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Author Interview and Giveaway – The Secrets of Emberwild – Stephenia McGee

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What makes a cover better than a horse and a bright splash of sun! 🙂 Welcome Stephania to the Index with her latest book revolving around a woman desperate to save her horses!

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The Secrets of Emberwild

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The Secrets of Emberwild

1905 – Mississippi

A gifted trainer in a time women are not allowed to race, Nora Fenton prefers horses to men. They’re easier to handle, they’re more reliable, and they never tell her what to do. After her father’s passing, Nora is determined to save her struggling horse farm, starting with entering her prize colt into the harness races at the 1905 Mississippi Fair. If she wins, she may have a chance at independence. But when a stranger arrives and starts asking disconcerting questions, she suspects he may have other motives than unseating her in the training job that is rightfully hers.

Silas Cavallero will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of his father’s death–even if it means training an unwieldy colt for Nora, who wants nothing more than to see him gone. But when mysterious accidents threaten their safety and circumstances shrouded in secrets begin unlocking clues to his past, Silas will have to decide if the truth is worth risking ruining everything for the feisty woman he’s come to admire.

Stephenia’s Website

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Questions about Stephenia’s Story

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

I actually have a degree in equine science, so I used my knowledge of natural horsemanship and my experiences with horses in this book. It was a lot of fun for Nora to share my love of horses and a few of my more interesting debacles with training!

 

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

Silas Cavallero turned out to be different than I expected him to be. He asserted himself on the page with a quiet strength that not only captivated Nora, but me as well. He continued to insist that he wasn’t the character I’d originally planned him to be and he ended up be the perfect complement to Nora’s strong spirit.

 

What research did you have to look up to make your character(s) authentic?

There were a lot of things to research for this book, including horse training methods and tack of the time as well as how harness racing would have been in the early 1900s.
I also spent a lot of time researching the Neshoba County Fair, which is a tradition that continues in Philadelphia, Mississippi, to this day. Every July, an entire population moves into a small city of fair cabins for a full week of horse races, contests, the midway, and time spent with family and friends. Cabins have been passed down for several generations, and it’s a place where you almost feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

For this story, I got to go back to the early days of the fair when two hotels stood around the square with the original founders’ cabins. I dug through the Mississippi historical archives and studied maps laid out from the early 1900s fair. I was also able to find several newspapers from around the state advertising both the Neshoba County Fair and the Mississippi and Alabama Fair, which heavily publicized their harness races.

 

What research book or website used to write this book was your favorite to peruse?

I bought a reproduction copy of Gleason’s Horse Book, which Nora studies during the novel, an original copy of Correct Social Usage—these are the things Nora’s mother insists upon and Nora chafes against—and I have an original copy of a Mississippi State Fair premiums list from 1927. While this one was a few years past the time of the story, it gave me great ideas for the types of prizes that would have been offered. There were a lot of other research materials, but these were my favorites.

mcgee books

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Questions about Stephenia’s Reading

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

Can I just say anything at all by Joanna Davidson Politano? Oh my stars. That lady can write! Her imagery makes me go back and read paragraphs over and again because the wordsmithing is so beautiful. She really knows how to captivate the reader and draw you deep into the world of the characters. Her imagery taught me a lot about painting artful strokes with my words.

Lost Melody

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

I would love to meet Grace from Pepper Basham’s The Mistletoe Countess! That girl is so much fun! She’s witty, resourceful, and always ready for an adventure. Spending a day with her wouldn’t have a single dull moment.

mistletoecountess

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

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof. There was such a deep well of emotion in this story. I think I read the entire thing one Saturday and went through all of the feels. She did an amazing job of creating powerfully emotional scenes and that one has really stuck with me.

ladyandthelionheart

Stephenia is giving away either a signed paperback (USA Only) OR an ebook to (Internationals entries welcome). 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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The Lady’s Mission by Mary Davis

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1894 – Washington

Will Cordelia abandon her calling, for love?

Cordelia Armstrong wants nothing more than to escape the social norms for her station in society that require her to look pretty and do as she is told. However, unless she can skillfully maneuver her father into giving up control of her trust fund, she might have to concede defeat—as well as her freedom—and marry. To ward off potential suitors, she puts on a giggly persona.

Every time Lamar Kesner finds a fascinating lady, her heart belongs to another. He doesn’t merely want a beautiful wife. He wants an intriguing partner with intelligence and wit. Is he asking too much of any woman? When a vapid socialite is offered up as a prospective bride, he contemplates flying off in his hot air balloon instead.

Is Lamar the one to finally break the determination of Cordelia’s parents to marry her off? Or will this charming bachelor fly away with her heart?

