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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. . . .
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1936 – Kentucky
A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback—and learns to trust the One who truly pens her story—in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.
During the Great Depression, city-dweller Addie Cowherd dreams of becoming a novelist and offering readers the escape that books had given her during her tragic childhood. When her father loses his job, she is forced to take the only employment she can find—delivering books on horseback to poor coal-mining families in the hills of Kentucky.
But turning a new page will be nearly impossible in Boone’s Hollow, where residents are steeped in superstitions and deeply suspicious of outsiders. Even local Emmett Tharp feels the sting of rejection after returning to the tiny mountain hamlet as the first in his family to graduate college. And as the crippled economy leaves many men jobless, he fears his degree won’t be worth much in a place where most men either work the coal mine or run moonshine.
As Addie also struggles to find her place, she’ll unearth the truth about a decades-old rivalry. But when someone sets out to sabotage the town’s library program, will the culprit chase Addie away or straight into the arms of the only person who can help her put a broken community back together?
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1888 – Kansas
Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. But when she is cast from the social registers due to her father’s illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can “marry up” with their mail-order brides.
Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he’s put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the “little city gal” in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the down-to-earth men. How can he teach her that perfection won’t bring happiness?
Grace and the Preacher
1882 – Kansas
At the age of twenty-four, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires, but has only met through his letters.
Theophil Garrison is on the run from a past and a label he’s desperate to escape. Ten years ago, his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now their sentence is complete, but the plan for vengeance has only just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, a chance encounter could provide Theo with the escape he needs.
But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?
The Rails to Love Romance Collection
Journey the Transcontinental Railroad along with nine unlikely couples who encounter all the dangers and disappointments of traveling the rails in the late 1800s. From sight-seeing excursions to transports toward new lives, from orphan trains to circus trains, can romances develop into blazing love in a world of cold, hard steel?
Guide Me Home
1907 – Kentucky
Working in the massive cave might allow
Rebekah the chance to bring joy back to her family.
But will it claim more than it gives?
After tragedy leaves its mark on Rebekah Hardin’s family, she plans to help her parents and six siblings honor her beloved brother’s memory and alleviate their poverty by working as a guide in the dangerous cave system. Kentucky’s renowned Mammoth Cave presents profitable opportunities in for hardworking, capable men. But Rebekah is determined and if it means presenting herself as a himself, then she’s up to the job.
Under the wing of experienced guide Tolly Sanford, “Reb” begins to learn the complexities of the cave and the two are joined by an aspiring young cartographer, Devlin Bale.
The university student has traveled to the hill country to map tunnels—not to fall for a girl in disguise. Can the God who designed miles of underground astonishment shape Devlin’s ambitious plans and free Reb from the weight from the past?
Room for Hope
1936 – Kansas
In a desperate time, can Neva find forgiveness for a grievous wrong—and make room for hope?
Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.
When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”
Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?
The Sentimental Journey Romance Collection
Journey back to the great decade of the 1940s through nine romances that ignite despite the challenges and dangers of a world war. Couples meet under unique circumstances during the bombing of London, at military outposts, through covert operations to save children, as well as on the home front and the bond of love grows through shared ideals and faith.
The Heirloom Brides Collection
Meet four women whose lives are in transition and watch as something old, new, borrowed, or blue brings them joy, romance, and renewed faith. Betsy’s something old is a lost family watch. Wren’s something new is a home built with her in mind. Clara’s something borrowed is a farmhand from the neighbors. Darla’s something blue is her mother’s missing cameo. Will each woman find the treasure her heart is intent upon in these four historical romance novellas?
Through the Deep Waters
1883 – Kansas
A past filled with shame can be washed away with a love that conquers all
Born to an unloving prostitute in a popular Chicago brothel, timid seventeen-year-old Dinah Hubley was raised amidst the secrets held in every dark, grimy room of her home. Anxious to escape, Dinah pursues her dream of becoming a Harvey Girl, waiting tables along the railroad in an upscale hotel. But when she finds out she isn’t old enough, her only option is to accept a job as a chambermaid at the Clifton Hotel in Florence, Kansas. Eager to put everything behind her, Dinah feels more worthless than ever, based on a single horrible decision she made to survive. The Clifton offers a life Dinah has never known, but blinded to the love around her, Dinah remains buried in the shame of her past. When a handsome chicken farmer named Amos Ackerman starts to show interest, Dinah withdraws further, convinced no one could want a sullied woman like her. Despite his self-consciousness about his handicapped leg and her strange behavior, Amos resolves to show Dinah Christ’s love. But can she ever accept a gift she so desperately needs?
