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Love Unforeseen by Penny Zeller

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Love UnforeseenGoodreads ~ Amazon

1890s – Montana

Will a best friend’s matchmaking scheme be successful?

Tillie Waller finds her life’s purpose in molding young minds as a teacher in Ellis Creek in the late-1890s. While she claims contentment, there is a part of her that longs to marry and be a mother, like her sister, Meredith, and best friend, Lula. But no matter. With her students and books, how could she ever be lonesome?

Willard “Will” Fairbanks has longed to return to Ellis Creek since the day he left the town with his family twelve years ago. When a job offer at Ellis Creek Mill beckons his return, Will eagerly embraces the opportunity. An added bonus? He hopes to reconnect with Tillie Waller, the girl he has always loved—the girl who never felt the same about him.

When Tillie encourages her pupils to write to pen pals in another town, she can’t possibly foresee how such an assignment will impact her own future. Her best friend, Lula, concocts a plan, unbeknownst to Tillie, for Will to become Tillie’s pen pal under a false name. Tillie forms a connection with her pen pal and even dares herself to fall in love.

When she falls in love with both Will and her pen pal, which one will she choose?

Will love unforeseen become a reality for Tillie and Willard?

Boulevard of Confusion by Sandra Merville Hart

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1862 – Virginia

In times of war, is anything as it seems?

Her aunt’s invitation to Richmond is just the change Beatrice Swanson needs after her brother’s release from a Union prison. Bea’s father agrees to the trip with a condition—one that tosses her emotions into swirling confusion.

Though Jay Nickson wants to serve his country as a Confederate soldier, his work is too important to the government. Bea’s interest in his job, which includes secrets that would benefit the Union, arouses his suspicions. Is she spying for the North? His growing feelings for her are hard to squelch.

Though she participates in activities to benefit Confederate soldiers, Bea struggles with her own loyalties and her father’s demands. Where does her cousin, Meg, go on her solitary errands? Bea’s own growing love for Jay, a Southerner, only adds to her confusion. Tensions escalate in Richmond as the Union army approaches, drawing her into more secrecy. Where does her allegiance lie? And how will she be forced to prove it?

Nothing in war is simple…especially when the heart becomes entangled.

Author Interview and Giveaway – A Promise Engraved – Liz Tolsma

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Hearken back to the time of the Texas Revolution with this dual timeline! Jim Bowie is a favorite at our house, in fact, there’s an unfinished Bowie knife on my computer table as I type this up….why all the unfinished knives end up on my desk? I don’t rightly know….but I’m sure a cameo in a book just might draw two of the men in my house. 🙂

A Promise Engraved , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Promise Engraved

Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?

Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and secret love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her heart, despite being a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. If he discovers the secrets of her painful past, he will never have anything to do with her. But then comes the Battle of the Alamo. Will either of them survive an epic battle for liberty to create a legacy of love?

Nearly 200 years later, Kayleigh Hewland takes breaks from her demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants to attend flea markets where she has found a uniquely engraved ring that helps her discover who killed her parents. Enlisting the help of appraiser Brandon Mullins, they piece together a love story long forgotten. But will dangers linked to the ring end her own hopes for leaving a legacy built on hope, faith, and love?

Liz’s Website

Liz Tolsma

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Questions about Liz’s Story

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I got to travel to San Antonio to research this book. At least, that’s what I tell people. I did spend two days there, visiting the historical sights, especially the Alamo, tasting the food, just getting the feel and the flavor of the city because I had never been there. The bonus is that my son lives in Austin, so I managed to sneak in a two-day visit with him!

 

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

The hardest part was that this was my first dual time novel. From learning about how to write two timelines, getting the stories to fit together in the end, how to tie the two stories together, and so much more, it really was a huge learning experience for me. I’m so grateful to Melanie Dobson for guiding me along the way.

 

Did you include a real historical character or incident in your story?

There are many historical characters in this book, including Santa Anna, Jim Bowie, William Travis, and Davy Crockett. Then there are the battles of Gonzales, Concepcion, and the Alamo. I don’t go into too much detail about these battles (except for the Alamo), but they do play a very important role in the book. If you read all the way to the end, I have historical notes in there. I don’t want to say too much because some might be spoilers!

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Questions about Liz’s Reading

What was the last Christian Historical Novel you read that wasn’t something you’d normally pick but you ended up enjoying?

