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1955 – Michigan
It’s 1955, when scandalous affairs are never talked about, divorce is rare, a wife is a “homemaker” more often than not, and every Christian home displays its family Bible front and center. Certainly, a well-respected pastor in the conservative city of Muskegon, Michigan, would never be caught in the middle of a heinous secret that could ruin his career and break up his beautiful marriage and family. Or would he?
When Henry Griffin was stationed in occupied Japan in the mid-1940s, he met Rina Hamada, a Japanese woman who fell head over heels for him. Despite having a young wife and baby daughter waiting at home in the States, Henry had too much to drink one night, and one thing led to another… He knew it was wrong. He struggled with guilt and expressed his resistance, but she professed her love and continued to pursue him.
Now, ten years later, a letter from Japan arrives and threatens to upend Henry’s world. What to do and how to tell his wife are just the beginning of his troubles. Tough questions about faith, redemption, and preserving his reputation bring us here, under the shade of The Mercy Tree.
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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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1864 – Ohio
Joey Fuller is still mourning three years after his wife’s death, so much so that he leaves his four rambunctious young children to throw himself into the Civil War as a Union captain. But his kids are so ill-behaved that nannies keep quitting—and now, his mother has a broken leg and can’t handle them either. In desperation, Joey decides to advertise for a wife.
Faith Haviland is in a different kind of mourning. Not long ago, her fiancé left her to marry her best friend. Her customers at the diner where she works keep reminding her of that humiliating event and one of them, an older man, has been making aggressive advances. She’s desperate to flee the city—and Joey Fuller’s “Wife Needed” ad seems to be the answer to a prayer.
Will Faith live up to her name when Joey’s kids torment her with their mischief? Can she surrender this strange marriage to God while her new aloof husband is off fighting? And will a string of buttons convince her that he truly loves her?
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1863 – West Virginia
Cristina Stiles is left to fend for herself and her two young children while her husband goes off to fight in the Confederate army. She also has to deal with two rogue Yankee soldiers who’ve beaten her, stolen her food, and keep coming back to cause more trouble.
Jack Fuller is a God-fearing Christian fighting for the Union. During a surprise encounter, he shoots and kills a Rebel soldier. In his final breaths, the Rebel asks Jack to deliver a letter to his wife—and he agrees. But when he arrives at Cristina’s small farm in West Virginia, she assumes Jack is one of the Yankee trouble-makers, trains her rifle on him, and fires. As he lies on the ground bleeding, he explains the purpose of his visit, and out of a sense of obligation, she decides to nurse him back to health.
What will happen when Cristina discovers Jack is the one who made her a widow? Will her rebel heart forgive him—or finish him off?
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1867 – South Carolina
Two years after the Civil War, Lydia Albright, 27, is an established teacher in Boston when she senses God’s call to leave the comfort and security of her job and go south. She accepts a position to teach in a school for former slaves in Charleston, South Carolina. A church there that’s affiliated with the American Missionary Association offers support, along with room and board at the parsonage.
The Ku Klux men are hell-bent on seeing that the new school fails. Lydia’s life is threatened, and the parsonage, church, and school are vandalized.
But they haven’t contended with a strong, determined woman like Lydia before. It also helps that she has a couple potential suitors on her side.
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1863 – Pennsylvania
Levi Albright rebelled against his Quaker roots to fight for abolition in the Union army in the first year of the Civil War. Two years later, 19-year-old destitute orphan Josephine Winters, with chopped hair, boy’s clothes, and new name, “Snipp,” enlists in the Union army out of sheer desperation.
Just over five feet tall and barely weighing as much as a newborn calf, Snipp seems to Levi to be barely old enough to hold “his” gun. But despite being teased by the regiment, Snipp quickly earns admiration for skill with a musket and unequaled bravery. When Levi explains one night that he is a Quaker leading a regiment, it leads to a late-night discussion of faith and a developing friendship.
But Snipp’s secret can only be hidden for so long. After an injury forces Josie to reveal her real identity, Levi is angered by her deception. Worse, Josie is marched out of the company without a chance to explain—or even say goodbye. Will their friendship survive? Or will the hatred saturating the war-torn nation affect even the heart of a peace-loving Quaker?
Summer on Sunset Ridge
1855 – Pennsylvania
Brought up on a Quaker farm near Philadelphia at the brink of the Civil War, plainspoken Rebecca Albright is expected to be charitable, peace-loving, and submissive. But she is feeling anything but. A feisty abolitionist, Rebecca is determined to aid the Underground Railroad no matter the cost, until her path collides with slave-catcher Sheriff Clay Dalton who’s grimly fighting battles of his own. When tensions between the North and South escalate, the two find themselves propelled on a journey to discover just who God has called them to be—and whether friendship needs a common enemy.
