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Author Interview and Giveaway – As Dawn Breaks – Kate Breslin

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Give a lovely welcome to Kate on the Index!! Do you not want to steal this cover model’s ensemble for yourself? I do. I’m sure the story is as lovely as the outfit. Check out Kate’s answers to what you’ll find inside!

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As Dawn Breaks

Her daring bid for freedom could be her greatest undoing.

Amid the Great War in 1918 England, munitions worker Rosalind Graham is desperate to escape the arranged marriage being forced on her by her ruthless guardian and instead follow her own course. When the Chilwell factory explodes, killing hundreds of unidentified workers, Rose realizes the world believes she perished in the disaster. Seizing the chance to escape, she risks all and assumes a new identity, taking a supervisory position in Gretna, Scotland, as Miss Tilly Lockhart.

RAF Captain Alex Baird is returning home to Gretna on a secret mission to uncover the saboteur suspected in the Chilwell explosion, as Gretna’s factory is likely next. Fearing for his family’s safety, he’s also haunted by guilt after failing to protect his brother. Alex is surprised to discover a young woman, Miss Lockhart, renting his boyhood room, but the two eventually bond over their mutual affection for his family–until Alex receives orders to surveil her.

Rose squirms beneath Alex’s scrutiny while she struggles to gain her workers’ respect. But when her deception turns to danger, she and Alex must find a way to put their painful pasts behind them and together try to safeguard the future.

Kate’s Website

kate breslin

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Questions about Kate’s Story

What inspired this story?

During the WWI historical research for my last three novels, I read stories about women who stepped into jobs previously assigned to the men now fighting overseas, in order to keep the country running during the war. In particular, the courageous women working in the munitions industry, making shells, packing them with TNT, and making propellant for ammunition. Extremely dangerous work, but most of the women were patriots and their work literally changed the direction of the war for Britain toward victory. I’ve wanted to write about them, and As Dawn Breaks gave me that chance.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I wrote this novel during the outbreak of Covid-19, and the sudden quarantine that most of us experienced. My own family lives on the other side of the country and I wasn’t able to see them during this time, so writing about the fictional Baird family in my story and my heroine’s longing for a real home made it special for me. As if I had my family near me.

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

I did include a real historical incident with a real British munitions factory in 1918, an event that changed the course of my heroine’s life.

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Questions about Kate’s Reading

inpieces

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

In Pieces by Rhonda Ortiz. So well-written and a beautiful love story. I read it this past July and I still think of it. I definitely recommend it!

midnightdance

What Christian Historical Novel in your To Be Read pile is begging you to make time to plop down with it right now?

A Midnight Dance by Joanna Davidson Politano. I’ve read such great reviews about this book and I’m eager to start!

Kate is giving away  a signed 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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Enamored by Jody Hedlund

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Medieval – Fictitious Kingdom (Norway area)

During a time when legends were born . . .

A princess in need of a husband, a young Sage who cannot have her, and a web of deceit that threatens their love.

Having been raised by her childless aunt and uncle, the king and queen, Princess Elinor finds herself the only heir to the throne of Norvegia. As she comes of age, she must choose a husband to rule beside her, but she struggles to make her selection from among a dozen noblemen during a weeklong courtship.

With aspirations to become the wisest man in the land, Maxim is summoned home by his father Rasmus, a Royal Sage. Reunited with Elinor, once his closest friend, Maxim is quickly enamored with her even though he can never be considered a prospect for her husband.

Elinor’s feelings for Maxim are rekindled too . . . until she learns he has been unwillingly drawn into Rasmus’s scheme to take control of the throne. With the kingdom under attack both from within and without, can Elinor and Maxim overcome the deceit spinning around them? Or will it destroy their love once and for all?

The real story of Excalibur.

Honor in the Mountain Refuge by Misty Beller

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1831 – Idaho

This epic journey is his last chance to start a new life.

After being cast out of his Blackfoot village for his kindness to the Nez Perce captives, Chogan travels west in search of meaning for his life. Meaning that doesn’t require killing or torturing innocent people. Though the lovely face of Telípe, a Nez Perce woman, is imprinted on his heart, he avoids her village.  She deserves a happy life with her husband and coming child.

With her husband dead and the birth of her babe imminent, Telípe’s reality looks nothing like she planned. She’s been forced to return to the village where she grew up and the chaos of her family’s lodge—with all her boisterous younger brothers. She desperately desires to start a new life for herself and the babe growing within her, but she can’t seem to climb above the mire of her past. When she stumbles into the brave who’d shown her kindness during her captivity, something ignites within her—a new hope.

Chogan’s determination to stay and help Telípe is thwarted by her people’s fear and hatred for his tribe—especially since he was among last winter’s kidnappers. It doesn’t matter that he did everything he could to keep her and her unborn child safe and comfortable during that awful event. But as a new predator threatens the safety of the village, Chogan determines to take down the massive wildcat that’s already injured several children—including one of Telípe’s younger brothers. When the danger escalates, Chogan is faced with an impossible choice. No matter which option he chooses, his life will never be the same—nor that of the woman he’s come to love.

The Stone and the Secrets by Jan Davis Warren

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1207 – England

Science has always been her haven…until a secret expedition proves more dangerous than she bargained for.

