years earlier…Is it possible her parents were time travelers? And has she inherited this mind-blowing ability?

When the American journalist Jack Moretti begins asking too many questions, Sahara suspects he knows more than he’s telling. Did her parents truly perish in an accident? Or did someone target and murder them because of their time traveling gift?

There’s only one way to unearth the truth. Sahara must travel back in time, to the days of King Tut. But the biggest surprise is yet to come… the truth about her parents, and about her own destiny, discovered in the whispers of conspiracy around the death of Egypt’s most famous Pharaoh. But what secrets are better left buried?

Preacher on the Run by Jayna Baas

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1771 – North Carolina

Robert Boothe has spent the last four years leading the tyrant-hating Regulators in standing against North Carolina’s corrupt British government. Just being an unlicensed dissenter preacher is enough to make Robert a target, but he refuses to back down from his conscience. Aside from a sympathetic court justice, the village of Ayen Ford has no other champion for its poor and defenseless.

Then Charles Drake, emissary of His Excellency William Tryon, comes to town with one ambition: winning the governor’s favor, no matter what it takes. And Robert Boothe just might be his last chance.

All Robert wants is a safe place for his little Baptist church to live and worship God. But the established church wants him to shut up. The governor’s men want him dead. And that safe place is farther and farther away.

You can run, but you can’t hide . . .

The Good German Girl by Erica Marie Hogan

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1944 – France/Germany

June 6, 1944. Omaha Beach.

When battle-hardened Private Bernie Russell witnesses a fellow soldier shoot a young German boy with his hands up, he’s shaken to his very core. Then, as that same boy is dying, he presses a packet of photographs and letters into Bernie’s hand and utters three words in English.

“It must end.”

After having the letters translated, he discovers they were written by the soldier’s twin sister, and the photographs within the packet reveal evidence of Hitler’s plan to wipe out the Jews.

Berlin, Germany.

Margot Raskopf is a young art teacher, forced to conform to the education Hitler has designed. Then, when one of her sources with the underground resistance receives a letter for her from an American soldier, she’s shocked and filled with renewed hope. But Margot has been harboring a secret. In her house, she hides a young Jewish woman she’s known since childhood, risking being discovered by the gestapo with each passing day.

As they begin a dangerous correspondence, both Margot and Bernie embark on treacherous journeys. One taking Bernie across Europe and right into Germany. Another taking Margot through the gates of Auschwitz … and under the scrutiny of Josef Mengele.

An Inconvenient Acquaintance by Sara Turnquist

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1870s – Arizona

Ada Clara Miller is the new schoolteacher in Tombstone. Her desire for independence stems from her brother’s tales of the west. But she never expected to find herself torn between two men—one who promises safety and security, the other’s future is uncertain and offers excitement.

Though Francis “Slim” Dagley is determined that he will not become involved with a woman of privilege, Ada’s fiery personality intrigues him. And draws him. Soon he is vying for her heart with a man he’d rather not trifle with.

Making matters worse, a violent gang skirts the law and makes life difficult for well-meaning ranchers. And their interactions with the Earps create ripples through Tombstone.

Will Slim and Ada find what they seek in each other? Or will they become caught up in a piece of history—the shootout at the O.K. Corral?

The Storm Breaks Forth by Terri Wangard

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1917 – Wisconsin/France

World War I rages in Europe, and now the United States joins in. Peter Bloch heads to France with the Wisconsin National Guard, but his wife Maren is the one under attack. She’s German born, and anti-German hysteria is running high. Simple suggestions for coping with wartime measures lead Maren into an active role in the community, but her service doesn’t help deflect suspicion from her. Zealous patriots target her with a vengeance. Peter caught the eye of a major who seems intent on using him as a spy. He’s been fortunate to avoid injury so far, but these activities are likely to get him killed. Peter and Maren dream of the day they will be reunited, but more and more, that day appears to be a mirage.

Aggressor by Camille Elliot

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1810s – England

One man faces death.

With the help of his team, Mr. Michael Coulson-Jones has overcome the deadly Root elixir that turned him into a monster. But now that they know more about the poisonous potion, he is faced with an inevitable truth—unless he agrees to the risk of taking more, he will eventually die.

One man faces theft.

In the meantime, a beautiful, infamous French spy and her group of thugs have landed on English soil, intent on stealing the mysterious plant that Apothecary Jack uses to control his underworld empire. They play a violent game of hide-and-seek with Michael’s team amidst the rookeries of London.

One man faces rage.

Then one of the team is afflicted by a savage, insane rage after exposure to the strange pollen of Jack’s plants. The team must not only battle the French spies and Apothecary Jack, but also a sickness of the mind tormenting one of their own.