Echoes of Mercy
1904 – Kansas
Sometimes a secret must be kept for the truth to be revealed.
When a suspicious accident occurs at the famous Dinsmore Chocolate Factory in Sinclair, Kansas, Caroline Lang goes undercover as a factory worker to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event and how the factory treats its youngest employees—the child workers. Caroline’s fervent faith, her difficult childhood, and compassionate heart drove her to her job as an investigator for the Labor Commission and she is compelled to see children freed from such heavy adult responsibilities, to allow them to pursue an education. Oliver Dinsmore, heir to the Dinsmore candy dynasty, has his own investigation to conduct. Posing as a common worker known as “Ollie Moore,” he aims to find out all he can about the family business before he takes over for his father. Caroline and Oliver become fast friends, but tension mounts when the two find themselves at odds about the roles of child workers. Hiding their identities becomes even more difficult when fate brings them together over three children in desperate need. When all is revealed, will the truth destroy the love starting to grow between them?
Just As I Am
1902 – Kansas
In this romantic 19th century-set short fiction follow-up to What Once Was Lost, while setting the stage for Sawyer’s next novel, Echoes of Mercy, a young woman must let go of past rejections to find hope in the meaningful future God wants for her.
Daisy Forrester has been raised in Brambleville, Kansas at Dunnigan’s Orphan Asylum by Levi and Christina Jonnson. As she has watched younger, more appealing orphans come and go on to new families, Daisy has spent years becoming a valued helper for Ma and Pa Jonnson, as the orphans call them. However, she is coming up on her sixteenth birthday, and it will soon be time for her to make her own way in the world. Nervous about leaving the farm, she turns to the one connection she has out in the world–Robby, a friend who left the asylum before her and is now employed in Sinclair, Kansas at Dinsmore’s World Famous Chocolate Factory. Daisy heads for the safe harbor that is his friendship, but the outside world doesn’t offer the friendly welcome that Daisy dreams of and Robby faces unique challenges of his own in the form of an eager co-worker bent on sending Daisy back to Brambleville. Can Daisy look beyond her own insecurities to embrace a young man with great affection for her, and a God who calls her ‘beloved’–just as she is?
What Once Was Lost
1890 – Kansas
A woman meant to serve, a child in the dark, a man standing apart—can these three souls embrace a God with new plans for them?
On a small Kansas farm, Christina Willems lovingly shepherds a group of poor and displaced individuals who count on her leadership and have come to see the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor as their home. But when a fire breaks out in the kitchen leaving the house inhabitable, she must scramble to find shelter for all in her care, scattering her dear “family.” With no other options, Christina is forced to approach Levi Jonnson, a reclusive mill owner, to take in a young blind boy named Tommy Kilgore. Levi agrees with reluctance but finds himself surprised by the bond that quickly grows between him and Tommy. As obstacles to repairing the farm pile up against Christina, she begins to question her leadership ability and wonders if she can fulfill the mission to which she’s dedicated her life. And when an old adversary challenges Christina, will she find an unlikely ally—or more—in the aloof Levi? Can Levi reconcile with the rejection that led to his hermit-like existence and open his heart and life to something more, especially a relationship with a loving God?
The Grace That Leads Us Home: A Short Story Prequel to What Once Was Lost
1887 – Kansas
They were supposed to spend the rest of their lives together…
In the wake of her husband’s death, Alice Deaton will do anything to hold her family together. But with life handing her challenge after challenge, will her faith crack under the strain? Or will a kind stranger be able to offer refuge that Alice and her two small children so desperately need?
Goodreads ~ Sweet Sanctuary
1944 – New York
Lydia Eldredge longs to provide a sanctuary for her son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky’s drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him.
Dr. Micah Hatcher serves the immigrant population in Queens, but under cover of darkness he provides another service that must not be discovered lest his and his brother’s lives be in danger.
When Lydia and Micah’s paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other’s callings. Through unforeseen twists and turns, they seek a refuge of safety–for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God unexpectedly puts in their lives.