Lady Elise Stanton loves the Lord, her family, science, and William Degraf. William was always around to help with her experiments—at least, until she reached marriageable age. Unable to convince him that it is not a noble bloodline that makes a man worthy, but a noble heart, she turns to science to soothe her disappointment. She’s admitted to the School of Scientifica in London, far from her home at Brighton Castle. She’s eager to join a scientific expedition intent on tracking down a large meteorite strike. The hope is their study will unlock secrets of the universe, which will help mankind. Superstitions and fear surrounding the stones threaten the expedition. As dangers mount, William’s unexpected arrival could be the answer to her prayers…or the harbinger of more peril to come.

William Degraf chooses to join the king’s army to escape the growing secret love he has for Lady Elise. He is a low-born innkeeper’s son and not worthy to marry a lady of noble blood. His plan is to rise in ranks and one day earn great honors to declare for her hand. That hope is shattered when he loses his right leg in battle while saving his best friend from the enemy’s lance. When he receives information that a group of assassins have been hired to kill the king and all with noble blood, he must warn Elise and her family. Can he reach Elise in time to protect her from danger, then stand aside and watch her marry another?

A Castle for Christmas by Stephenia McGee

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Medieval/Time Travel – England

A crown meant for a princess. A medieval castle. And a one-way ticket to an unforgettable romance.

A life-changing diagnosis sends Avery Stuart on a last-chance Christmas road trip. The cheery bed-and-breakfast offers a festive way to spend the holidays alone. But when she finds her name listed on an ancient family tree next to an English baron, her trip suddenly takes a startling turn—no fairy godmother included. She might have gotten the Cinderella dress, but her prince is more beast than charming.

On the verge of seeing his people starve, Sir Robert de Northwood must seek a bride with a hefty dowry in order to salvage what war has wrought. The night he must choose his wife, a strange foreign princess arrives at Northwood Castle dressed in enough jewels to feed his barony for a year—and she’s entirely alone. Sir Robert is intrigued by the fascinating woman and offers his protection by way of a sensible marriage arrangement that will benefit them both. But when the mysterious Princess Avery of Gardenia claims to be from the future, how much will he risk losing in order to keep her close?

The Mobster’s Daughter by Rachel Scott McDaniel

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1923 – Pennsylvania

The one man who could help her, must never know her name.

If Kate Chamberlin can’t reveal her true identity to the world, she must settle for sharing only her talent. Hired as a musician for KDKA radio, Kate plays everything from sponsors’ jingles to complex sonatas. As long as the whispers around the broadcasting room refer to her as “Killjoy Kate” and not “Catarina the crime boss’s daughter,” then her life is safe from danger.

Or so she thinks.

When anonymous, violent threats surface, Kate’s wary of accepting protection from the handsome private investigator, Detective Jennings. His save-the-world attitude is as charming as his manners, but no one, especially him, can know the gruesome realities of her birth.

The 1924 Pittsburgh underworld is as complicated as it is elusive, and though the dealings of the Salvastanos have dwindled, Rhett Jennings is certain the man responsible for his father’s death is still at large. But his personal hunt for justice must be set aside when his day job requires him to investigate threats directed at a young radio broadcaster with enamoring brown eyes and secretive behavior.

When danger surrounds them, will the truth of Kate’s past become the key to their survival?

Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy

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1897 – Traveling/India

Augusta Travers has spent the last three years avoiding the stifling expectations of New York society and her family’s constant disappointment. As the nation’s most fearless–and reviled–columnist, Gussie travels the country with her Kodak camera and spins stories for women unable to leave hearth and home. But when her adventurous nature lands her in the middle of a scandal, an opportunity to leave America offers the perfect escape.

Arriving in India, she expects only a nice visit with childhood friends, siblings Catherine and Gabriel, and escapades that will further her career. Instead, she finds herself facing a plague epidemic, confusion over Gabriel’s sudden appeal, and the realization that what she wants from life is changing. But slowing down means facing all the hurts of her past that she’s long been trying to outrun. And that may be an undertaking too great even for her.

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

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1918 – England

Her daring bid for freedom could be her greatest undoing.

Amid the Great War in 1918 England, munitions worker Rosalind Graham is desperate to escape the arranged marriage being forced on her by her ruthless guardian and instead follow her own course. When the Chilwell factory explodes, killing hundreds of unidentified workers, Rose realizes the world believes she perished in the disaster. Seizing the chance to escape, she risks all and assumes a new identity, taking a supervisory position in Gretna, Scotland, as Miss Tilly Lockhart.

RAF Captain Alex Baird is returning home to Gretna on a secret mission to uncover the saboteur suspected in the Chilwell explosion, as Gretna’s factory is likely next. Fearing for his family’s safety, he’s also haunted by guilt after failing to protect his brother. Alex is surprised to discover a young woman, Miss Lockhart, renting his boyhood room, but the two eventually bond over their mutual affection for his family–until Alex receives orders to surveil her.

Rose squirms beneath Alex’s scrutiny while she struggles to gain her workers’ respect. But when her deception turns to danger, she and Alex must find a way to put their painful pasts behind them and together try to safeguard the future.

Lost in Darkness by Michelle Griep

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1815 – England

Even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.
Enchanting Regency-Era Gothic Romance Intertwined with Inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein  
 
Travel writer Amelia Balfour’s dream of touring Egypt is halted when she receives news of a revolutionary new surgery for her grotesquely disfigured brother. This could change everything, and it does. . .in the worst possible way.
 