Gift of Grace
1894 – Tennessee
It was a leap of faith for Grace Fontaine to bid farewell to her beloved fiancé, Jess Travis, and send him on a four-month stint on the transatlantic luxury liner The Lone Star. But the trip from Boston to London and back again would increase his salary fivefold and would bring the couple that much closer to realizing their dream of marrying and starting a family. When Grace learns that the ship was captured by pirates, her hope deflates and it eviscerates entirely when the pirate ship is apprehended, with no survivors reported. Two years later, Grace receives word from a doctor in Paris, Tennessee, that her wealthy great-aunt, Iris Brockwell, is on her deathbed and requires round-the-clock care. Grace volunteers, figuring there is nothing left for her in Boston. It isn’t long after her arrival in Paris that she meets a charming, driven lawyer named Conrad Hall, who wastes no time sweeping her off her feet and soon proposes marriage. Given his promises to love, protect, and care for her and her great-aunt, how can Grace refuse? Weeks before the wedding, an unexpected guest shows up and threatens to throw a wrench in the plans. Will Grace go through with her marriage to Conrad? Or will an unforeseen turn of events change her mind?
Threads of Joy
1892 – Tennessee
JOY WESTFALL, a divorced woman who runs a tailoring business out of her little home and has a 4-year-old daughter knows first hand the bitterness of rejection. Her talent with a needle supersedes her tainted reputation, however, and she has no trouble finding clients. What she lacks is true friendship. Living next door to a little clapboard church on the edge of town, even the folks of the church pay her little mind when they come and go on Sunday mornings–unless she happens to be outside tending her flowerbeds in which case they quickly turn their children’s heads away or shake their own at her in utter repulsion. Inside, their hymns of praise compete with the birds, but outside their hypocritical noses turn up at the sight of her.
Not until LUCAS JENNINGS, the new preacher, begins to befriend her and her innocent daughter does she grasp what pardon feels like. The trouble is his congregation begins to accuse him of having sinful thoughts, one woman in particular going so far as to campaign to have him removed from the pulpit. When tragedy strikes, Lucas’s messages of repentance resonate with his members, drawing an entire community together, changing the hardest hearts, and turning folks’ minds toward what really matters in life–love, faith, and forgiveness.
Heart of Mercy
1890 – Tennessee
Mercy Evans has known a great deal of heartache and hardship in her twenty–six years. She lost her mother at a young age and was only sixteen when her father was killed in a brawl sparked by a family feud spanning several generations. Yet Mercy never doubts the presence and provision of her heavenly Father. When a house fire claims the lives of her two best friends, leaving their two young sons as orphans, Mercy offers to be their guardian. It seems simple enough, until the judge mandates that the boys be placed with a married couple. Samuel Connors is a man adrift. Despite the success of the blacksmith business he inherited from his father, he senses a void unaffected by material rewards. His mother keeps nagging him to find a wife, but the only woman who comes to mind is Mercy Evans. What would she want to do with the man whose father is now serving a life sentence for the murder of hers? Mercy is determined to do whatever it takes to win custody of the Watson boys. But marry a mortal enemy of the Evans family? God alone can give her the heart to go through with it.
Ellie’s Haven (River of Hope)
1920s – Indiana
A courageous young woman seeking refuge…
Ellie Booth was never the type to run away. But she’d witnessed her stepfather commit a heartless crime, and, knowing he’ll stop at nothing to keep her quiet, she has no choice but to flee. Soon, she finds herself in Wabash, Indiana, scrambling for a cover identity to evade her stepfather. For lack of a better option, she answers an ad for a wife/housekeeper/nanny, praying that her lack of experience won’t be obvious.
A widowed father with no domestic skills to speak of…
Gage Cooper is reaching the end of his rope. With four children between the ages of three and ten, he needs a reliable nanny, yet each one he’s hired has thrown up her hands and deserted her post. When an attractive, spirited young woman applies for the “job,” he knows he should pray about the matter, but his desperation for help propels him headlong into a marriage of convenience.
A trial by fire of their wedding vows…
Ellie immediately falls in love with the Cooper children, and, not long after, with their father. Soon, the “marriage of convenience” becomes less of a business arrangement as husband and wife yield to an attraction neither one had expected. When secrets of the past and dangers of the present arise in their lives, their marriage is put to the test, and God alone knows what will become of their union.
Livvie’s Song (River of Hope)
1920s – Indiana
Life is far from a breeze for Olivia Beckman, owner of Livvie’s Kitchen, a favorite of locals in Wabash, Indiana. The widowed mother of two is struggling to make ends meet–no simple feat, especially when her cook turns in his resignation. Yet she’s determined to pull through on her own, just as she did when God failed to save her beloved Frank.
Newly released from a ten–year prison sentence, Will Taylor is ready for a fresh start. With harmonica in hand–the only possession he values, aside from his Bible–he makes his way to Wabash, where a late–night meal at Livvie’s Kitchen turns into a job opportunity when the outgoing cook learns about his restaurant experience. What he doesn’t know is that the “restaurant” was a prison cafeteria.