Author Interview and Giveaway – A Tapestry of Light – Kimberly Duffy

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In A Tapestry of Light, Kimberly Duffy weaves earthy realism and intrigue to bring us a fresh look at socially conflicted romance. Welcome to the index, Kimberly!

 

 

 

 

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A Tapestry of Light

Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.

When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.

But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.

 Kimberly’s Website

 

 

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Questions about Kimberly’s Story

What inspired this story?

A Tapestry of Light was inspired by a scrap of embroidered trim I saw at an Indian fabric exhibit at my local museum center. It was just gorgeous—pure white with a trailing ribbon of beetle wings that, even 150 years later, were vibrant and lustrous. As green as the day they’d been sewn. I never knew beetle wings had been used in fashion and something about it caught my fancy. People today would find some Victorian fashion sensibilities horrific—stuffed birds on hats, a dead loved one’s hair in a pin, and beetle wings on gowns—but then, no one thought anything about it. Incidentally, the beetles weren’t harvested until after they mated and died, so it was a pretty sustainable fashion trend.

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

The faith element of the story, which is a big part of the book and my heroine’s character arc, was based entirely on my own struggle with doubt and questions. Having grown up Christian, I wasn’t prepared for it and it wasn’t something anyone was discussing at the time. I really wanted to write a character whose faith isn’t perfect. Who faces hard things and asks hard questions, but perseveres and is a vessel for God’s faithfulness. Ottilie was also inspired by an Anglo-Indian women I met while in Bangalore decades ago. When I first met her, I didn’t know if she was a British woman wearing Indian clothing or an Indian woman with very British habits. Then I learned she was neither, but from a very distinct community that has roots in both cultures.

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

My favorite character is Thaddeus. He’s just such a little boy—all sweetness and rambunctious joy and uncomplicated emotion. I have four kids, ranging in ages from 5-16 so I think I’m pretty good at writing children. And I LOVE writing children.

Why did you choose the geographical location in which your book is set?

I chose Calcutta (Kolkata today) because it’s one of my favorite Indian cities. In the 19th century, when A Tapestry of Light is set, Calcutta was an interesting blend of European and Indian. The architecture, food, culture, art, society as a whole, kind of met and melded and blended. Yet there was a definite us vs. them mentality that caused all kinds of conflict and simmering tension. It was a bustling city, absolutely beautiful—you can see that today in the crumbling old bungalows and monuments, as well as the well-established gardens and parks—and contained a kind of European flare with French and Italian bakeries and restaurants, high-end dress makers, fancy hotels that catered to the wealthy—both British and Indian, and all the elegance you would expect of a highly cosmopolitan Victorian city.

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Questions about Kimberly’s Reading

Who is your favorite Christian Historical hero?

Marcus from Francine Rivers’ A Voice in the Wind. He’s so flawed. So taken by surprise by not only God’s love for him, but his love for Hadassah. He’s a protector, fierce when expected and gentle when necessary.

If your job was to sell one author’s historical fiction (besides your own) which author’s wares would you want to peddle?

And which is your favorite by that author? Laura Frantz. I just love everything she writes. Her books are so immersive, when I’m pulled out from one of her stories, it takes me a minute to place myself in 21st century Ohio again. My favorite books by her, so far, are A Moonbow Night and An Uncommon Woman. But I’m getting ready to read Tidewater Bride soon so that might make it into the list (and really, all of her books are wonderful.)

What was the last Christian Historical Novel that you read that made you think, “Man, I wish I’d written that”?

Havah by Tosca Lee. It’s one of my top ten favorite books of all time. It’s gorgeous and haunting and I have no idea how Tosca wrote Adam and Eve so believably with so little concrete information.

Kimberly is giving away either a print copy, USA only. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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The Egyptian Princess by K. D. Holmberg

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2085 BC – Egypt

Two women, one ancient Egyptian harem, and the daring decision that changed the course of history. 

In the opulent court of Egypt’s tenth dynasty, Princess Hagar has always known her destiny. One day, she will marry the Crown Prince Merikare and become the Great Royal Wife, the most powerful woman in Egypt. But dark dreams afflict Hagar the moment she hears of the latest addition to Pharaoh’s harem: the stunning, iridescent Sumerian, Sarai. Princess Hagar feels a powerful presence around the Sumerian woman. Hagar suspects Sarai has brought black magic into the palace—but what can she do to convince Pharaoh?  

The intrigue of Pharaoh’s court pales in comparison to that swirling in the Royal House of Women among the wives, children, and concubines of the king. Sarai’s arrival upsets the already precarious balance.  Loyalties divide, and betrayal, jealousy, and tragedy plague the once peaceful household. When a series of disasters befalls Egypt, Hagar must make a daring decision, and the stakes could not be higher. She could lose everything—her position, her power, her family, and even her life. 

