From small town living to mining the past for inspiration, there is a plethora of excellent faith based reads releasing this month. For the complete list and ratings of great inspirational titles, check out the January issue of RT, but for a quick overview of our favorites read on.
HISTORY BROUGHT TO LIFE
Several of this month’s featured authors use real life people and places in the backdrop of their inspirational tales. The family saga, Flight of the Earls, author Michael K. Reynolds recounts the 1846 Irish migration to New York through the eyes of young Clare Hanley. After facing famine in their native country, Clare’s father decides to send her and her brother to America in order to earn money. However, settling in a new land is much harder for Clare than anyone could imagine. While the heroine in Olivia Newport’s The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is not new to this country, she still struggles to find her place in 1890’s Chicago because of the strict rules that define the city’s social classes. Will Charlotte be able to care for her young son while working for a wealthy family that demands all of her time? And then readers can go back further in time to colonial America with Sally Laity and Dianna Crawford’s Lily’s Plight. Visit the Pennsylvania frontier in the last of the Harwood House series, which has heroine Lily still struggling with her feelings for her employer John, a soldier in the French and Indian War.
SMALL TOWN STORIES
Looking to visit some quaint small towns? We have several suggestions starting with Cactus Patch, Arizona. In Margaret Brownley’s historical romance Waiting for Morning, Molly Hatfield has come to the aptly named Cactus Patch in order to start a new life for her and her disabled brother. However, with job opportunities in short supply, Molly’s move to the desert town may have been a very foolish mistake. A second historical tale, To Honor and Trust by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller, takes readers to the charmingly named Bridal Veil Island in Georgia where happily ever afters abound. And readers wanting to travel a little further a field will be excited to hear about Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss’ contemporary tale Love Finds You In Glacier Bay, Alaska. Ginnie Marshall’s star is on the rise and she has the opportunity to become a big time singer in Los Angeles, but before she can settle into her new life, she decides to visit an old friend in Glacier Bay. Ginnie is surprised by the contentment she feels once away from the lights, camera, action of the big city. Will she be persuaded to stay or will the lure of fame have her returning to California?
MIDWIVES TO THE RESCUE
Choices of the Heart, the third novel in Laurie Alice Eakes’ popular Midwives series, is a heartwarming story featuring Esther Cherrett a second generation midwife living in the mid-1800s who relocates to rural Virginia. As one of the only medically trained people in the area, Esther becomes responsible for the health of many of her neighbors — especially the women. Eakes’ ongoing series shows readers again-and-again the importance that midwives served in times before modern medicine. So we asked the author to explain her personal connection to these very important woman. Here’s what she said:
“Women of Power: Midwives in Early Modern Europe and America” was the name of a paper I wrote while a student at Virginia Tech. It was a research method’s course, and I wanted to write about women in history, independent, working women in history, the kind of women I wanted for my heroines when I got serious about writing novels. Although more work opportunities lay open to women than is usually portrayed, midwives held the most power of all, as they held the secrets of their communities.
Prior to attending VT, I worked in a chiropractic office, where we also rented out space to a midwife. She was an interesting woman, and gave me some herbs once when I was having a terrible allergy attack. Around the same time, I found a couple of interesting books on midwives—one about an eighteenth century midwife, and one the memoir of a midwife who lived not too far from me. I interviewed her for my project, and, well, got truly interested in this ancient profession for women.
When I got deeply into the research, the information I discovered painted a picture of women who were trusted, feared, and generally empowered in their communities. Midwives were the only women who testified in court for centuries—testified from paternity, to infanticide cases. Midwives were women free to move about at all hours of the day or night without damaging their reputation. Above all, they made comfortable livings all on their own. Best of all, they had rules about cleanliness and ethics doctors of the time didn’t follow. In short, midwives were women of power without being wealthy or of high social rank.
- Laurie Alice Eakes
REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD
Ready to see some second chance love in action? Then this group of Love Inspired books is for you! First up is Homecoming Reunion by Carolyne Aarsen. In this story, exes Garret Beck and Larissa Weir are reunited when Garret purchases shares of Morrisey Creek Inn. Larissa tries to thwart the sale because she absolutely does not want to be around the man she believes betrayed her. But when old misconceptions are proven false, there are other impediments to their love, including Larissa’s domineering father. Divorced couple Melissa Langston and Chris Jameson are thrown together once again in Carol J. Post’s suspenseful Midnight Shadows. A stalker is targeting Melissa and she has nowhere to turn than Chris who is more than ready to protect the woman he is never stopped loving. In Mary Moore’s Love Inspired Historical Beauty in Disguise, the teenage Lady Kathryn de Montclaire fell in love with Lord Christopher Dalton, however, Kathryn was humiliated by a fortune hunter and forced into hiding. Years later, Christopher meets up with the Kathryn when he finds her working as a paid companion. Now an earl, it will be difficult for Christopher to bring Kathryn back into his world, but he knows that she is worth the effort.
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