Jody Hedlund has a series of time travel novels. The first is Come Back to Me, and the other is Never Leave Me. I wasn’t at all sure about time travel, but I had to read them because she was going to be a guest on my podcast. Wow, I was blown away by them. I couldn’t believe how much I loved them.

comebacktome

 

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

I’m just about finished reading Ashley Clark’s latest, Where the Last Rose Blooms. It’s so good. There’s a bit of suspense to it that I wasn’t expecting, so I really liked that.

wherethelastroseblooms

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.

Melanie Dobson’s book, The Winter Rose. Wow! The way she writes with such depth of character and setting, and how she so deftly weaves together the two timelines is amazing. I really studied her as I wrote this book. And often suffered from imposter syndrome because I did so!

winterrose

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

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Much Ado About Persuasion by Barbara Cornthwaite

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Regency – England

Some duel with swords, others with ships. In love, however, they duel with hearts.

When Sir Walter Elliot, secret admirer of the Navy, invites officers to visit his estate, what could be more natural than for his two daughters to find themselves in love?

Elizabeth Elliot’s legendary, bitter pride clashes with Admiral Baldwin’s stubborn conceit until any hope of a match seems impossible. They say love conquers all, but does it?

All looks hopeful for Anne Elliot and the dashing Captain Wentworth, but when a cousin steps in and sets evil plans into motion, is their love enough to withstand the storm, or is it best to let the captain sail that ship… alone?

Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing meets Jane Austen’s Persuasion in this story about trust, disappointment, and disguises.

When the Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer

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1774/1914 – Virginia/New York

How will she choose, knowing all she must sacrifice?

Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other. While she’s the same person at her core in both times, she’s leading two vastly different lives.

In Colonial Williamsburg, Libby is a public printer for the House of Burgesses and the Royal Governor, trying to provide for her family and support the Patriot cause. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, has his own secrets. As the revolution draws near, both their lives–and any hope of love–are put in jeopardy.

Libby’s life in 1914 New York is filled with wealth, drawing room conversations, and bachelors. But the only work she cares about–women’s suffrage–is discouraged, and her mother is intent on marrying her off to an English marquess. The growing talk of war in Europe only complicates matters.

But Libby knows she’s not destined to live two lives forever. On her twenty-first birthday, she must choose one path and forfeit the other–but how can she choose when she has so much to lose in each life?

A Healer’s Promise by Misty Beller

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1815 – Canada

She was called to be a healer, but her skills–and heart–have never been so challenged.

Levi Masters’s time as a British spy hasn’t ended, though his country’s war with America has. After overhearing a scout reveal a discovery that could give America the upper hand in future conflicts, Levi is sent on one last mission. While trekking through the Canadian Rockies in pursuit of his former enemy, he is taken captive by warriors from a hidden mountain village.

Village healer Audrey Moreau is more curious than afraid of the outsider, and she’s drawn to his commitment to honesty even at his own expense. Despite her arguments for his release, the council remains at an impasse. Compelled to help him escape, she sneaks him out of the village. But when Levi faces a life-threatening injury and the fierce mountain winter closes in, Levi and Audrey are forced to discover just how far they’ll go to ensure the safety of the other and the love growing between them.

To Tame a Cowboy by Jody Hedlund

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1867 – Colorado

They share a passion to heal what is broken, but it’s their own hearts that need to be made whole. 

Brody McQuaid is a broken man, and he knows it. While his body survived the war, his soul did not. Besides loving his little niece, his only sense of purpose comes from saving the wild horses that roam South Park. Ranchers in the area have taken to killing the horses, which are competing with their cattle to feed on the open grass.

Savannah Marshall is a veterinarian on her family’s Colorado ranch. She longs to keep her father happy following the tragic death of her older brother, including marrying a man of his choosing. But days before her wedding, she gets cold feet and disappears to South Park. As she learns more about the destruction of the horses, she joins Brody in an attempt to save the wild creatures. But when Savannah’s family and the resentments of the area cattlemen catch up with them both, Brody and Savannah will have to tame their fears if they’ve any hope to let love run free.

Written on the Wind by Elizabeth Camden

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1900 – Russia/New York/Washington

He carries a dangerous secret, but can he survive long enough to expose it?