The Secrets of Emberwild by Stephenia H. McGee

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1905 – Mississippi

A gifted trainer in a time women are not allowed to race, Nora Fenton prefers horses to men. They’re easier to handle, they’re more reliable, and they never tell her what to do. After her father’s passing, Nora is determined to save her struggling horse farm, starting with entering her prize colt into the harness races at the 1905 Mississippi Fair. If she wins, she may have a chance at independence. But when a stranger arrives and starts asking disconcerting questions, she suspects he may have other motives than unseating her in the training job that is rightfully hers.

Silas Cavallero will do whatever it takes to solve the mystery of his father’s death–even if it means training an unwieldy colt for Nora, who wants nothing more than to see him gone. But when mysterious accidents threaten their safety and circumstances shrouded in secrets begin unlocking clues to his past, Silas will have to decide if the truth is worth risking ruining everything for the feisty woman he’s come to admire.

Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano

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1886 – England

When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant’s father dies, he leaves to her the care of an adult ward she knew nothing about. The woman is supposedly a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. The woman’s portrait is shockingly familiar to Vivienne, so when the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.

The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know. But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?

Within These Gilded Halls by Abigail Wilson

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1819 – England

Hidden treasure and betrayal mingle with unexpected love within the walls of Avonthorpe Hall.

After studying art under Miss Drake, a renowned painter, Phoebe Radcliff is certain she can finally move beyond the childish mistake that’s kept her away from home. She is thrilled when Miss Drake employs her to complete a complicated ballroom renovation.

Everything changes, however, the moment Miss Drake is murdered. With her last breath she imparts the location of a clue to Phoebe. Can the biggest secret of Avonthorpe Hall be true—the rumored treasure real? Phoebe is tasked to finish her work in the ballroom by Miss Drake’s infuriatingly regimented yet all-too-handsome nephew, Lt. Graham Burke. Determined to fulfill the promise she made to her beloved teacher to find the treasure, Phoebe also works to uncover the truth about Miss Drake’s death—and she must do so before Lt. Burke leases the house.

But dark shadows line the gilded halls of Avonthorpe, and soon enough Phoebe realizes she’s not the only person who knows about the clues. What’s worse, she needs Lt. Burke’s help to stay ahead of whoever is hard on her heels. If only she weren’t so attracted to him.

Caught up in a deadly race for answers, Phoebe must find a way to breach the shroud of lies that surrounds every last resident in the house and, more importantly, face a past she’s been running away from for far too long.

Under the Starry Skies by Tracie Peterson

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1916 – New Mexico

Will their faith prove to be stronger than their fear?
   
Sensible and independent, Cassie Barton never anticipated being on her own at thirty-two. But after the death of her father and the marriage of her sister, she’s found joy in her work as a seamstress. When a minor accident leaves her unable to sew, she decides to use her time to compile a book of stories about the men working on the Santa Fe Railroad. But worry begins to grow in San Marcial as Mexican revolutionaries set out to destroy the railroad–and put many lives in danger.

With Europe at war and his longtime friend Cassie injured, railroad worker Brandon DuBarko is burdened by his troubles. He promised Cassie’s father he would watch over her, but as their comfortable friendship slowly transforms into something deeper, he feels trapped by a secret from his youth. When a vengeful man reappears in Brandon’s life, intent on causing conflict, Brandon must face his past before he can move forward.

As the danger intensifies, Cassie and Brandon must rely on God to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of a brighter future.

A Heart’s Rescue by Lena Nelson Dooley

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1805 – At Sea/Louisiana

He’s been tasked to protect her, but his heart has become far too involved.

Angelina de la Fuente Delgado, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is on her way home from a trip to Spain when her ship is attacked by pirates. The brigands capture her and her aunt and steal all the merchandise on the ship. After forcing most of the crew to walk the plank, they sink the vessel into the Atlantic.

Brian O’Doule was sent by Angelina’s father to protect her, but keeping her safe among the dangers of the sea is as hard as concealing his love that’s been growing for years. When they’re kidnapped by pirates, he does everything in his power to protect the women and to find a way for them all to escape. Will Angelina ever see her home and her beloved father again? Or will she be forced to marry the fierce pirate captain?

A Hope and a Prayer by Julie Lessman

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A Hope and a PrayerGoodreads ~ Amazon

1945 – France

She’s in love with her best friend. He’s in love with her cousin. But when the war reveals a gift so rare, will they be saved by a hope and a prayer?

As Head Nurse at 2d Hospital in Nancy, France, Lieutenant Hope Dennehy is known for her healing touch, especially when it comes to mending the wounds and spirit of her best friend, Lieutenant Bren O’Neill. When Hope’s cousin breaks Bren’s heart, Hope is always there, helping to heal him with a friendship so anointed and deep, it threatens to break her heart too.

