The Hardest Ride by Gordon L. Rottman

Book 1 in the bestselling “Ride” series, which won the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award for Best Western Novel 2014 Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Finalist for Best First Western Novel 2014 Western Writers of America Spur Award Finalist for Best Traditional Western Novel for 2013. The Texas-Mexico border, the winter of 1886—The Great Die Up. A raw rift separates Mexicans and Anglos. A loner cowpoke and a mute Mexican girl fight man and nature to reunite. Out of work cowpoke Bud Eugen comes across Marta, a mute sixteen-year old Mexican girl whose family has been killed by Indians. Bud reluctantly takes her along, even though he’s never had to accommodate another person in his simple life. He’s unable to find anyone willing to take her. In spite of his prejudices, Bud grows to like the spunky girl (and her excellent cooking). Eventually, they both find work on a border ranch. Here, the relationship between the girl and the young cowboy hesitantly grows. But banditos raid the ranch, kidnapping the rancher’s daughters and Marta. Bud, with twelve other men, pursue the banditos into the most desolate reaches of Mexico. Ambushes and battles with banditos, Rurales, and traitors are constant, and the brutal weather is as much a threat as the man-made perils. Life and death choices are made at every turn as one side gains the advantage, then the other. The rancher’s daughters are rescued, and the exhausted party turns back. But Bud presses on alone, against insurmountable odds, determined to fulfill his unspoken promise to Marta.

Author: Gordon L. Rottman

Rating: Rating: 4.60 / 5
1043 reviews

Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale: (Inspirational Victorian Novella) (Espoir Archives Book 1) by Amanda Dykes

A Secret. A Bicycle. A Promise…While the elusive Secret Symphony of Giovanni St. John captivated the world’s fascination, it left his daughter closed away in the Silent House – she, the one who holds the fullness of truth about the ninth symphony. Now Aria St. John is determined to not only break free of the loss that has defined her, but to honor her father through one final gift in his last days.On the tiny Isle of Espoir, only one man can help in her quest: James Shaw, the village blacksmith… and the lost friend of her childhood. Will they be able to overcome the tragedy that separated them before it’s too late?Written to slip easily into the stolen moments of the busy holiday season, this enchanting novelette delves into the miracle of second chances, the gift of God’s healing redemption, and the joy of the unexpected.

Author: Amanda Dykes

Rating: Rating: 4.60 / 5
55 reviews

What Remains of the Fair Simonetta (Remains Series) by Laura T Emery

Anastasia (Stacia) Uqualla has been dead for eleven years, residing as a spirit in the Italian Church of Ognissanti, when she suddenly awakens in the body of the renowned Renaissance beauty, Simonetta Vespucci. She reunites with Mariano, the father of Botticelli, whose ghostly presence has kept her company in the afterlife. Her journey through the Renaissance will also find her rubbing elbows with the young Leonardo da Vinci, Lorenzo de’ Medici, and many other Renaissance painters, including the awkwardly dashing Botticelli himself. With the body and raging hormones of a teenage girl, Stacia experiences all the passions in life a second time around. Take a ride through history in this second book in the “Remains” series by Laura T Emery, a light historical fiction with a sense of humor and a sexy edge.

Author: Laura T Emery

Rating: Rating: 4.90 / 5
48 reviews

Into the Americas (A novel based on a true story) by Lance Morcan and James Morcan

INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story) is a gritty, real-life adventure based on one of history’s greatest survival stories. It was inspired by the diary entries of young English blacksmith John Jewitt during his time aboard the brigantine The Boston and also during his sojourn at Nootka Sound, on North America’s western seaboard, from 1802 to 1805.

Written by father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan (authors of The World Duology and The Orphan Trilogy), INTO THE AMERICAS is a tale of two vastly different cultures – Indigenous North American and European civilization – colliding head on. It is also a Romeo and Juliet story set in the wilderness.

Nineteen year-old blacksmith John Jewitt is one of only two survivors after his crewmates clash with the fierce Mowachaht tribe in the Pacific Northwest. A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquina, the all-powerful chief. Desperate to taste freedom again, they make several doomed escape attempts over mountains and sea. Only their value to the tribe and John’s relationship with Maquina prevents their captors from killing them.