Count Dimitri Sokolov has been charged with overseeing construction of the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway, but during this work, he witnesses an appalling crime, the truth of which threatens the Russian monarchy. In an effort to silence him, the czar has stripped Dimitri of his title, his lands, and his freedom . . . but Dimitri has one asset the czar knows nothing about: his deep and abiding friendship with Natalia Blackstone. 

Natalia is the lead analyst for her father’s New York banking empire and manages their investment in the Trans-Siberian Railway. Her bond with Dimitri has flourished despite the miles between them, but when Dimitri goes unexpectedly missing, she sets the wheels in motion to find him. Once they join forces, they embark on a dangerous quest in which one wrong move could destroy them both.  

From the steppes of Russia to the corridors of power in Washington, Dimitri and Natalia will fight against all odds to save the railroad while exposing the truth. Can their newfound love survive the ordeal? 

When the Meadow Blooms by Ann Gabhart

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1925 – Kentucky

If any place on God’s earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law’s Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past–the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls’ experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, hope blooms as their past troubles become rich soil in which their faith can grow.

Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother’s widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again. But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.

The Ribbon by Cara Grandle

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1847 – Oregon

Life rips away hope and sweeps her along…until she finds a future worth fighting for.

On the day her mother passes away, Heather Keeton weds a neighbor who promises to provide for her. They journey along the Oregon Trail, but tragedy strikes again. Widowed, alone, and far from home in Oregon Territory, Heather needs work. But where? She determines to use her cooking and baking skills at a logging camp to earn enough to remain independent and, eventually, reach her Porcelain Doll sister, Rebecca.

Land surveyor Zeke Bradley misses being part of a family. A surprise inheritance might open the way for him to settle down and begin a courtship, but he tries to come to the aid of an injured man only to be accused of murder. One wrong move, and he could unjustly swing by his neck from a rope. He flees and hides in a logging camp, waiting for his name to be cleared.

Nothing comes easy at Camp 13 Logging Company, where the work is hard and hazardous. Heather hopes to move on soon, and Zeke longs to be free from his worries. Can these two survivors learn to trust each other before their pasts destroy their future?

Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna M. White

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1922 – Illinois

Sabina Mancari never questioned her life as the daughter of Chicago’s leading mob boss until bullets tear apart her world and the man she thought she loved turns out to be an undercover Prohibition agent. Ambushes, bribes, murder, prostitution-all her life, her father sheltered her from his crimes, but now she can no longer turn away from the truth. Maybe Lorenzo, the fiancé who barely paid her any attention in the last two years, has the right idea by planning to escape their world. But can she truly turn her back on her family?

All his life, Lorenzo’s family assumed he would become a priest, but he has different ideas-marrying Sabina and pursuing a career in the law. Despite his morals, he knows at the core he isn’t so unlike his mafiosi father and brothers. Has he, in trying to protect Sabina, forced her into the arms of the Prohibition agent bent on tearing her family apart? How can they rebuild what has so long been neglected and do it in the shadow of the dark empire of the Mafia?

A Promise Engraved by Liz Tolsma

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1835/Present Day – Texas

Can Promises Made in Times of Struggle Endure 200 Years?

Young, spirited Josie Wilkins life is about to take a turn when faced with political turmoil and secret love in San Antonio of 1836. John Gilbert has won her heart, despite being a Protestant preacher who is forbidden to practice his faith in Texas. If he discovers the secrets of her painful past, he will never have anything to do with her. But then comes the Battle of the Alamo. Will either of them survive an epic battle for liberty to create a legacy of love?

Nearly 200 years later, Kayleigh Hewland takes breaks from her demanding job as a refugee coordinator working with Mexican migrants to attend flea markets where she has found a uniquely engraved ring that helps her discover who killed her parents. Enlisting the help of appraiser Brandon Mullins, they piece together a love story long forgotten. But will dangers linked to the ring end her own hopes for leaving a legacy built on hope, faith, and love?

Return to Boone’s Hollow by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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1941 – Kentucky

With Pap hauled off to the state penitentiary, Bettina finally feels safe. Living with Nanny Fay Tucker, working as a packhorse librarian, and being courted by Shay Leeson is a life beyond anything she’d imagined. And it’s only going to get better. Because soon she’ll be an honorary auntie to her best friend Addie’s baby, and–for sure not much longer–she’ll exchange vows with Shay and become his wife. Things in Boone’s Hollow couldn’t be rosier…until she gets word that the governor suspended Pap’s sentence and he’ll be coming back sooner than she expected.