Flying high as a daredevil aeromedical evac pilot in the European Theatre, “Lieutenant Love” O’Neill crashes and burns when the woman he loves falls for another. Depending on the support and prayers of Nurse Hope Dennehy to save him, Bren re-evaluates his free-wheeling lifestyle when he witnesses the heinous atrocities of the Buchenwald concentration camp. Suddenly nothing in life is as important as taking care of those he loves … or is it? Battling demons from his past, Bren learns that only one thing can truly save him from himself.

Mary by Shannon McNear

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Mary Daughters of the Lost ColonyGoodreads ~ B&N ~ Google Play ~ Kobo ~ Amazon

1587 – North Carolina

Worlds Collide Along the Shores of the Outer Banks
 
Immerse yourself in the “what if” questions related to the Lost Colony of Roanoke. What if an English boy and a native girl met in the wilderness? The push-and-pull between two very different worlds begins as one seeks simple friendship and the other struggles to trust. And can it—dare they—allow it to be more?

Sparks fly between Mushaniq, free-spirited daughter of Manteo, and Georgie Howe, whose father was brutally murdered by undiscovered native warriors before they’d been on Roanoac Island a full week. As Georgie struggles to make sense of his life and to accept that not all they call “savage” are guilty of his father’s death, Mushaniq grapples with her own questions about who Manteo has become. As tentative friendship becomes more, forged in the fire of calamity and attack upon their community, both must decide whether the One True God is indeed who He claims to be and whether He is worthy of their trust.

Forge of Freedom by J. M. Hochstetler

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1779 – Virginia

In the final volume of The American Patriot Series, the Americans’ war for independence concludes in triumph—and the renewed fight of the Shawnee for survival in their ancestral lands. From John Paul Jones’s epic battle with HMS Serapis, to the conflagration on the western frontier; a traitor’s bitter betrayal; and the decisive confrontation at Cowpens, events out of Jonathan and Elizabeth Carleton’s control spiral toward a fateful climax at Yorktown. Yet amid war’s harsh trials they discover that, even more than the grand ideal of liberty and the deep intimacy of earthly love, the cry of their hearts is for the true peace and lasting freedom that are found in God alone.

Love in the Bargain by Lucette Nel

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Love in the BargainGoodreads ~ Amazon

1889 – Texas

Driven to rekindle her relationship with her ailing grandfather, Amelia Scott returns to her childhood home. However, her unyielding grandfather is determined to control her future and poses an ultimatum. Marry and inherit the iconic Scott Hotel or return to New York penniless. Amelia is determined to stay, and formulates a plan to ensure proprietorship of her last connection to family. But love is not a part of the deal. She can’t risk another man having control of her.

Ex-convict, now town carpenter, Micah Kelly struggles to raise his deceased sister’s children. When Amelia proposes marriage without love as the answer to both of their problems, he knows better than to say yes. While partnering with his childhood friend may yield an answer to his monetary challenges, he cannot agree to a marriage in name only. His heart is already involved, and that always leads to trouble.

Circumstances put them together, and while they struggle within their new marriage, outside forces are determined to snatch the Scott Hotel from them. Even if it means killing them.

O Little Town by Various Authors

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1912/1944/Present – Michigan

Stories of small-town Christmas and the enduring love of God from three critically acclaimed authors

In the sleepy small town of Mapleview, Michigan, Christmas is always something special. In this charming collection of romance novellas, join three generations of Mapleview residents longing for love–and finding it–on the most wonderful night of the year.

“Hopes and Fears” by Amanda Wen

Emma Trowbridge is determined to give her students the Christmas pageant of a lifetime. The last person she expected, or wanted, to encounter in her two-room classroom is her childhood rival, Frederick Oberstein. He would rather be far away himself. He wants no part of cheer, Christmas or otherwise. Can they learn to see each other in a new light–and embrace a new season of hope and faith together?

“While Mortals Sleep” by Janyre Tromp

While World War II rages overseas, news reporter Eleanor Sweers returns home to Mapleview to face the repercussions of the death of her sister and her nightmare of Christmases past. But the homefront isn’t as far from the war as she thought: a bomb has landed in the middle of the U.S. Now Eleanor and family friend Gideon Braum may have to choose between the scoop of a lifetime and the love of a lifetime.

“The Wondrous Gift” by Deborah Raney

High school football coach Caleb Janssen and music teacher Rachel Hamblin bond when they both lose their jobs at a Christian school. But when they discover their plans for the future are mutually exclusive, the fallout threatens to tear them apart.

Suppression and Suspicion by Mel Starr

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1376 – England

Edmund Harkins has gone missing.

Few in Bampton liked him, knowing him to be a wife-beater and distinctly unsavoury character, so when some hungry pigs unearth his corpse from a shallow grave, there is hardly an outpouring of grief.