Surgeon Graham Lambert has suspicions about the doctor he’s gone into practice with, but he can’t stop him from operating on Amelia’s brother. Will he be too late to prevent the man’s death? Or to reveal his true feelings for Amelia before she sails to Cairo?

Behind Love’s Wall by Carrie Fancett Pagels

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1895/Present – Canada

The Grand Hotel Slowly Reveals Her Secrets

Two successful women, a hundred-and-twenty-years apart, build walls to protect their hearts. Modern-day Willa, a successful interior decorator, is chosen to go to Mackinac Island and consult for the Grand Hotel’s possible redesign. During work on a room, she discovers a journal detailing the struggles of a young woman, Lily—which reveals dark secrets. The renowned singer wasn’t who she pretended to be.
 
As Willa reaches out to Lily’s descendant, a charismatic and prominent landscape artist, she lets down her guard. Should she share the journal with him—revealing hidden history—or once again erect a wall as she struggles to redesign both the Grand and her life?

Master Wycliffe’s Summons by Mel Starr

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1375 – England

One of Master John Wycliffe’s scholars is found dead after a thunderstorm. Was he stuck by lightning, or was there something more sinister to his death?

Scholar Richard Sabyn, a particularly obnoxious fellow, was believed to have been struck by lightning. However, Master Wycliffe believes otherwise and calls upon Sir Hugh de Singleton for help. Sir Hugh shares Wycliffe’s suspicions and launches a private investigation, learning that it might indeed be possible to make it look as though a man has died from a lightning strike. But who would go to all that effort, and why?

When fellow scholar Simon Duby dies, it raises even more questions and suspicions. What is the connection between the two men? Sir Hugh believes a bronze pot, a bucket of urine, and a small quantity of charcoal and brimstone may hold the key to understanding the deaths. During a bleak 1375, can he survive the insidious plague and several attempts on his life as he continues his quest for truth?

Pete by Linda Ford

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1887 – Canada

Pete has been rejected many times because of his swarthy skin. So when she sees red-headed, freckle-faced Eva rejected because of her looks, he offers to marry her and take her back to the Circle A Ranch. With nothing left but the trunk containing her few belongings Eva doesn’t feel she has much choice. They both understand this is a marriage in name only. But as they spend time together, an unexpected attraction grows. Both realize they want more from the marriage than what they have but the words don’t quite come. They can only hint at the dream buried deep in each heart. Out-spoken Eva is about to confess her feelings when she discovers a letter Pete has written to a mail-order bride and realizes he has given his heart to another. Can this pair confront their fears in order to embrace a future full of love?

Freedom’s Song by Kim Vogel Sawyer

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1860 – Missouri

Indentured servant Fanny Beck has been forced to sing for riverboat passengers since she was a girl. All she wants is to live a quiet, humble life with her family as soon as her seven-year contract is over. So when she discovers that the captain has no intention of releasing her, she seizes a sudden opportunity to escape—an impulse that leads Fanny to a group of enslaved people who are on their own dangerous quest for liberty. . . .

Widower Walter Kuhn is overwhelmed by his responsibilities to his farm and young daughter, and now his mail-order bride hasn’t arrived. Could a beautiful stranger seeking work be the answer to his prayers? . . .
 
After the star performer of the River Peacock is presumed drowned, Sloan Kirkpatrick, the riverboat’s captain, sets off to find her replacement. However, his journey will bring him face to face with his own past—and a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be free. . . . 

Songs in the Storm by Kathy Geary Anderson

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1900 – New Jersey/Wyoming

The blood on the handkerchief changed everything.

The year 1900 promises to be a good one for Rob and Maddie Skivington. Recently married, they look forward to building a home near family and friends in the busy industrial city of Newark where Rob owns a fledgling jewelry business. Then, an irritating cough that has plagued Rob for months turns out to be something far more insidious: tuberculosis.

When Rob’s doctor suggests a change in environment and climate, they sell their business and head to Wyoming in a desperate quest for health. They soon find themselves pitted not only against the harsh environment and natural predators, but also against a group of ranchers who seem determined to send them back to Newark.

But sometimes the strongest storms of all are those that rage within. When despair and loneliness and tragedy strike, the couple must turn to God to help them weather those onslaughts or risk being torn apart.

Author Interview and Giveaway – All That is Secret – Patricia Raybon

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Does this cover not lure you into the opulence of the Roaring Twenties and mystery? Though this is Patricia’s first novel, she’s not a stranger to being an author, and her use of Sherlock Holmes quotes has me intrigued! Welcome, Patricia, to the Index!

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All That is Secret

From award-winning author Patricia Raybon comes a compelling new historical mystery series, a riveting puzzle about a young Black theologian–and Sherlock fan–trying to solve her father’s cold-case murder in a city ruled by the KKK.
It’s the winter of 1923 and Professor Annalee Spain―a clever but overworked theologian at a small Chicago Bible college–receives a cryptic telegram calling her home to Denver to solve the murder of her beloved but estranged father.
For a young Black woman, searching for answers in a city ruled by the KKK could mean real danger. Still, with her literary hero Sherlock Holmes as inspiration, Annalee launches her hunt for clues, attracting two surprising allies: Eddie, a relentless young orphan boy searching for his missing father, and Jack, a handsome young pastor who loves nightclub dancing and fast cars–awakening Annalee’s heart to the surprising highs and lows of romance and love.
With their help, Annalee follows clues that land her among Denver’s powerful elite. But when her sleuthing unravels sinister motives and long-buried lies, will clever Annalee become a victim, too?