Shay wants to marry her real quick and take her out of Boone’s Hollow. But how can she go with Nanny Fay needs her and Addie’s baby isn’t here yet? Pap’s return creates a storm in her relationship with Shay. And then another storm–one brewing way overseas–stirs trouble all over Black Mountain.

Will Bettina’s world fall apart again? Or will the lessons she’s learned from Nanny Fay about holding tight to the One who can calm any storm take her to a place of peace?

Deceived by Madisyn Carlin

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Medieval Like Era – Fictitious Kingdom

In a land built upon lies and deception, uncovering the truth can be deadly.

Therese Westa is sick of death, but taking lives is what provides for her younger sisters. When a client approaches her with an unusual request, Therese takes the job offer, which includes the condition of “no questions asked”. As Therese uncovers the reason for the request, she is faced with a choice: kill an innocent man or save her sisters.

Therese’s hesitation to carry out the assassination thrusts her into the aftermath of a dangerous chain of events. Caught between security and truth, Therese must choose where her loyalties lie, for the answer will determine who survives

The Rancher’s Want Ad Mix-Up by Megan Besing

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1889 – Missouri

A mail-order mistake… Or a made-to-be match?

When Della Mae Wagner’s train arrives in Missouri, she’s shocked to find that the couple who hired her don’t just want a teacher for their grandsons but a wife for their son! After a broken engagement, marriage is not in Della’s plans. And Hank Lamson isn’t pleased—with his parents, with his unexpected guest or with Della’s unfairly appealing smile. But his plans to send her packing are foiled as his family comes to love her…and he feels the walls around his wounded heart start to fall.

The Major’s Family Mission by Elizabeth Rowan

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1846 – New York/California/Travel

They were forced to marry. But will they choose to love?

Moving to the wilds of California is just the fresh start Major Benjamin Sheffield hoped for—but first the widower needs a mother for his two little girls. So when feisty New York socialite Moira Blackthorne’s reckless nature puts her reputation at risk, Ben’s sure a marriage of convenience can solve both their problems. Setting sail for a new home as the wife of a stranger isn’t quite the life Moira pictured. But the more she gets to know the dignified major and his adorable daughters, the harder she falls…and begins to wish for more than a marriage in name only.

Claiming Her Legacy by Linda Goodnight

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1890 – Oklahoma

Frontier women don’t ride off alone to track an outlaw—not even women as capable as tomboy spinster Willa Malone. But Willa desperately needs the bounty money offered for her father’s killer if she’s to keep their homestead and take care of her sisters. That means she needs an expert tracker’s help. Gideon Hartley has the skill, but the handsome trail guide also has a troubling secret…

Gideon has spent years trying to numb his pain with whiskey. Little by little, their quest—and Willa’s belief in him—is restoring the sense of purpose he thought he’d lost. Journeying into the heart of danger, they’ll have to face down the past together if they hope to protect their future…

Shadow’s in the Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp

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1940s – Arkansas

Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on–responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who’s come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam’s experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand–but that everyone is learning to fear.

Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn’t the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?

Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she’s terrified he’s going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam’s mental wounds–or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?

Miss Beaumont’s Companion by Grace Hitchcock

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1892 – Louisiana

When lady’s companion Aria St. Angelo is coerced into posing as her political employer’s absent daughter for the evening at the Louisiana Governor’s masquerade ball, she wasn’t planning on falling for Byron Roderick, the most eligible bachelor in the capitol.

Byron Roderick is taken with the woman he knows as Mildred Beaumont, but when he discovers the lady’s true identity, more than just his heart is at stake.

Abigail’s Peace by Pegg Thomas

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1763 – New York

Abigail Aldridge’s life in Boston was difficult. Her inability to converse with the fluid grace of her societal peers made her an outcast, a spinster sister living with her step-brother and his wife. When she concocts a way to join her uncle at the British outpost of Fort Niagara, she has no idea what dangers lurk at the edge of civilization.

Working at the fort, Koyengquahtah, a Seneca scout for the British army known as Koyen, watches the white women carried ashore from the boat. Soldiers are one thing, but women mean families. Families that plan to stay on Seneca land. It sparks in him a rebellion against the changes threatening to overwhelm his people and their way of life.