As bailiff, it is Hugh de Singleton’s duty to bring Edmund’s killer to justice. But where is he to start investigating when almost everyone in the village has a motive? And when everyone is pleased to see the scoundrel dead, who knows how far they might go to help someone get away with murder?

To further complicate Hugh’s life, the Bishop of Exeter has appointed his nephew as Bampton’s new vicar. But as well as an obsession with discovering any heretical views Hugh might hold, he could not be more unpriestly – he not only acts appallingly with Lady Katherine’s maid, but is contributing to the unhealthy atmosphere of suppression and suspicion that has come to pervade the village . . .

A Heart Remembered by Heather Blanton

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1800s – Montana

The past is dead. Now bury it…

Drucilla comes to Burning Dress Ranch eager to leave her ugly past behind and pursue a bright, new future. Training as a ranch nurse, her impact on lives could go forward for generations. Struggling, though, to believe that her former life as a prostitute does not define her, Drucilla needs to hear the Truth spoken in love. The mysterious ranch owner Miss Sally can give her Truth. Can Pastor Barton Hayes give her love?

Or will Drucilla fall back into a grave of sin and darkness?

The Other Side of Certain by Amy Willoubhy-Burle

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1930s – Kentucky

For the love of love…and books

Mattie Mobley planned to be a teacher, but when times grew tough during America’s Great Depression, and there were no teaching positions in her hometown of Asheville, NC, Mattie found work starting a school and helping the Pack Horse Librarians just over the mountains in the rural town of Certain, Kentucky. She’s not certain at all that this is a good situation, but she’s determined, and honestly, a little desperate. Of all the things that Mattie does have—money, comforts, a good name, she doesn’t have what matters most—friends, love, and a purpose of her own.

Millstone of Doubt by Erica Vetsch

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1816 – England

Regency London’s detective duo is back on a new case–and this one is going to be a killer

Caught in the explosion of the Hammersmith Mill in London, Bow Street Runner Daniel Swann rushes to help any survivors only to find the mill’s owner dead of an apparent gunshot.

Even though the owner’s daughter, Agatha Montgomery, mourns his death, it seems there are more than a few people with motive for murder. But Daniel can’t take this investigation slow and steady. Instead, he must dig through all the suspects as quickly as he can, because the clock is ticking until his mysterious patronage–and his job as a runner–comes to an abrupt and painful end. It seems to Daniel that, like his earthly father, his heavenly Father has abandoned him to the fates.

Lady Juliette Thorndike is Agatha’s bosom friend and has the inside knowledge of the wealthy London ton to be invaluable to Daniel. She should be in a perfect position to help with the case. Still, her instructor in the art of spy craft orders her to stay out of the investigation. But circumstances intervene, dropping her into the middle of the deadly pursuit.

When a dreadful accident ends in another death on the mill floor, Daniel discovers a connection to his murder case–and to his own secret past. Now he and Juliette are in a race to find the killer before his time runs out.

A Gem of Truth by Kimberley Woodhouse

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1907 – New Mexico

Escaping her shattered past is much more difficult than she imagined.

Julia Schultz has a reputation for being a storyteller, or as others see it, a liar. But with her dark and painful past, stories are all that have kept her company throughout her life. Longing for a fresh start and a second chance to earn real trust, Julia takes a job as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel, where she’s challenged to be her true self.

Learning the trade of a master jeweler is hard work, but Christopher Miller takes pride in running his family’s small shop and earning the respect of the people around him. But when he discovers that he has six weeks to buy his building from his landlord before it is sold, he must find a way to save his grandfather’s legacy.

United by the discovery of a legendary treasure, Chris and Julia find hope in each other. But when Julia’s past catches up with her, doubt creeps into Chris’s heart. Can he really trust her and her stories?

The Love of a Princess by Ashton Dorow

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1200s – Fictitious Kingdom

Princess Adelaide of Acuniel forsook her dreams of a love match the day she agreed to a marriage treaty with the Crown Prince of Trilaria. While nothing like her childhood expectations, her life with Prince Miles is simple, comfortable. But then a plague ravages Trilaria, leaving her a widow and the kingdom without a ruler, and her new life is thrown into chaos. Her mother-in-law begs her to return to her father’s house, but Adelaide refuses, pledging to stand by the newly widowed queen and the kingdom she has come to love. No matter what the future may hold.

Two potential heirs are found in the twin nephews of the late king, but only one can ascend the throne. Upon the discovery of critical information, Adelaide’s mother-in-law contrives a daring plan to have the right man chosen. Acting on this plan could cost Adelaide everything? Or it could open the door to a future beyond her wildest imaginings.