Patricia’s Website

patricia

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Questions about Patricia’s Story

What inspired this story?

First, I love clergy mysteries—Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton, Grantchester, and the like. My hope was to introduce a faith character in Colorado—a beautiful “sunshine” place, and my home state, but during one of its darkest times, the 1920s. Good fiction needs a threat element, even if it’s only hovering in the background. So that’s how I used the Klan in my mystery. The story’s foreground centers not on the Klan, but on my lead character—a young Black theologian who’s a fan of Sherlock Holmes—whose amateur sleuthing to solve her father’s murder is impacted at every turn by the threat of the Klan. I hope it makes for good tension.

 

Which scene is your favorite, the one you never tired of working with? Give us a reason to look forward to it.

My lead character—the young theologian—has a love interest, a handsome young pastor. I loved writing their scenes together: their meet-cute, their facing danger together (as he teaches her to drive his car while they’re being shot at), their first kiss, big blowup argument, his coming to her rescue, their hopeful reconnection for the future (book 2). As I learned, the love archetype in a novel isn’t just for romance. The love archetype is a helping character—the person who cares more than anyone else about the well-being of the lead character, so he bends over backward to try to help her in ordinary life and in their adventure together. As it turns out, helping is a powerfully romantic thing to do.

In my real life, the day after I met a young man, he came over to my apartment to help repair the manifold on my car. A few months later, we were married—and we’ve been married now for forty-plus years. So I loved finding ways for my novel’s love interest to show help and concern—and I loved writing those scenes.

 

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

With regard to the Colorado Klan of the 1920s, the big surprise was how many white citizens actively resisted it. For research, I scoured countless historical newspapers from the Colorado Historic Newspapers site and listened to hours of oral histories available digitally from the Denver Public Library’s Digital Collections, both true treasures. Both shed light on “the story behind the story” of the Klan—that while it became a powerful political bloc in Colorado, with the state having the second-largest Klan membership per capita than any state in the US, with leaders from the Colorado governor to county sheriffs as dues-paying members, many ordinary Klan members felt pressure to join, ditching the organization the second it started to fall out of favor.

Opponents included prominent citizens, of course, but also countless nameless citizens who simply didn’t buy into the hype.

The whole Klan trajectory in Colorado teaches us about the mundane nature of homegrown hate and how it can take root—but also how good people help it die.

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Questions about Patricia’s Reading

crythebelovedcountry

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

My favorite goes way back. It’s Cry, the Beloved Country by South African writer Alan Paton, published in 1948 and an international bestseller. More recently, Oprah Winfrey picked it for her Oprah’s Book Club. It’s described on Amazon as “the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son, Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its lyricism, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry, the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.”

I’ve read it at least twice and plan to reread it again, hopefully within the next year. It’s stunning, heartbreaking yet hopeful, and truly beautiful.

ordinarygrace

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.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger is a stunning mystery about a pastor’s family caught up in a town’s need for redemption after a daughter goes missing and is found to be murdered. One reviewer called it “pitch-perfect” in every way.  

Similar to Francine Rivers’s Redeeming Love (which gets mentioned a lot), Ordinary Grace taught me about possibility in fiction—that no subject was off-limits and that Christian historical fiction doesn’t have to be safe. Redeeming Love was the first Christian novel I ever read, and I remember thinking—as a woman of color and as a believer—if this is Christian fiction, the gloves are off. Surely I can write about race and faith in a novel. Her novel helped give me that permission.

Ordinary Grace showed me that Christian fiction can aim for crossover appeal. I’m grateful for both of these works and I might not have written my novel without having read them.

Patricia is giving away a paperback, US entrants only. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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Maggie’s Strength by Pegg Thomas

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1763 – Michigan

Maggie Kerr is a survivor. Taken captive at age eleven during the battle at Fort McCord, she’s learned to adapt and to trust no one. Promised in marriage to a Huron warrior she fears, Maggie risks everything in a run for her freedom.

Content to ignore the rising animosity between the British and the Ottawa villagers he calls his friends, Baptiste Geroux plants his fields, limping behind his oxen and waiting for his brother to return from the west. Until the day a woman in danger arrives on his farm.

When more tribes join Pontiac in an all-out war, Maggie and Baptiste take refuge at Fort Detroit. He’s distrusted for being French. She’s scorned for being raised by the Hurons. Together they forge a fragile bond—until Maggie’s past threatens their chance at happiness.

A Heart for the Sailor by Terri Wangard

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1944 – Wisconsin

Working as a Winnie the Welder during World War II, Evelyn builds submarines. She’s good at her job, but men begrudge women taking jobs in heavy industry. She dreams of the day her sailor comes home and the life they’ll have, but does Jerry dream about her? When a typhoon threatens the US Fleet in the Pacific, Jerry and his shipmates aboard the Tabberer rush to the aid of their fellow sailors. The typhoon prompts a greater awareness of what he wants in life. First, though, they have to survive.