A Home in Drayton Valley
1880 – Kansas
Fed up with the poor quality of life in 1880 New York, Tarsie Raines encourages her friends Joss and Mary Brubacher to move with their two children to Drayton Valley, Kansas, a booming town hailed in the guidebook as the land of opportunity. She offers to help with expenses and to care for Mary and the children as they travel west by wagon train. But when tragedy strikes on the trip across the prairie, Tarsie is thrown into an arrangement with Joss that leaves both of them questioning God and their dreams for the future. As their funds dwindle and nothing goes as planned, will Tarsie and Joss give up and go their separate ways, or will God use their time in Drayton Valley to turn their hearts toward him?
Song of My Heart
1895 – Kansas
Sadie Wagner has always been devoted to her family. So when her stepfather is injured and can’t work, she decides to leave home and accept a position as a clerk at the mercantile in Goldtree, Kansas. Goldtree also offers the opportunity to use her God-given singing talent–though the promised opera house is far different from what she imagined. With her family needing every cent she can provide, Sadie will do anything to keep her job.
Thad McKane comes to Goldtree at the request of the town council. The town has been plagued by bootlegging operations, and Thad believes he can find the culprit. After he earns enough money doing sheriff work, he wants to use it to pay for his training to become a minister.
Thad is immediately attracted to the beautiful singer who performs in Asa Baxter’s unusual opera house, but when he hears her practicing bawdy tunes, he begins to wonder if she’s far less innocent than she seems. And when Sadie appears to be part of the very crimes he’s come to investigate, is there any hope the love blossoming between them will survive?
A Whisper of Peace
1898 – Alaska
Ostracized by her tribe because of her white father, Lizzie Dawson lives alone in the mountains of Alaska, practicing the ways of her people even as she resides in the small cabin her father built for her mother. She dreams of reconciling with her grandparents to fulfill her mother’s dying request, but she has not yet found a way to bridge the gap that separate her from her tribe.
Clay Selby has always wanted to be like his father, a missionary who holds a great love for the native people and has brought many to God. Clay and his stepsister, Vivian, arrive in Alaska to set up a church and school among the Athbascan people. Clay is totally focused on this goal…until he meets a young, independent Indian woman with the most striking blue eyes he’s ever seen.
But Lizzie is clearly not part of the tribe, and befriending her might have dire consequences for his mission. Will Clay be forced to choose between his desire to minister to the natives and the quiet nudging of his heart?
Courting Miss Amsel
1882 – Nebraska
Edythe Amsel is delighted with her first teaching assignment: a one-room schoolhouse in Walnut Hill, Nebraska. Independent, headstrong, and a strong believer in a well-rounded education, Edythe is ready to open the world to the students in this tiny community. But is Walnut Hill ready for her?
Joel Townsend is thrilled to learn the town council hired a female teacher to replace the ruthless man who terrorized his nephews for the past two years. Having raised the boys on his own since their parents’ untimely deaths, Joel believes they will benefit from a woman’s influence. But he sure didn’t bargain on a woman like Miss Amsel. Within the first week, she has the entire town up in arms over her outlandish teaching methods, which include collecting leaves, catching bugs, making snow angels, and stringing ropes in strange patterns all over the schoolyard. Joel can’t help but notice that she’s also mighty pretty with her rosy lips, fashionable clothes, and fancy way of speaking.
When Edythe decides to take her pupils to hear Miss Susan Anthony speak on the women’s suffrage amendment, the town’s outcry reaches new heights. Even Joel isn’t sure he can support her newfangled ideas any longer. And if he can’t trust her to know how to teach the boys, how can he trust her with his heart?
In Every Heartbeat
1914 – Missouri
As three friends who grew up in the same orphanage head off to college together, they each harbor a cherished dream. Libby wishes to become a famous journalist, Pete plans to study to become a minister, and Bennett wants to join a fraternity and have as much fun as possible. But as tensions rise around the world on the brink of World War I, the friends’ differing aspirations and opinions begin to divide them, as well. And when Libby makes a shocking discovery about Pete’s family, will it drive a final wedge between the friends or bond them in ways they never anticipated?