When Abigail befriends the sisters of Koyen, their paths cross and their initial distrust of each other grows into a grudging admiration. But violence erupts as two cultures clash, fueled by the Ottawa leader to the west, Pontiac.

A Strike to the Heart by Danielle Grandinetti

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1933 – Wisconsin

She’s fiercely independent. He’s determined to protect her.

When a routine mission becomes an ambush that kills his team, Craft Agency sniper Miles Wright determines to find the persons responsible and protect the woman he rescued. But the fierce independence that led Lily Moore to leave her family’s dairy business for the solitary life of a dog trainer and the isolation of her farm don’t make that easy. Neither does his unwanted attraction to her. Meanwhile, escalating incidents confirm that she’s far from safe.

Lily fears letting the surprisingly gentle retired marine into her life almost as much as she fears whoever is threatening her. As Wisconsin farmers edge toward another milk strike, one that will surely turn violent, it becomes clear that the plot against Lily may be part of a much larger conspiracy. When the search for her abductor leads close to home, she must decide whether to trust her family or the man who saved her life.

 

The Marquis’s Pursuit by Lorri Dudley

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1830 – Caribbean

She’s desperate to keep her secret hidden, but he’s a determined Marquis.

As the son of a duke, Maxwell Oliver Weld, Marquis of Daventry, is allowed entry into the finest of London’s ballrooms, access to political figures, and advice from the best physicians. Yet, his wealth and contacts won’t heal his friend, Charlie, who’s dying from consumption. Hopeful for a miracle, Max persuades Charlie to sail across the Atlantic to stay in the Artesian Hotel on the island of Nevis and bathe in its famous healing springs. Max’s optimism is washed in doubt as the truth unravels about the hotel, its hot springs, and the beautiful caretaker.

The blaze of Evelyn Mairi Sheraton’s fiery side has long since been snuffed out. Hunted by a vengeful man from her past, only fortitude and the island’s sanctuary have kept Evelyn alive. She will do whatever it takes to keep her precious secret safe, even work for the demeaning Artesian Hotel owner, Edward Rousseau. However, when a jaunty marquis and his ailing friend arrive, sparks ignite, but Evelyn fears the revealing of her secrets will burn her to ash.

The elusive Evelyn may tend to Charlie’s well-being, but she stirs Max’s protective nature. He’d like nothing more than to remove her from the wretched employment of Edward Rousseau, yet that might endanger Charlie’s health even more. Refusing to give up on a miracle, Max waters her guarded heart, certain beauty will rise out of ashes. But when her secrets come to life, will love be worth the price?

Author Interview and Giveaway – The Master Craftsman – Kelli Stuart

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Are you looking for unusual historical event in your reading? Look no further, we’ve got a Faberge egg designer in this one! A dual time line of treasure hunting and artistic secrets. Welcome Kelli to the Index!

The Master Craftsman, , , , , , , , ,

The Master Craftsman

Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in the House of Fabergé, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history–an unknown Fabergé Egg that Peter Karl Fabergé secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial tsar’s family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family.

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance–and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.

Kelli’s Website

author kelli stuart

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Questions about Kelli’s Story

What inspired this story?

I stumbled across a news article a few years ago about a Russian imperial crown, and buried in the article was a side note about an American scrap metal dealer who had purchased what he thought was an innocuous piece of art at an auction, and he planned to melt it down and sell the gold. As he cleaned it up, however, he realized he had something much more valuable on his hands. He soon learned that he had found one of the missing Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs, and its value was estimated at $33 million. Immediately, I had my story. Where were the missing eggs, and what would happen if someone set out to find one?

 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The research! The House of Faberge was magical and opulent, and in its glory days was the center of Russian advances and culture. I loved exploring the making of the eggs and the life of Peter Karl Faberge. And when I discovered that he employed female master craftsmen, very advanced for his time, I was even more intrigued.

 

What was the hardest part of your book to write?

I often felt underqualified for this story. It felt much bigger than me and intimidated me quite a bit. It was the most challenging story I’ve written to date.

 

Did you include a real historical character or incident in your story?

The historical timeline is very accurate to real events, minus a few creative liberties. Did Peter Karl Faberge really design a mystery 53rd egg that he never told anyone about? Maybe. I don’t actually know. But it’s possible. He was a deeply creative man. But all the events and facts of the other designs, and the historical rumblings that led to the Russian Revolutions and ultimate demise of the Romanov family were all very accurate.