Bring Her Home by Hannah Currie

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1423 – Fictitious Kingdom

Since the morning he woke to find his precious daughter gone with only the remains of their latest argument left behind, King Lior has been praying she’d come home. For four years now, he’s prayed and searched, sending his best knights to find Evangeline, only to hear nothing. Until the day their missive arrives with three words: we’ve found her. He sends one right back with orders to bring her home.

But that order isn’t easily achieved. Evangeline, now a lowly servant, has no plans to return. Though the knights claim her father still loves her, she knows the truth: he’d cast her aside as quickly as everyone else if he knew how far she’d truly fallen. She can’t go home. Not with her scars. Or her failures. Or her son.

Only, the knights won’t leave without her. And just as she starts to wonder if maybe they might be right, the choice is taken from her altogether.

Sir Darrek thought the hardest part of his quest would be finding Evangeline. He had no idea how difficult it would be to get her home.

Peace in the Valley by Linda Ford

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1910 – Canada

Ellen Longmore will do anything for her siblings…even marry a stranger.

Ellen and Jack strike an agreement. She’ll be a permanent housekeeper by marrying him. He’ll pay for her siblings to have food.

Jack Forbes doesn’t want a wife. But he wants his children to know security. All he asks of Ellen is that she follow his orders to a T.

It isn’t long before Ellen’s devotion and good nature tug at Jack’s reluctant heart. But when misunderstandings and separation threaten their budding relationship, will their stubborn hearts be opened to each other?

A Texas Christmas Carol by Karen Witemeyer

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1895 – Texas

After the Panic of 1873 ruined his father and impoverished his family, Evan Beazer set a single life goal for himself–security. He would never allow joviality and dreams to send him to the poorhouse. Now a successful businessman, Evan runs a dozen inns throughout Texas from the privacy of his home, keeping locals away with the perpetual scowl and gruff manner that have become his natural disposition.

Felicity Wiggins is in charge of distributing church Christmas baskets to the less fortunate, and she is determined help as many families as possible. In an attempt to gather more donations than past years, she must convince the wealthiest man in town to participate and sets forth on a campaign to pester him into cooperation.

As Felicity tries to bring Evan out of seclusion–and he does everything in his power to avoid her–can she convince him that true riches lie not in bank accounts but in bringing joy to others?

Entrusted by Jody Hedlund

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Medieval – Fictitious Kingdom (Norway area)

During a time when legends were born . . . ENTRUSTED

The feisty enemy princess, the cunning knight holding her captive, and the ultimate battle that will determine their fate.

Hoping to minimize the death and destruction of the coming war, Princess Birgitta of Swaine leads the Dark Warriors as part of her brother King Canute’s efforts to take the throne of Norvegia. As she engages in a skirmish with a band of elite Knights of Brethren, she’s kidnapped by Kristoffer Prestegard, a cunning warrior.

While searching for the holy lamp that can help defeat the Dark Warriors, Kristoffer realizes that Swaine has already seized the ancient relic. Since King Canute is fiercely protective of his sister, Kristoffer offers to return Princess Birgitta in exchange for the coveted holy lamp.

While trying to keep his feisty prisoner from escaping, Kristoffer learns that his father and uncle have set in motion a scheme that would give him the kingship of Norvegia. Where will Kristoffer’s loyalties lie, and how will he choose sides without losing everything, including the princess he’s grown to love?

The real story of the Holy Lamp continues . . .

Worthy of Legend by Roseanna White

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1906 – England

After a summer of successful pirate-treasure hunting, Lady Emily Scofield and her friends must hide the unprecedented discoveries they’ve made, thanks to the betrayal of her own family. Horrified by her brother, who will stop at nothing to prove himself to their greedy father, Emily is forced to take a stand against her family–even if it means being cut off entirely.

Bram Sinclair, Earl of Telford, is fascinated with tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table–an interest he’s kept mostly hidden for the last decade. But when a diary is unearthed on the islands that could lead to a secret artifact, Bram is the only one able to piece the legends together.

As Bram and Emily seek out the whereabouts of the hidden artifact, they must dodge her family and a team of archaeologists. In a race against time, it is up to them to decide what makes a hero worthy of legend. Is it fighting valiantly to claim the treasure . . . or sacrificing everything in the name of selfless love?

Calm in the Mountain Storm by Misty Beller

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1832 – Idaho

This epic journey will test his ability to protect his children—and they’re all he has left.

Missionary Elise Lane returns with her team to the Rocky Mountain native tribe they serve to discover the entire village—including the children she’s come to love—has been massacred. A fierce brave standing at the edge of the devastation has taken the only surviving child.

Goes Ahead returns home with his son to find his worst fears have come true—his entire village has been slaughtered, including his wife. Only their infant daughter has survived. But there’s no time for grief or vengeance. He must get his children across the mountains to the protection of his family.