A Hopeful Heart
1888 – Kansas
Dowryless and desperate, Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural class of Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas, in 1888. The school’s one-of-a-kind program teaches young women from the East the skills needed to become a rancher–or the wife of one. Shy and small for her twenty-two years, Tressa is convinced she’ll never have what it takes to survive Hattie Wyatt’s hands-on instruction in skills such as milking a cow, branding a calf, riding a horse, and cooking up a mess of grub for hungry ranch hands. But what other options does she have?
Abel Samms wants nothing to do with the group of potential brides his neighbor brought to town. He was smitten with an eastern girl once–and he got his heart broken. But there’s something about quiet Tressa and her bumbling ways that makes him take notice. When Tressa’s life is endangered, will Abel risk his own life–and his heart–to help this eastern girl?
Fields of Grace
1872 – Kansas
With their eldest son nearly to the age when he will be drafted into military service, Reinhardt and Lillian Vogt decide to immigrate to America, the land of liberty, with their three sons and Reinhardt’s adopted brother, Eli. But when tragedy strikes during the voyage, Lillian and Eli are forced into an agreement neither desires. Determined to fulfill his obligation to Reinhardt, Eli plans to see Lillian and her sons safely settled on their Kansas homestead–and he’s equally determined that the boys will be reared in the Mennonite faith. What he doesn’t expect is his growing affection for Lillian–and the deep desire to be part of a family.
A Promise for Spring
1874 – Kansas
England-born Emmaline Bradford pledged her life to Geoffrey Garrett and then bid him farewell when he sailed to America. Although Geoffrey anticipated only a short separation, several years passed before he was able to send for Emmaline. By then the fiery flame of her youthful love had all but died. Shocked by the conditions on Geoffrey’s Kansas sheep ranch, Emmaline wishes to return to England immediately. Geoffrey offers a compromise: If Emmaline promises to stay until spring, he’ll pay her return fare if she decides to go back to her home country. When spring arrives, will Emmaline return to England, or will she marry Geoffrey and carve out a life with him in Kansas?
Where the Heart Leads (Waiting for Summer’s Return Series #2)
1904 – Kansas and Massachusetts
After his graduation from college, Thomas Ollenburger is filled with big dreams and many questions. What will he do for a career? Should he marry? Where will he call home? Torn between his Mennonite roots on the Kansas prairie and his love for the big city of Boston, as well as his affection for a girl in each location, Thomas is unsure of his place in the world. He has always sought God’s leading in his decision-making, but now it seems as if God is staying silent. Has Thomas’s heart led him astray?
My Heart Remembers
1886 – Missouri
United by blood, divided by time, will three orphan train siblings ever find one another again?
Orphaned in a tenement fire, three Irish-immigrant children are sent to Missouri to be adopted. Despite eight-year-old Maelle’s desperate attempts to keep her siblings together, each child is taken by a different family. Yet Maelle vows that she will never stop searching for her brother and sister…and that they will be together one day in the future.
Seventeen years later, Maelle is still searching. But the years have washed away her hope… and her memories. What are Mattie and Molly doing now? Where has life taken them? Will she ever see her brother and sister again?
Where Willows Grow
1936 – Kansas
Anna Mae isn’t sure her husband is being completely honest about his job with the Works Progress Administration. They’re building a castle? In Kansas? Harley promised he’d be at the worksite only long enough to earn enough cash to keep their farm. But the money hasn’t arrived, and Anna Mae fears Harley may be gone for good.
Harley Phipps has never been a man in need of luxuries, but he wants to do right by his wife and two little girls. He was about to lose all he’d worked for if he didn’t do something–there was no way he could pass up the government job, even if it meant leaving his family for a while. Anna Mae was awful mad when he sold the mules, packed his bag, and headed out. If only she’d send him a short note to let him know she and the girls are all right…
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1894 – Kansas
After losing her husband and children to typhoid, Summer Steadman lacks the desire to forge ahead to Oklahoma. Instead she seeks employment in the small Mennonite community of Gaeddert, Kansas, to be near the graves of her family. Widower Peter Ollenberger, the local gristmill owner, needs someone to teach his son. When he hears of a “learned woman” in town, he believes she is the answer to his prayers, despite the fact that he faces censure for helping an “outsider.” There is next to nothing Peter will not do for his son. But when the boy begins looking at Summer as more than a teacher, Peter battles with himself. Does he marry this woman to give his son a new mother, or does he marry only for love?