 

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

I have a deep fascination with Russian culture and history, and on my bucket list is to visit St. Petersburg someday. Visiting it through fiction was step one!

 

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

I read extensively about the Faberge family and the House of Faberge. I ordered every book I could get my hands on, and I studied every picture of each Imperial Egg in detail.

 

What do you hope readers learn from this story?

I hope readers walk away a little intrigued about the history of the eggs. There are still 11 Imperial eggs missing. Perhaps one of my readers will take it upon themselves to find the next one.

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Questions about Kelli’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. Patti Callahan’s Once Upon a Wardrobe was a masterful piece of fiction in that it brought C.S. Lewis to life in such a realistic way that I felt like I knew him. Patti wastes no words in her writing.

once upon a wardrobe

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

I think Susie Finkbeiner is a master at taking a simple story and turning it into a powerful story. I love her writing.

thenatureofsmallbirds

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The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart

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1917/Present – Russia

Alma Pihl, a master craftsman in the House of Fabergé, was charged to protect one of the greatest secrets in Russian history–an unknown Fabergé Egg that Peter Karl Fabergé secretly created to honor his divided allegiance to both the people of Russia and the Imperial tsar’s family. When Alma and her husband escaped Russia for their native Finland in 1921, she took the secret with her, guarding her past connection to the Romanov family.

Three generations later, world-renowned treasure hunter Nick Laine is sick and fears the secret of the missing egg will die with him. With time running out, he entrusts the mission of retrieving the egg to his estranged daughter, Ava, who has little idea of the dangers she is about to face. As the stakes are raised, Ava is forced to declare her own allegiance–and the consequences are greater than she could have imagined.

The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright

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The Souls of Lost LakeGoodreads ~ Amazon

1930/Present – Wisconsin

To save the innocent, they must face an insidious evil.

Wren Blythe has long enjoyed living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, helping her father with ministry at a youth camp. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess who is believed to still roam the forest. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coonses’ cabin ruins and a sinister mystery she is determined to unearth.

In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last several years carrying the mantle of mystery since the day she emerged from the woods as a thirteen-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger’s ax. She has accepted she will never remember what happened to her family, whose bodies were never found, and that the people of Tempter’s Creek will always blame her for their violent deaths. And after a member of the town is murdered, and another goes missing, rumors spread that Ava’s secret is perhaps more malicious than previously imagined.

Two women, separated by time, must confront a wickedness that not only challenges who they are but also threatens their lives, and the lives of those they love.

Emma’s Quest by Starr Ayers

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1939/present – North Carolina

When Caroline Myers and her sister Kate find a wilted red rose on their mother’s headstone, the door to Emma Rose Walsh’s past swings open.

AS THE DARK CLOUDS OF WAR escalate in Europe, Emma leaves her North Carolina home and the soldier whose heart has never stopped longing for hers. However, when Andrew Brown, the charming Scotsman who’d won her affection, fails to meet her train in Chicago, Emma questions her hasty decision. Hundreds of miles now separate her from all that’s familiar and the people she loves.
Has she misread Drew? Did her rush to heal her past prompt her to dismiss warning bells and ignore common sense?

Perhaps her sister is right—happy endings are only found in fairy tales.

A Hundred Crickets Singing by Cathy Gohlke

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1861/1944 – North Carolina

In wars eighty years apart, two young women living on the same Appalachian estate determine to aid soldiers dear to them and fight for justice, no matter the cost.

1944. When a violent storm rips through the Belvidere attic in No Creek, North Carolina, exposing a hidden room and trunk long forgotten, secrets dating back to the Civil War are revealed. Celia Percy, whose family lives and works in the home, suspects the truth could transform the future for her friend Marshall, now fighting overseas, whose ancestors were once enslaved by the Belvidere family. When Marshall’s Army friend, Joe, returns to No Creek with shocking news for Marshall’s family, Celia determines to right a long-standing wrong, whether or not the town is ready for it.

1861. After her mother’s death, Minnie Belvidere works desperately to keep her household running and her family together as North Carolina secedes. Her beloved older brother clings to his Union loyalties, despite grave danger, while her hotheaded younger brother entangles himself and the family’s finances within the Confederacy. As the country and her own home are torn in two, Minnie risks her life and her future in a desperate fight to gain liberty and land for those her parents intended to free, before it’s too late.