As the seasons pass, John ‘goes Indian’ after falling in love with Eu-stochee, a beautiful maiden. This further alienates him from his fellow captive whose defiance leads to violent consequences. In the bloodshed that follows, John discovers another side to himself – a side he never knew existed and a side he detests. His desire to be reunited with the family and friends he left behind returns even stronger than before.

The stakes rise when John learns Eu-stochee is pregnant. When a final opportunity to escape arises, he must choose between returning to civilization or staying with Eu-stochee and their newborn son.

INTO THE AMERICAS has been adapted to a feature film screenplay and is in early development with Morcan Motion Pictures.

Author: Lance Morcan and James Morcan

Rating: Rating: 4.30 / 5
180 reviews

The Piano Girl – Part 1: She plays from memory. Her memories. (Counterfeit Princess Series) by Sherri Schoenborn Murray

She plays from memory. Her memories.
The day after her sixteenth birthday, Princess Alia finds out that she’s been given away in marriage to a man she’s never met. The war has just ended, and for Alia’s protection, she must travel to her future kingdom disguised as a chicken farmer’s daughter. This princess to pauper story is filled with problems, prayers and plenty of piano. This is Part One of a two-part series. In 2016, the Counterfeit Princess series will continue with Alia’s sister, Wren.

Author: Sherri Schoenborn Murray

Rating: Rating: 4.40 / 5
279 reviews

Laiden’s Daughter: The Clan MacDougall Series by Suzan Tisdale

Scotland, 1344
She believes men are not honorable nor are they kind-until she meets one that changes her heart forever.
Betrayed by lies told before her birth, Aishlinn is raised by a harsh and cruel stepfather. Her life is forever changed one horrifying night when she is forced to flee England for the safety of the Scottish Highlands. Rescued by a fierce band of highland warriors, Aishlinn soon learns that honorable men do exist. She finds a strength she never knew she possessed and it will be tested to the limits when she is forced to make a heart-wrenching decision…allow the English to kill those she loves, or surrender for the crime she committed.

She is everything he never knew he wanted in a woman….

As a fierce highland warrior, Duncan McEwan has survived numerous battles, bed countless women, and survived a horrific storm at sea. He has scaled mountains and even survived hand-to-claw battle with a cat-o’mountain. But none of that could have prepared him for how his life forever changed one fateful spring day when he rescued a lass from a freezing stream. He will do anything to keep her as his own and will risk everything to keep her out of the hands of the English.

Author: Suzan Tisdale

Rating: Rating: 4.30 / 5
873 reviews

The Dirty Parts of the Bible: A Novel by Sam Torode

“Funny as Hell, with a Heart as Big as Texas”The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a humorous adventure across America during the Great Depression—a rollicking tale of love and liquor, preachers and prostitutes, trains and treasure, sure to appeal to fans of Water for Elephants, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Mark Twain, and Johnny Cash.Semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel AwardPublishers Weekly says:”While the title suggests a raunchy read, this rich and soulful novel is actually a rather well-done bildungsroman [coming-of-age story] steeped in wanderlust and whimsy that at times recalls The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and at others a tamer On the Road. The story begins in 1936 as 19-year-old Tobias is thumbing his way from Remus, Mich., to his uncle’s farm in Glen Rose, Tex., to find a hidden bag of money, after his father, a Baptist pastor, drunkenly slams his car into the church and is removed from the parsonage. The author does an excellent job in making well-charted territory (riding the rails; scavenged campfire meals under the stars) seem vibrant and new. Snippets of scripture, Southern spirituals, and folk ballads lend context and flavor to the text. Most impressive are the jangly dialogue and the characters’ distinctive voices, which are authentic and earthy but not remotely hoary. When Tobias finally arrives at his uncle’s, the surprises that await him are more than enough to keep his–and readers’–interests piqued.” (Review from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award)”The Dirty Parts of the Bible has it all … a plot that brings lots of laughs and a few tears, a writing style that is comfortable and matches the story, and characters that are pure joy.” –Front Street Reviews”The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a grown-up Mark Twain-type adventure with lots of spirit and humor.” –Reader Views”A fun read.” –The Nashville Scene