The last thing he wants is help from the white people who’ve brought this disaster on his village, but his babe is not yet four moons old. Her hungry cries prove he can’t make this journey without the white woman already nursing a babe of her own. But she refuses to come without the rest of her group, including the opinionated missionary who thinks she knows best for his children. As winter closes in and the mountains prove treacherous beyond anything Goes Ahead can control, only a strength and love greater than his own can save his children—and the woman he’s come to love.

As Silent as the Night by Danielle Grandinetti

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1933 – Illinois

He can procure anything, except his heart’s deepest wish. She might hold the key, if she’s not discovered first.

Lucia Critelli will do anything for her ailing grandfather, including stand in a breadline to have enough food to make him a St. Nicholas Day meal. When she catches the eye of a goon who threatens her grandfather, she discovers the end of Prohibition doesn’t mean the end of the mafia’s criminal activity.

Retired Marine Scout Giosue “Gio” Vella can find anything, especially if it helps a fellow Italian immigrant, so he has no doubt he can locate his neighbor’s granddaughter, who has gone missing from a local church. Keeping her safe is another matter. Especially when he chooses to hide out with his Marine buddy in Eagle, Wisconsin, the site of a barely-held truce among striking dairy farmers.

Will Christmas bring the miracle they all need or will Gio discover there are some things even he can’t find, particularly when he stumbles upon the most elusive gift of all: love.

Harrison’s Resolve by Naomi Rawlings

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1869 – Texas

He might only be ten, but when he uncovers a plot that will hurt his friends and their families, he knows the right thing to do… until he realizes his father is the one behind the plot.

Moving is stupid, or at least that what ten-year-old Harrison Rutherford thinks when his father forces him to leave their comfortable home in Laredo and move to the desert town of Twin Rivers, Texas. But the people he meets in Twin Rivers aren’t all that stupid, especially not the group of boys who befriend him or the pact he makes that will follow him into adulthood.

But when Harrison discovers his father’s true motives for moving to Twin Rivers—and the suffering it will bring friends—he finds himself faced with a choice that will shape his life for the next decade…

From moving to Twin Rivers as a boy to becoming the most prominent lawyer in Austin, follow Harrison Rutherford on his quest to free himself of his father’s demands and meet the unexpected woman who can change his life for the better—if he chooses to let her.

Author Interview and Giveaway – Come Down Somewhere – Jennifer Wright

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Looking for a very unusually set book? Look no further than Come Down Somewhere, a coming of age story of two women involving the Trinity testing site during World War II in New Mexico.

Goodreads ~ B&N ~ Google Play ~ Kobo ~ AmazonCome Down Somewhere ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , 

Come Down Somewhere

1945 – New Mexico

Sixteen-year-old Olive Alexander has lived on a ranch in the Jornada del Muerto region of southern New Mexico her entire life. But when World War II begins, the government seizes her family’s land for the construction of a new, top secret Army post.

While her mother remains behind, Olive is forced to live in nearby Alamogordo with her grandmother and find a place in a new school. When Jo Hawthorne crosses her path, Olive sees a chance for friendship—until she learns that Jo’s father is the Army sergeant who now occupies her beloved ranch. Already angry about her new reality, Olive pushes Jo away. But as she struggles to make sense of her grandmother’s lapses into the past and increasingly unsettling hints about what’s happening at the ranch, she slowly warms to Jo’s winsome faith and steady attempts at friendship . . . until one devastating day when the sky explodes around them and their lives are torn apart.

Seven years later, Jo returns to Alamogordo, still angry and wounded by the betrayals of that fateful day. Determined to put the past behind her once and for all, Jo hunts for answers and begins to realize the truth may be far more complicated than she believed, leading her on a desperate search to find her friend before it’s too late.

Jennifer’s Website

Wright_Jen

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Questions about Jennifer’s Story

What inspired this story?

My family and I moved to southern New Mexico in 2014, and we actually live less than 100 miles from the Trinity test site. Although I’d heard of the test, I didn’t know much about it. Living here, however, changed Trinity from something that had happened to something that is still very much happening to this day. This isn’t just history; where I live, it’s present in many people’s everyday lives, especially when you consider the effects of the test still being felt over seventy-five years later. I wanted to bring this story to the forefront and draw attention to the overlooked and underappreciated sacrifice of the people of southern New Mexico during World War II.

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

I have been to Hiroshima and seen the remnants of the bomb dropped there. Now I live in southern New Mexico as part of a military family but also part of a community that is still feeling the effects of the test. Because of this, my own personal feelings about Trinity are very complicated. I don’t think it was all bad, but I definitely don’t think it was all good either. Attempting to honor both those who worked on the bomb, believing they were doing something that would win the war and save lives, as well as those living here who were affected in monumental ways through the choices of others, was an extremely difficult balancing act.