Torn between the silent gods of Egypt and the powerful presence that surrounds Sarai, Hagar’s world falls apart around her. She must acknowledge the terrible price of truth, and decide for herself who she will serve.  

Hope Hope Between the Pages by Pepper Basham

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1915 – North Carolina

Uncover the Story Behind a One-Hundred-Year-Old Love Letter

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

The Indebted Earl by Erica Vetsch

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1814 – England

Can Captain Wyvern keep his new marriage of convenience all business–or will it turn into something more?

Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life–especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero’s dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man’s grieving fiancée and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.

When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.

Sophie is surprised to find she isn’t opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed’s elderly mother, and she’s already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she’ll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.

It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he’s come to mean to her. Now she’ll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love.

A Patchwork Past by Leslie Gould

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1871 – Illinois

When wild child Sophie Deiner–the daughter of an Amish bishop–is forced to return to Nappanee, Indiana, quilt-shop owner Jane Berger is one of only a few who welcome her back. It’s the last place she wants to be, but Sophie’s recent illness requires that she recover for a while.

As Sophie heals, she befriends a group of migrant workers and is appalled to learn of the wretched living conditions they’re forced to endure. Sophie begins advocating on their behalf, but soon finds herself opposed by an ex-boyfriend who is the farm foreman.

Jane begins relating the story of an Amish couple who rescued survivors of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, many of whom were Irish immigrants. And Sophie is more convinced than ever that she needs to fight for the powerless. But when digging deeper makes conditions even worse, has she chosen a fight she can’t win?

The Test of Gold by Renee Yancy

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1897 – New York

Heiress Evangeline “Lindy” Lindenmayer has been groomed since childhood to marry into the British aristocracy as her mother’s ultimate ambition is a royal title for the family name. But literature fascinates Lindy far more than ballgowns, and she spends all her free time in the library, the only room in the Fifth Avenue mansion where she can safely indulge her passion for reading and find refuge from the prying eyes of her mother.

Jack Winthrop is studying for the ministry at Union Theological Seminary and has been invited to use the Lindemayer’s library for his studies. His sole experience of upper-class young women has occurred at his uncle’s church, where he has found these young debutantes universally featherbrained. When he meets Lindy, he is pleasantly surprised to discover she has wide-ranging interests and is highly intelligent. Although cautioned by his uncle to stay away from her, he finds Lindy a kindred spirit and over animated discussions of books and life, they fall in love.

But to reach happily ever after, Lindy will need to challenge her mother’s long-laid plans, and weathering the approaching storm will take more backbone than she even knew she had.

Courage in the Mountain Wilderness by Misty Beller

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1831 – Idaho

Keeping her son safe on this epic journey may be harder than she imagined.

Caleb Jackson is on a journey. And not just the mission he and his friends have embarked on to fetch the Nez Perce chief’s runaway daughter. Maybe someday, he could also find God’s plan for his life. He’d once thought being a small town minister was the Lord’s will for him, but he’d proved a failure at living under the scrutiny of his congregation. Yet the chief’s niece and her feisty toddler accompanying them on this expedition make him feel like he might be able to make a difference yet.

Otskai is eager to take on a challenge. She’s lived under the shelter of other’s choices her entire life, especially when she was betrothed to one of the village braves at the tender age of eight. Now with her husband’s death, she’s finally found the freedom she always craved—even with a two-year-old to raise. She’s built her camas root harvest into a thriving trade to provide all she and her son need and more, yet she can’t seem to keep her active child safe. When she agrees to accompany her new friends on a trip to bring back her wayward cousin, she knows she’ll have her hands full managing her boy.

The journey turns out nothing like Otskai expects, and for the first time in her life, she’s thankful to have others around to help. Especially Caleb, whose gentle attentions captivate her son and occupy him for hours at a time. But as the danger escalates and her worst fears come to light, she must find the courage to choose between freedom and a love more liberating than she imagined possible.

The Rose Keeper by Jennifer Lamont Leo

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1915/1944 – Illinois

July 1944. Chicago nurse Clara Janacek has spent her whole life taking care of other people. Grumpy yet loveable, all she wants now is to live out her life in peace, tending her roses and protecting her heart. But beneath the gruff exterior lies a story, and when new neighbors move in and shake up her quiet world, Clara must grapple with long-buried realities.

July 1915. The picnic across Lake Michigan was to be the highlight of the summer for young nurse Clara—a day filled with laughter, dancing, and budding romance aboard a stately excursion steamer. But when unspeakable tragedy strikes, Clara’s life is changed forever.

By turns funny, tender, and bittersweet, The Rose Keeper celebrates the redemptive hope found in friendship, faith, and the search for belonging.

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