Every Knee Shall Bow by Bryan Litfin

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316 – Roman Empire

Imperial persecution has ended, but Christianity’s future still hangs in the balance. Will churches rise in Rome where pagan temples once stood? Will the true Scriptures replace the myths of the gods? Will Jupiter finally bow the knee to the Lord Jesus?

For the first time in history, the Roman emperor supports the church. Bishop Sylvester sends Flavia from her convent to seek Emperor Constantine’s permission to build great churches and determine the canon of Scripture. But the enemies of God are on the move. Joined by Rex, Flavia’s beloved protector who has fought his way out of exile, the two friends cross the empire by land and sea on an epic quest to free the Roman people from the tyranny of the ancient gods.

Bristling with tension and undergirded by impeccable historical research, this tale of courage, defiance, and humble submission to God continues the captivating saga of two unlikely allies in the age of imperial Christianity.

To Stand in the Breach by Danielle Grandinetti

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1933 – Wisconsin

She came to America to escape a workhouse prison, but will the cost of freedom be too high a price to pay?

Large animal veterinarian Katy Wells takes her patients’ welfare personally, so it’s no surprise when she stands up to angry farmers planning a milk strike or takes in an injured draft horse to save its life.

But after a visitor from the past discovers her location and reveals a threat, she must choose between her work and her freedom, and whether to trust a man to keep her safe.

All That is Secret by Patricia Raybon

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1923 – Colorado

From award-winning author Patricia Raybon comes a compelling new historical mystery series, a riveting puzzle about a young Black theologian–and Sherlock fan–trying to solve her father’s cold-case murder in a city ruled by the KKK.
It’s the winter of 1923 and Professor Annalee Spain―a clever but overworked theologian at a small Chicago Bible college–receives a cryptic telegram calling her home to Denver to solve the murder of her beloved but estranged father.
For a young Black woman, searching for answers in a city ruled by the KKK could mean real danger. Still, with her literary hero Sherlock Holmes as inspiration, Annalee launches her hunt for clues, attracting two surprising allies: Eddie, a relentless young orphan boy searching for his missing father, and Jack, a handsome young pastor who loves nightclub dancing and fast cars–awakening Annalee’s heart to the surprising highs and lows of romance and love.
With their help, Annalee follows clues that land her among Denver’s powerful elite. But when her sleuthing unravels sinister motives and long-buried lies, will clever Annalee become a victim, too? 
 

Author Interview and Giveaway – Shiloh – Lori Benton

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The conclusion to Lori’s duology is here. Aren’t these floral covers pretty. I’m sure everyone who’s read the first book are eager to see a happily ever after…will these two find it–together? IF you haven’t read the first one, you’re in luck, this giveaway if for two lucky people to win BOTH books!

Welcome to the Index, Lori!

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Shiloh

A year has passed since Ian Cameron reluctantly sent his uncle’s former slave Seona and their son, Gabriel, north to his kin in Boston. Determined to fully release them, Ian strives to make a life at Mountain Laurel, his inherited plantation, along with Judith, the wife he’s vowed to love and cherish. But when tragedy leaves him alone with his daughter, Mandy, and his three remaining slaves, he decides to return north. An act of kindness on the journey provides Ian the chance to obtain land near the frontier settlement of Shiloh, New York. Perhaps even the hope for a new life with those he still holds dear.

In Boston, Seona has taken her first tentative steps as a free woman, while trying to banish Ian from her heart. The Cameron family thinks she and Gabriel should remain under their protection. Seona’s mother, Lily, thinks it’s time they strike out on their own. Then Ian arrives, offering a second chance Seona hadn’t dared imagine. But the wide-open frontier of Shiloh feels as boundless and terrifying as her newfound freedom—a place of new friends and new enemies, where deep bonds are renewed but old hurts stand ready to rear their heads. It will take every ounce of faith and courage Ian and Seona can muster to fight for their family and their future . . . together.

Lori’s Website

Benton_Lori

Other Books in this Series:

mountainlaurel

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Questions about Lori’s Story

What was the hardest part of your book to write? What did you enjoy most about writing the book?

The hardest aspect of writing Shiloh was also the one I most enjoyed—moving main characters Ian Cameron and Seona, along with several others from the first Kindred book, Mountain Laurel, from North Carolina to the village of Shiloh, the setting of my debut novel, Burning Sky, on the New York frontier. By doing so I was able to revisit the characters from that earlier novel twelve years beyond the point where it ended, as well as continuing Ian and Seona’s story begun in Mountain Laurel. Weaving those two story-worlds together was painstaking work, requiring many drafts of huge chunks of the book. While Shiloh is primarily a sequel to Mountain Laurel, I wanted to do more than give a few characters from Burning Sky a cameo appearance. I wanted them to be integral to the storyline without overshadowing Ian and Seona’s continuing journey. Being as close to both sets of characters as I naturally am as their creator, I’m thankful for my editing team at Tyndale for helping me find the right balance and a satisfying conclusion to multiple story threads. I couldn’t be more pleased or proud of how we pulled this off.