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

The 1945 story line was obviously set to coincide with the Trinity test itself. Jo’s subsequent story line, however, was set in early 1952 because, later that year, the “green glass sea,” a layer of trinitite left over after the explosion, was bulldozed and buried. I knew I wanted to give Jo an opportunity to see it, as Trinity played such an important role in her journey, so I had to make sure she made it back to Alamogordo before the waning months of 1952.

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Questions about Jennifer’s Reading

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?

I have yet to read a book of Lynn Austin’s that didn’t absolutely knock it out of the park, so I think hers would be easy to sell. Her books are so fantastically well-written that it’s hard to choose but I’d have to say her latest, Long Way Home, has been my favorite read of 2022 so far.

Long Way Home

What Christian historical novel are you most excited to read that hasn’t yet come out?

Stephanie Landsem’s upcoming release, Code Name Edelweiss, sounds absolutely fascinating. It doesn’t come out until March 2023, but I am waiting on pins and needles for that one!

code name edelweiss

Jennifer is giving away either a paperback (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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The Orchard by Beverly Lewis

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The OrchardGoodreads ~ Apple ~ B&N ~ Google Play ~ Kobo ~ Amazon

1970s – Pennsylvania

For generations, Ellie Hostetler’s family has tended their Lancaster County orchard, a tradition her twin brother, Evan, will someday continue. Yet when Evan’s draft number is called up in the lottery for the Vietnam War, the family is shocked to learn he has not sought conscientious objector status, despite their Old Order Amish belief in non-resistance. The faraway war that has caused so much turmoil and grief among their Englisher neighbors threatens too close to home.

As Evan departs for boot camp, Ellie confides her disappointment to Sol Bontrager, the brother of her best friend and cousin to her new beau, Menno. In contrast to Evan, Sol is a conscientious objector. Despite Ellie’s attraction to Menno, she finds herself drawn to Sol’s steady presence as they work together in the orchard. Suddenly, it feels as if everything in Ellie’s world is shifting, and the plans she held so dear seem increasingly uncertain. Can she and her family find the courage to face a future unlike any they could have imagined?

Come Down Somewhere by Jennifer L. Wright

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Come Down SomewhereGoodreads ~ B&N ~ Google Play ~ Kobo ~ Amazon

1945 – New Mexico

Sixteen-year-old Olive Alexander has lived on a ranch in the Jornada del Muerto region of southern New Mexico her entire life. But when World War II begins, the government seizes her family’s land for the construction of a new, top secret Army post.

While her mother remains behind, Olive is forced to live in nearby Alamogordo with her grandmother and find a place in a new school. When Jo Hawthorne crosses her path, Olive sees a chance for friendship—until she learns that Jo’s father is the Army sergeant who now occupies her beloved ranch. Already angry about her new reality, Olive pushes Jo away. But as she struggles to make sense of her grandmother’s lapses into the past and increasingly unsettling hints about what’s happening at the ranch, she slowly warms to Jo’s winsome faith and steady attempts at friendship . . . until one devastating day when the sky explodes around them and their lives are torn apart.

Seven years later, Jo returns to Alamogordo, still angry and wounded by the betrayals of that fateful day. Determined to put the past behind her once and for all, Jo hunts for answers and begins to realize the truth may be far more complicated than she believed, leading her on a desperate search to find her friend before it’s too late.

Beneath the Bending Skies by Jane Kirkpatrick

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Beneath the Bending SkiesGoodreads ~ B&N ~ Google Play ~ Kobo ~ Amazon

1860 – Montana

Mollie Sheehan has spent much of her life striving to be a dutiful daughter and honor her father’s wishes, even when doing so has led to one heartbreak after another. After all, what options does she truly have in 1860s Montana? But providing for her stepfamily during her father’s long absences doesn’t keep her from wishing for more.

When romance blooms between her and Peter Ronan, Mollie finally allows herself to hope for a brighter future–until her father voices his disapproval of the match and moves her to California to ensure the breakup. Still, time and providence are at work, even when circumstances are at their bleakest. Mollie may soon find that someone far greater than her father is in control of the course of her life–and that even the command to “honor thy father” has its limits.

Still My Forever by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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1905 – Kansas

Can a frustrated composer find new inspiration with the woman who once made his heart sing?

Four years after leaving town to make a name for himself as a composer, Gilbert Baty has returned temporarily to Falke, Kansas. Now, he’s trying to keep everyone from learning the truth about his disastrous years in New York City. He hopes to start writing music again in Falke, but he can’t help being distracted by Ava Flaming, the brown-eyed baker to whom he was briefly engaged before he ended things—and who still stirs feelings in him he knows he has no right to pursue.