But Will became a new man behind bars, thanks to a Christian friend, and he credits God’s providence with landing him a job he loves. Soon, he cooks and bakes his way into the stomachs of his customers–and the heart of his employer. Both are hesitant, though, still healing from past hurts. A recipe for love between them will require sharing secrets, braving dangers, and believing God for a bright future.
Abbie Ann (Daughters of Jacob Kane, Book 3)
1907 – Michigan
Abbie Ann Kane, the youngest of Jacob Kane’s three daughters, is a busy woman. Between running the Whatnot, the family’s general store, being active in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and assisting the elderly citizens of Sandy Shores, Michigan, she has little time for frivolous matters. And those include matters of the heart. When the recently divorced Noah Carson comes to town with son Toby in tow to pursue a shipbuilding business, Abbie Ann tries to keep her distance-especially when his flagrant ex-wife shows up. But God has other plans in mind
Maggie Rose (Daughters of Jacob Kane, Book 2)
1904 -New York
A Pursuit of a Calling The year is 1904, and Maggie Rose, the spunky, friendly, twenty-year-old middle daughter of Michigan resident Jacob Kane, feels compelled to leave her beloved hometown of Sandy Shores to pursue what she feels in her heart are God’s plans for her life-in New York City.
A Heart for the Homeless Maggie Rose adjusts to her new life at Sheltering Arms Refuge, an orphanage that also transports homeless children to towns across the United States to match them with compatible families. Most of the children have painful pasts that make Maggie aghast, but she marvels at their resiliency. As she gets to know each child, her heart blossoms with new depths of love and compassion.
An Unexpected AttractionWhen a newspaper reporter comes to stay at the orphanage in order to gather research for an article, Maggie is struck by his handsome face-and concerned by his lack of faith. She can’t deny their mutual affections, though. Will she win the struggle to maintain her focus on God and remain attuned to His guidance?
Hannah Grace (Daughters of Jacob Kane, Book 1)
1903 – Michigan
Growing up in the west Michigan resort town of Sandy Shores in the early 1900s, Hannah Grace, the eldest of Jacob Kane’s three daughters, is feisty and strong-willed, yet practical. Between working at her father’s general store and courting the town’s physician, Ralston Van Huff, Hannah has her life planned out in an orderly, meaningful way. Or so she thinks.Hannah’s world turns upside down when the new sheriff comes to town. Gabriel Devlin is strong, outspoken, and a Christian, to boot-but he’s sworn off women, having met ones mostly interested in money and apathetic about God.Determined to ignore the newcomer’s handsome looks, Hannah is drawn to him nonetheless by a shy, runaway orphan boy named Jesse. While Hannah works to befriend the shy vagabond, who’s living with Gabriel until other arrangements can be made, God works in her heart. What plans does He have in store for this young woman who thought she had it all together?
Courting Emma (Little Hickman Creek Series #3)
Twenty-eight-year-old Emma Browning has experienced a good deal of life in her young age. Proprietor of Emma s Boardinghouse, she is mother to an array of beefy, unkempt, often rowdy characters. Though many men would like to get to know the steely, hard-edged, yet surprisingly lovely proprietor, none has truly succeeded. That is, not until the town s new pastor, Jonathan Atkins, takes up residence in the boardinghouse, affecting not only her with his devout faith and strong convictions, but her clientele as well. Emma clings desperately to her stubborn ways, refusing to acknowledge God s love until all of Little Hickman witnesses a miracle the conversion of her abusive and alcoholic father, Ezra! Only then will Emma begin to experience God s transforming power at work.
Sarah My Beloved (Little Hickman Creek Series #2)
1896 – Kentucky
Sarah Woodward has come to Kentucky as a mail-order bride. But when she steps off the stage coach, the man who contacted her through the Marriage Made in Heaven Agency informs her that he has fallen in love with and wed another woman. Sarah is disappointed, but she feels that God led her to Little Hickman Creek for a reason. With her usual stubborn determination, she refuses to leave until she finds out what that reason is. Rocky Callahan’s sister has died, leaving him with two young children to take care of. When he meets the fiery Sarah Woodward, he proposes the answer to both their problems a marriage in name only. Sarah soon comes to love the children, but Rocky is afraid that she’ll never survive as a farmer’s wife with her privileged upbringing. Can he let go of the pain in his past and trust God’s plan for his life? Will she leave him or will they actually find a marriage made
Loving Liza Jane (Little Hickman Creek Series #1)
1895 – Kentucky
When Liza Jane Merriwether rode into the town of Little Hickman Creek, her first thought was, “Oh, Lord, what have I done?” Kentucky was much different than what she was used to back East, but she knew God had led her here for a reason. Soon, the new schoolteacher is beloved by all-including Benjamin Broughton, a handsome widower with two young children. Despite his protectiveness and the fact that Ben has rescued Liza from several scrapes, her contract implicitly states that she is to have “no improper contact with the opposite sex.” Liza has a lot to learn about God and His plan for her life.