Carry Me Close by Dorothy Adamek

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1879 – Australia

Coming first won’t ruin you. Longing for it will.

Born to replace the little girl her parents lost, feisty Australian botanical artist, Viola Buckley, knows the impoverishment of being loved in the shadow of the darling who came before her. Only a first-place win for her art will secure freedom from the heartaches of a second-place childhood.

When Viola’s mother requires seaside therapy, they retreat to Phillip Island’s Blue Wren House for Rest Cure, a cruel Victorian Era remedy promising restoration at a price Viola cannot afford… or ignore. Neither can she ignore visiting American, woodworker, Silas Swift.

Widowed, quick-witted yet guarded, Silas will lose his family carpentry business unless he reclaims a long-abandoned treasure, hidden in the pieces of a kit home, now fashioned into the island guesthouse. He’s not hunting romance, no matter how beguiling his entanglements with Viola.

And she will not be burned twice, by falling into a heart that’s already loved another. Still, Phillip Island holds more than healing winds and buried treasures. For brave souls willing to face the firestorms of love, it offers second chance

A Rose for the Resistance by Angela Couch

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A Rose for the ResistanceGoodreads ~ Amazon

1940 – France

A French Woman and German Soldier Create a Truce
 
With her father in a German POW camp and her home in Ste Mere Eglise, France, under Nazi occupation, Rosalie Barrieau will do anything to keep her younger brother safe. . .even from his desire to join the French resistance. Until she falls into the debt of a German soldier—one who delivers a wounded British pilot to her door. Though not sure what to make of her German ally, Rosalie is thrust deep into the heart of the local underground. As tensions build toward the allied invasion of Normandy, she must decide how much she is willing to risk for freedom. 

A Deadly Secret by Melanie Dickerson

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1811 – England

Lillian Courtney’s husband’s criticizing and bullying ways culminate with him physically striking her, and she runs away to the Isle of Wight, taking her young daughter with her. Her husband follows her there—and is found dead the next day. Her mother-in-law accuses her of killing her husband, then tries to take her child away from her. Lillian is devastated at the prospect of losing her daughter.

Nash Golding, Earl of Barrentine, was not looking for trouble. He was only trying to keep his secret safe—the secret that he is a novelist publishing amusing satires under the pen name Perceval Hastings. His family would be aghast if his secret were made public. As an earl and a member of the House of Lords, working as an author of satirical novels is beneath him. Early one morning, after sending his latest manuscript to his publisher, he emerges from a tiny village post office to witness a man, obviously up to no good, stalking a young lady. Nash follows them and is forced to be of service to the lady—in saving her life.

Nash strives to keep the pretty widow safe from her late husband’s devious family members, who wish to gain control of her daughter. But while he is protecting them, will his own secret be revealed? His position in society and in Parliament will be irreparably damaged when it is discovered that, not only is he the notorious satirist, Perceval Hastings, but he is also harboring a poor widow suspected of murdering her husband.

Lillian is falling in love with the handsome earl, despite her fear and lack of trust. Nash, in turn, finds that neither his reputation nor his heart is safe when the lovely Lillian is near.

Cowboy Cousins Collection

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1890s

Saddle Up … for the fastest reading ride of your life as three cowboys become cattlemen. Raised in the same small town in the Texas Hill Country because their mothers are sisters, three cousins, cowboys all, find God, the loves of their lives, and much, much more.

This novella collection includes:

Lucy and the Lawman by Molly Noble Bull: While on a business trip to Colorado in 1890, Sheriff Caleb Caldwell stops to inform Miss Lucy Gordan and her widowed mother of property they inherited in Texas, land coveted by a rich and powerful man—willing to do anything to get his hands on what is rightfully theirs, and Caleb feels obligated to protect them. However, he cannot reveal his attraction for Lucy. To do so would mean disaster for all of them.

The Meddlesome Maverick by Kathleen L. Maher: A new job as a bronco buster on a Lincoln, Nebraska ranch offers Boyd Hastings a fresh start. Cured of romance after a kiss-and-tell flirt falsely accused him, he must flee his hometown and cousins who have been like brothers. Banjo picking for a music show would lure him to the big city, but an opinionated tomboy with a heart of gold makes grand plans for him. Can he trust a meddlesome maverick to steer him true, or will she lead him into a briar patch of trouble?