Author: Sam Torode

Rating: Rating: 4.30 / 5
2145 reviews

The Other Side of the Fence by Julie Dewey

The Other Side of the Fence is a powerful, emotional journey illuminating the suffering caused by leprosy. This story begins and ends in Carville, Louisiana where in 1894, the town was transformed from an abandoned Plantation into a refuge for lepers. Children were forcibly isolated from their families and put under strict quarantine inside the confines of a twelve foot barbed wire fence. Once inside, they were stripped of their rights, their dignity, and often even their identity.
Eighteen year old Frances was smack in the middle of the debutante ball season in Baton Rouge, when pale patches of skin were discovered on her arm during a dress fitting. Diagnosed with leprosy, she was seen as a blight on her family and was sent away at once. Restless and overwhelmed by her family’s abandonment, she set out on a journey through the confines of the plantation that led her to the bend in the Mississippi River. Here she discovers a hole dug under the fence; this is her chance to escape and reclaim her life, or start a new one.
When Jenny, a spirited ten year old girl, and her four year old brother, Danny test positive for leprosy they also become reluctant residents of Carville. They are met with the open and compassionate arms of the Sisters of Charity who do their best to help them live normal lives among the suffering.
This sweeping historical novel gracefully details the depth, strength, and stamina of the human spirit during extreme times. When lives unfold and intertwine, Faith and Jenny find one another. Together, they develop a deep affinity and unlock the key to surviving by opening their hearts and letting love in once again. This is a love story about the deep bonds of friendship, the effects of love, and the ability to overcome and thrive.

Author: Julie Dewey

Rating: Rating: 4.60 / 5
58 reviews

The Watchmaker’s Daughter (Glass and Steele Book 1) by C.J. Archer

REVIEWS”What an absolutely fun read! This story had me captivated from beginning to end and eagerly awaiting the next book! Loved it! Mystery, and magic, with another great female lead!” ★★★★★ Amazon Reviewer Tjuliannev”A plot that works on all cylinders, a sassy heroine, a hero with some morals…This author knows how to write.” ★★★★★ Amazon Reviewer Theresa May”I love the intriguing plot laid out from the beginning to the end…If you want a story with tension and mystery, this is a must read.” ★★★★★ Amazon Reviewer Liz McCutcheonDESCRIPTIONIndia Steele is desperate. Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance, and no one will employ her, despite years working for her watchmaker father. Indeed, the other London watchmakers seem frightened of her. Alone, poor, and at the end of her tether, India takes employment with the only person who’ll accept her – an enigmatic and mysterious man from America. A man who possesses a strange watch that rejuvenates him when he’s ill.Matthew Glass must find a particular watchmaker, but he won’t tell India why any old one won’t do. Nor will he tell her what he does back home, and how he can afford to stay in a house in one of London’s best streets. So when she reads about an American outlaw known as the Dark Rider arriving in England, she suspects Mr. Glass is the fugitive. When danger comes to their door, she’s certain of it. But if she notifies the authorities, she’ll find herself unemployed and homeless again – and she will have betrayed the man who saved her life.With a cast of quirky characters, an intriguing mystery, and a dash of romance, THE WATCHMAKER’S DAUGHTER is the start of a thrilling new historical fantasy series from the author of the bestselling Ministry of Curiosities, Freak House, and Emily Chambers Spirit Medium books.

Author: C.J. Archer

Rating: Rating: 4.30 / 5
704 reviews

Everlasting Light – A Civil War Romance by Andrea Boeshaar

When loss lingers … love – even beyond death.

The American Civil War has ended, but Alaina McKenna still awaits news about her husband, Braeden. Did he die in a Yankee prison? Was he buried in a shallow grave on a Virginia battlefield? Or has he turned his back on the specter of death and loss around him and sought solitude west of the Mississippi River, never to return home, again?

As Christmas nears, Alaina deflects the advances of a suitor in the neighboring county, choosing to cling instead to hope and her belief that Braeden will return. As winter’s chill settles upon her farm, Alaina cries out to God in one final Christmas Prayer.

When loss lingers … love – even beyond death. For it is through heartbreak that God opens doorways to hope.

Author: Andrea Boeshaar

Rating: Rating: 4.30 / 5
94 reviews