 

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

I did, and he’s a gem of a character, too. Since it was partly Last of the Mohicans (the book and latest movie version) that ignited my interest in the New York frontier years ago, I was thrilled to discover that author James Fenimore Cooper had a father who was instrumental in settling vast tracts of the New York frontier during the 1790s, the time of Shiloh’s setting. William Cooper rose from a humble wheelwright to become a successful merchant, land speculator, and a politician. He founded Cooperstown in the 1780s and spent the next decades working to entice men to take up farms across the surrounding countryside and elsewhere in New York, including some tracts north of the Mohawk River. Because of a wonderful book called William Cooper’s Town by Alan Taylor it was possible to place the elder Cooper in the path of Ian Cameron when he was on the move north, in search of a new place to settle. And of course I couldn’t resist giving his inspiring author son, James, a cameo in the story, even though he was only a little boy at the time

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Questions about Lori’s Reading

countthenightbystars

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

Count the Nights by Stars by Michelle Shocklee, which doesn’t release until March 2022. I was able to read an early copy for endorsement and suggest readers pre-order this split-time novel set in Nashville, Tennessee during the 1960s and 1890s. I predict you’ll find it so suspenseful you won’t be able to put it down.

anuncommonwoman

What Christian Historical Novel did you last personally recommend to someone and why did you recommend that one to them?

I’m always recommending Laura Frantz’s historical novels to readers of my books looking for something similar. We’re both drawn to those 18th century frontier settings and Laura’s books are always so well written. An Uncommon Woman is one of my favorites.

Lori is giving away TWO SETS of this series in paperback, US entrants only. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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The Wrangler’s Woman by Davalynn Spencer

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1881 – Colorado

A widowed rancher, a rebellious child, and the woman who comes to help. Falling in love wasn’t part of the deal.

Corra Jameson doesn’t think of herself as a spinster and is content to spend quiet evenings with her books. Paper beaus, her sister calls them, teasing her about the stories Corra reads. But when a rugged widower asks her to come to his ranch for the summer to help him with his tomboy daughter, she sees opportunity to earn a side of beef for her sister’s family. Besides, she has nothing to lose in the arrangement. Except perhaps her heart.

Widowed rancher Josiah Hanacker’s sister-in-law threatens to take his daughter away from him if he can’t raise her like a lady. Since he can’t, he needs a woman to do the job for him. Corra Jameson, the spinster who works at the Ford Junction boarding house may have just what his ranch-raised girl needs, and he hires her as a lady-trainer. Trouble is, he hadn’t figured she’d have what his lonely heart needed as well.

Christmas Tree Wars by Delores Topliff

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1966 – New York

Christmas is meant to be a time of goodwill, but there’s no peace between two neighboring Christmas tree farmers involved in a longstanding feud. Can this year be different with a bit of holiday romance tossed into the season?

When the financial planner son and forestry major niece of feuding Christmas tree farmers come home to help their families in crisis, it takes Christmas tree wars to a whole new level. As the young people seek success by competing to provide a national Christmas tree, romance fills the air and connects them like mistle to toe.

Shiloh by Lori Benton

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1795 – Massachusetts/New York

A year has passed since Ian Cameron reluctantly sent his uncle’s former slave Seona and their son, Gabriel, north to his kin in Boston. Determined to fully release them, Ian strives to make a life at Mountain Laurel, his inherited plantation, along with Judith, the wife he’s vowed to love and cherish. But when tragedy leaves him alone with his daughter, Mandy, and his three remaining slaves, he decides to return north. An act of kindness on the journey provides Ian the chance to obtain land near the frontier settlement of Shiloh, New York. Perhaps even the hope for a new life with those he still holds dear.

In Boston, Seona has taken her first tentative steps as a free woman, while trying to banish Ian from her heart. The Cameron family thinks she and Gabriel should remain under their protection. Seona’s mother, Lily, thinks it’s time they strike out on their own. Then Ian arrives, offering a second chance Seona hadn’t dared imagine. But the wide-open frontier of Shiloh feels as boundless and terrifying as her newfound freedom—a place of new friends and new enemies, where deep bonds are renewed but old hurts stand ready to rear their heads. It will take every ounce of faith and courage Ian and Seona can muster to fight for their family and their future . . . together.

Angelina’s Resolve by Cindy Ervin Huff

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1868 – Kansas

Proving her skills are equal to a man’s may cost her more than she ever imagined.

Modern-thinking Angelina DuBois is determined to prove her cousin Hiram wrong. He fired her from the architect firm she helped grow when her father’s will left the business to Hiram. Using her large inheritance and architectural degree, she sets out to create a village run by women—Resolve, Kansas.

Carpenter and Civil War veteran Edward Pritchard’s dream of building homes for Chicago’s elite must be put on hold until he gains references. Serving as a contractor under Angelina’s well-known DuBois name provides that opportunity. But can Angelina trust her handsome new carpenter to respect her as his boss? Will the project take Edward one step closer to his goals, or will it make him a laughingstock? Can these two strong-willed people find love amid such an unconventional experiment? 

A Picture of Hope by Liz Tolsma

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1944 – France

A Photojournalist Risks Her Life to Save a Very Special Child 
 
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII. 
 
Journalist Nellie Wilkerson has spent the bulk of the war in London, photographing mothers standing in milk lines—and she’s bored. She jumps at the chance to go to France, where the Allied forces recently landed. There she enlists Jean-Paul Breslau of the French underground to take her to the frontlines. On the journey, they stumble upon a great tragedy, leaving a girl with special needs being orphaned. 
 
Can Nellie and Jean-Paul see the child to a safe haven while being pursued by the Nazis, who are pressed by the advancing Allies and determined to destroy all they can before they flee? 