Ava had thought she was past the loss of Gil Baty. But to her dismay, she’s as drawn to him as ever. The situation only gets worse when Gil establishes a youth band in Falke, showing once more what a good man he is.

But when the band has a chance to compete in a statewide competition, Ava faces the prospect of heartbreak again. Could music take Gil away forever this time? Or might God be stirring in Ava’s and Gil’s hearts a new song that will draw them together for good?

Miracle at the Sideshow by Amy K. Sorrells

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Miracle at the SideshowGoodreads ~ Apple ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ Amazon

1911 – New York

A deadly fire. A sensational sideshow. And a baby fighting for its life.

New York City at the turn of the twentieth century is as captivating as it is macabre and as magnificent as it is barbaric, as young Sophie Rosenfeld is about to learn. She yearns for life beyond the dreary tenements, but losing all her family except for her fragile niece, Mercy, in the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire has left her with little opportunity. Sophie has to save Mercy’s life, but to do so she must follow a mysterious man to the only place in the world that saves premature babies: Dr. Martin Couney and his Coney Island side show.

Even as society threatens to shut down Dr. Couney’s life-saving work for premature babies, Sophie joins him in fighting for their lives. Amidst the glittering menagerie of lights, astonishing sights, and her new friends, including the handsome acrobat, Nicholas “Nick” Volenski, Sophie begins to find hope.

From the lavish, dangerous shores of Coney Island, to the harsh but at times tender tenement life, Sophie’s heart is split wide open by a roller coaster of unrelenting tragedies, and she finds herself doubting the faith that has always buoyed her. Will Nick and her new friends be just the salve Sophie needs to help assuage her grief? Or will she be forced to return to a life that stifled her?

Inspired by true events, Miracle at the Sideshow brings to life two back-to-back stories of fire and injustice that shocked the nation into improving worker safety, and which led to techniques still used in neonatal intensive care units today to save the lives of premature babies.

Five and Dime Christmas Collection

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Five and Dime ChristmasGoodreads ~ B&N ~ Google Play ~ Kobo ~ Amazon

1881 – Pennsylvania

Visit Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1881 where the Woodworth’s Five and Dime has become the center of Christmas commerce—and a great place to fall in love.
 
A Merry Little Christmas by Susanne Dietze
Woolworth’s store clerk Hattie Scott’s heart is touched by a handsome customer, but when she takes on additional secretarial work to earn money for Christmas, she learns her new boss is Englishman Timothy Branson—her favorite customer. . .and a threat to her brother’s job! Can two proud hearts overcome their differences to help her brother. . .and find love?
 
A Home for Christmas by Patty Smith Hall
Essie Banfield doesn’t need money but welcomes the challenges of working a job where she meets a minister and six little boys who inspire Christmas wishes. But will Pastor Max Warner trust that she is more than just a socialite with charitable intentions?
 
The Light of Christmas by Christina Lorenzen
A job is the only thing independent orphan Lizzie Miller needs, and Henry Kimball is singularly focused on proving his success outside the family business. But could the lure of an old-fashioned family Christmas bring them together?
 
Lunch with Maggie by Cynthia Hickey
Maggie Larson works the lunch counter where she befriends a girl who’s lonely father delivers milk each Friday. Friday’s noon hour becomes the highlight of Maggie’s week, but after being left at the altar, she closed her heart to love and to God. Will Seth Jamison be able to unlock her heart?

Forgotten Memories by Penny Zeller

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Goodreads ~ Amazon

1884 – Wyoming

Some memories are best forgotten…

The Wyoming Territory is rife with lawlessness and disorder, something Annie Ledbetter and her parents discover when their wagon train is robbed. Seven years later, Annie settles into her lifelong dream as a teacher in the small town of Willow Falls. When she meets handsome rancher Caleb Eliason through a humorous misunderstanding, she is quickly drawn to his kind heart and charming smile.

Former outlaw Caleb Eliason embraces his chance at a fresh start. Gone are the days of robbing stagecoaches and wagon trains. When he falls in love with the new Willow Falls teacher, he doesn’t realize they’ve met before—under much different circumstances. When his past comes to light, will it put the growing love between them at risk?

Can forgiveness and redemption heal two broken hearts or will the past keep them from sharing a future?

The Bride of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep

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England – 1885

The Continuing Adventure of Jackson and Kit.
 
Detective Jackson Forge can hardly wait to marry the street-sly swindler who’s turned his life upside down. Kit Turner is equally excited to wed the handsome detective, and what better way to show her love than providing him with a gift any man of the law would love? She determines to bring to justice the men who years ago maimed his brother despite Jackson’s warning to leave the past in the past. As she digs into the mystery of what happened, she unwittingly tumbles into her own history and endangers her future happiness with Jackson.
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