A Panhandle Sunrise by Kathi Macias: Thirty-one year old Jake Matthews, newly appointed foreman of the Double Bar-J Ranch, is deeply attracted to the ranch owner’s daughter, Anabelle, but he can’t work up the nerve to approach her father, Jasper Floyd, and ask for permission to court her. But when tall, handsome, longtime Jasper-family friend, Clint Jordan, gets hired on, it seems Clint doesn’t have the same insecurities and begins pursuing Anabelle immediately. Jake now accepts that his dreams of a life with Anabelle are hopeless—until a near life-and-death situation changes everything.

Count the Nights by Stars by Michelle Shocklee

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1897/1961 – Tennessee

Count your nights by stars, not shadows. Count your life with smiles, not tears.

1961. After a longtime resident at Nashville’s historic Maxwell House Hotel suffers a debilitating stroke, Audrey Whitfield is tasked with cleaning out the reclusive woman’s room. There, she discovers an elaborate scrapbook filled with memorabilia from the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Love notes on the backs of unmailed postcards inside capture Audrey’s imagination with hints of a forbidden romance . . . and troubling revelations about the disappearance of young women at the exposition. Audrey enlists the help of a handsome hotel guest as she tracks down clues and information about the mysterious “Peaches” and her regrets over one fateful day, nearly sixty-five years earlier.

1897. Outspoken and forward-thinking Priscilla Nichols isn’t willing to settle for just any man. She’s still holding out hope for love when she meets Luca Moretti on the eve of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Charmed by the Italian immigrant’s boldness, Priscilla spends time exploring the wonderous sights of the expo with Luca—until a darkness overshadows the months long event. Haunted by a terrible truth, Priscilla and Luca are sent down separate paths as the night’s stars fade into dawn.

Peace in the Mountain Haven by Misty Beller

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1831 – Idaho

This epic journey is her best chance to find the family she and her daughter long for.

Watkuese is desperate to return across the Rocky Mountains before winter sets in. Time is running out for her to get her adopted daughter back to the familiar surroundings of the Shoshone village before the grief of her parents’ death causes irreparable damage.

Hugh Charpentier has spent his life watching over his siblings, which meant also ensuring his brother’s widow and babe are settled well into their new life. Now he’s asked to help shepherd a woman and child he barely knows across the mountains. As hard as it is to keep up with a six-year-old in the treacherous Rockies, it’s not nearly as dangerous as risking his heart to a woman and child who may not ever be his.

Where Wild Roses Bloom by Angela Couch

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1910 – Canada

When Lenora Perry’s dream of becoming an acclaimed singer dies a painful death, she attempts to escape her mistakes by fleeing north—directly into the path of an all-too-dashing Mountie. Though the man in scarlet appears eager to be rid of her, his home provides security, and his sister offers friendship—two things Lenora is desperate for after discovering her pregnancy. With the past dogging her footsteps and her future uncertain, dare she consider new dreams?

Upholding the law makes up the fabric of Constable Edmond Bryce’s existence. As his five years of service draw to an end, he must decide whether or not to continue in his father’s footsteps—an increasingly difficult decision now that Miss Perry has infiltrated his life. Though she’s the daughter of a parson and a close friend to his sister, Edmond can’t push aside the feeling that Lenora hides more than she tells. But duty calls, leaving little time for matters of the heart.

Her Guarded Heart by Sharlene MacLaren

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1865 – Ohio

At age twenty-one, Anna Hansen has had more than her share of hardship. Her mother died when she was eleven and her father just passed away under mysterious circumstances, leaving her to care for her ten-year-old brother, Billy Ray. She struggles to hang onto the family farm but it’s facing foreclosure and things are looking grim.

Next door, Jesse Fuller’s drive, work ethic, and skill ensure that his family’s farm is a growing success. His brothers think he should marry Anna to help out her and her kid brother…while also enabling the Fullers to expand their operation. But Jesse has never had romantic feelings for Anna and the idea doesn’t appeal to him.

In the meantime, Horace Blackthorn is hell-bent on acquiring the Hansen farm for reasons of his own. And he’ll do whatever it takes to get it—lie, cheat, steal…even murder.

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