In Pieces by Rhonda Ortiz

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1793 – Massachusetts

Certain things ruin a girl’s reputation, and madness is one.

Beautiful and artistic, the only daughter of a prominent merchant, Molly Chase cannot help but attract the notice of Federalist Boston—especially its men. But she carries a painful secret: her father committed suicide and she found his body. Now nightmares plague her day and night, addling her mind and rendering her senseless. Molly needs a home, a nurse, and time to grieve and to find new purpose in life. But when she moves in with her friends, the Robbs, spiteful society gossips assume the worst. And when an imprudent decision leads to public scandal, Molly is tempted to take the easy way out: a marriage of convenience.

Merchant sailor Josiah Robb is as familiar to Molly as a brother—as dear and as exasperating. Yet she is no sister to him. He hopes to marry her before anyone else does, but sailing the high seas leaves no time for convincing Molly that he is more than her teasing childhood friend. Josiah wants a new job and a fresh start, and when he agrees to carry a confidential letter to President Washington, his life is forever changed.

In the wake of tragedy, these longtime friends discover a new intimacy. But slander, confusion, absence, and a wealthy, conniving bully stand between them. And with French spies on the loose, they not only have to rescue their reputations—they have to protect their lives.

The Librarian’s Journey Collection

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A brave fight for literacy during the Great DepressionFour women set out on horseback to bring the library to remote communities

Part of FDR’s New Deal was the Works Progress Administration, which funded the Pack Horse Library Initiative. Ride along with four book-loving women who bravely fight for literacy in remote communities during the Great Depression by carrying library books via horseback. Will their efforts be rewarded by finding love in the process?

Love’s Turning Page by Cynthia Hickey
1935, Ozark Mountains
Grace Billings jumped at the chance to be a traveling librarian, but she didn’t anticipate the long days of work, the intense poverty, or the handsome new schoolteacher whose love for the mountain people surpasses even her own.

For Such a Time by Patty Smith Hall
1936, Pine Mountain, Georgia
Forced out of her nursing job due to budget cuts, Ruth Sims applies for a position with the Pack Horse Library incentive, only to discover she must go to the one place she swore never to return. The children instantly steal her heart with their thirst for books, and she’s happy in her post until she meets their teacher, Will Munroe—the man who broke her heart. 

Book Lady of the Bayou by Marilyn Turk
1936, Mississippi
Forced out of her comfort zone, Lily Bee Davis travels by horse or boat taking books to remote areas. When she meets little Evie and her reclusive father at a dilapidated plantation house, she is drawn by their losses and longs to draw them out into life again. 

The Librarian and the Lawman by Kathleen Y’Barbo
1936, Kentucky
Lottie Trent connects with a backwoods bully’s wife by secretly carrying messages for her in exchange for books. FBI agent Clayton Turnbow is on the trail of a criminal gang and discovers the packhorse librarian maybe a key member. 

The Petticoat Spy by Elva Cobb Martin

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1779 – West Virginia

A Charles Town belle and a blockade runner ignite fireworks in more ways than one during the American Revolution.

To Anna Grace Laurens, the war is like a distant bad dream, until her family’s Charles Town plantation is burned and her parents murdered by those loyal to the king. She flees on horseback and leaps into the Cooper River to escape her pursuers.

As John Cooper Vargas sails his sloop down the river, he spots a woman diving into the water. After firing on the Tory raiders chasing her, he rescues her and offers to take her with his parents to an island hideaway for the duration of the war. But she has other plans, including revenge for her parents’ deaths. She insists he drop her off in Charles Town, even with the British planning a massive attack by land and sea to retake the city, the Pearl of the South.

John employs his sailing skills for the patriots, risking capture and death, but he enjoys his skirmishes with the British navy blockade to bring goods from the islands to aid the cause. When Charles Town falls to the British, he docks his ship in a secret cove and joins Francis Marion’s militia. This decision lands him wounded on a harbor prison ship where more men die than on the battlefield.

Anna Grace braves the deprivations, first of a city barricaded against the British, and then one surrendered and ruled by fists of iron under the English flag and injustice. At great risk to her, she spies on the British officers garrisoned in her house, and seeks a way to rescue John before it’s too late. As both American and English armies gather near Yorktown, Virginia, for a pivotal battle, can John and Anna’s love for each other and their faith in God preserve them and help forge a new nation?

Love on the Range by Mary Connealy

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1870 – Wyoming

Falling for someone who doesn’t want to get married is soon be the least of his concerns.

While his brothers and their new wives search for who shot him, Wyatt Hunt is temporarily bedridden and completely miserable. Somehow Molly Garner’s limited skills have made her the most qualified in their circle to care for Wyatt. But by the time he’s healed, she’s fed up with him and the whole ungrateful family. For even worse than his grumpiness were the few unguarded moments when he pulled at her heartstrings, and she has been long determined to never repeat her mother’s mistakes.

When alternate plans of finding her own independent life fall through, Molly volunteers to work for the Pinkertons and help investigate nearby ranch owner Oliver Hawkins. She signs on to be his housekeeper, hoping to find clues to prove his nefarious, and possibly murderous, past. Wyatt refuses to let her risk it alone and offers to act as Hawkins’s new foreman.

But when another Pinkerton agent gets shot, they realize Hawkins isn’t the only danger. The Hunt brothers will have to band together to face all the troubles of life and love that suddenly surround them.

A View Most Glorious by Regina Scott

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1893 – Washington

Reluctant socialite Coraline Baxter longs to live a life of significance and leave her mark on the world. When her local suffragette group asks her to climb Mount Rainier to raise awareness of their cause, she jumps at the chance, even though she has absolutely no climbing experience. If she can do it, any woman can do it. And after her mother issues an ultimatum–that Cora marry the man of her mother’s choosing if she is not successful–Cora must do it. But she can’t do it alone.

Noted mountain guide Nathan Hardee initially refuses to help Cora, but has a change of heart when he sees what is at stake. He knows enough about the man Cora’s mother has chosen to know that the headstrong young woman should have nothing to do with him, much less marry him.

Climbing Rainier will require all of Cora’s fortitude and will lead her and Nathan to rediscover their faith in God and humanity. These two loners make unlikely partners in righting a wrong and may just discover that only together is the view most glorious.

The Heart of a Cowboy by Jody Hedlund

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1863 – Colorado

When he agreed to guard her, he never bargained on having to guard his heart.

Brilliant scientist Linnea Newberry is on the adventure of a lifetime, traveling the Santa Fe Trail with her grandfather, Dr. Howell, on a botanical expedition to Colorado Territory. She longs to be valued for her contributions and not seen as a helpless liability. But at every calamity she faces, her grandfather threatens to send her home.

After watching his ma suffer and die in childbirth, Flynn McQuaid has sworn off women and marriage forever. Headed west to start a new life, he has his hands full not only taking care of his younger siblings but also delivering cattle to his older brother. He doesn’t need more complications.

When Flynn rescues Linnea from drowning during a river crossing, Dr. Howell promptly
hires Flynn–unbeknownst to Linnea–to act as her bodyguard for the rest of the trip. As
Flynn fights against the many dangers of the trail, he soon finds himself in the greatest danger of all–falling for a woman he’s determined not to love.

A Deep Divide by Kimberley Woodhouse

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1905 – Arizona

With her past behind her, she has nothing–and everything–to lose.

After being kidnapped as a child, heiress Emma Grace McMurray has seen firsthand the devastation that greed causes in the world, and she wants nothing to do with it. When she discovers her father has offered her up as a bargaining chip to expand his empire, she disappears into the night. Determined to stay hidden, even if it means always looking over her shoulder, she finds herself working as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel.

When Ray Watkins arrives at the hotel on business, he is immediately captivated by the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Though his fame-seeking father aims to lure new investors to the Arizona Territory, Ray dreams of one day taking over the family business and doing good with the profits.

Ray immediately admires Emma Grace, and though an attraction begins to form, she can’t let go of the deep-rooted fear that he’s just like every other wealthy man she’s known. When suspicious activity follows Emma Grace and Ray to the El Tovar, they are pulled into a mystery that stirs up their worst fears. And as shocking revelations come to light, they are left to question all they thought to be true.

Waiting on Love by Tracie Peterson

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1872 – Great Lakes

She’s made big promises. It’ll take everything she’s got to keep them.

Crisscrossing the Great Lakes onboard her father’s freighter ship, the Mary Elise, Elise Wright has grown up cooking and caring for the crew. It is a life she loves. Unlike her estranged sister, Elise has turned down numerous opportunities for a “respectable life” with their wealthy relatives. And now, because of promises she made to her dying mother, she’s bound to the ship and her deeply grieving father more than ever.

Nick Clark is grateful to be hired on as the Mary Elise‘s first mate as he works to overcome his own guilt and others’ censure for a fatal decision he made captaining another ship. He feels protective of the Wrights and their generous natures, especially when a rough new sailor seems intent on causing serious trouble.

As the sailor’s misdeeds grow, tragedy swells up from another corner. Left to pick up the pieces of the commitments they’ve made to themselves and to each other, Nick and Elise will have to rely on their faith to see them through.

A Perilous Plan by Melanie Dickerson

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1810 – England

Penelope Hammond finds herself a widow at the age of twenty-three, having been married five years to a man she barely knew. Her husband, David Hammond, Lord Hampstead, was a member of the House of Lords who rarely said more than a few words to her in a week’s time–and often did not come home at night.

But Lord Hampstead was from a wealthy, powerful London family with no enemies, so why was he murdered?

Penelope is a penniless widow with few friends and only her cold grandmother to lean on. When she finds herself pursued by both English officials and French spies, she doesn’t know who to trust—until a handsome Member of Parliament, Henry Gilchrist, saves her from being attacked and kidnapped. Mr. Gilchrist seems so determined to help her, but can she trust him?

Henry Gilchrist seems to know more about her husband than she does–that he was unfaithful to her with a young Frenchwoman who Penelope thought was her friend, that his gambling problem had sunk him deeply in debt, and that he had stolen some very important plans that could put the entire country in danger. And now both the French and the English governments think she knows where these plans are.

Penelope had no idea that her husband stole secret plans and intended to sell to the French, but no one seems to believe her, except Henry Gilchrist. When she starts to fall in love with the handsome young Member of the House of Commons, will he be too embittered from a former lost love to accept his own growing feelings? But first they must save themselves from those who would do them harm, or there will be no future for them, either together or apart.

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