Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse ~ Photo: Mark Papke

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Love's Awakening ~ Laura Frantz

Title: Love's Awakening
Author: Laura Frantz
Publisher: Revell

Author: Laura Frantz

Ellie Ballantyne, youngest child of Silas and Eden, has left finishing school. But back at her family home in Pittsburgh, Ellie finds that her parents are away on a long trip and her siblings don't seem to want her to stay. When she opens a day school for young ladies, she begins tutoring the incorrigible daughter of the enemy Turlock clan. The Turlocks are slaveholders and whiskey magnates, envious of the powerful Ballantynes and suspicious of their abolitionist leanings. As Ellie becomes increasingly tangled with the Turlocks, she finds herself falling in love with an impossible future--and Jack Turlock, a young man striving to free himself from his family's violent legacy. How can she betray her family and side with the enemy? And will Jack ever allow her into his world?

Masterful storyteller Laura Frantz continues to unfold the stirring saga of the Ballantyne family in this majestic tale of love, loyalty, and the makings of a legacy. With rich descriptions of the people who settled and civilized a wild landscape, Frantz weaves a tapestry of characters and places that stick with the reader long after they turn the last page.

As Frantz takes you into the romance of the past, she digs deep into her characters' psyches, weaving tales that will keep you enthralled to the last page, and then waiting impatiently for her next release.

Along with a copy of Laura's latest book this week, you will receive a 15" Federalist period "Ellie" doll for the Hope Inspired Stories giveaway. "Ellie" is dressed in a blue floral day dress with a lace-brimmed bonnet and carries a matching purse. Please leave your e-mail address in your comment! (only those living in the U.S. and Canada are eligible). To visit Laura: 


Sunday, August 25, 2013

On Distant Shores ~ Sarah Sundin

Title: On Distant Shores
Publisher: Revell
Author: Sarah Sundin
Lt. Georgiana Taylor has everything she could want. A boyfriend back home, a loving family, and a challenging job as a flight nurse. But in July 1943, Georgie’s cozy life gets more complicated when she meets pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson. Hutch resents the lack of respect he gets as a non-commissioned serviceman and hates how the war keeps him from his fiancĂ©. While Georgie and Hutch share a love of the starry night skies over Sicily, their lives back home are falling apart. Can they weather the hurt and betrayal? Or will the pressures of war destroy the fragile connection they’ve made?

Author: Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is the author of five historical novels, including On Distant Shores (Revell, August 2013). Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to tennis and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school. You can find her at

Other books by Sarah below...




                         Book One in Wings of the Nightingale Series    

Along with a copy of Sarah's latest release On Distant Shores (August 2013), Hope Inspired Stories is offering as a giveaway this week, a hand-made book mark made of blue iridescent thread (representing a starry sky) with a "north star" charm and navy blue ribbon attached. Included is a blue crystal earring and bracelet set. The navy and light blue colors represent the nurse's uniform Georgie wore in the story. Please leave a comment with your e-mail address to be included in the drawing. (Only those living in U.S. and Canada are eligible).  

Sky Blue bracelet & earring set

North Star book mark

For other interesting facts about WWII nurses go to this site:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pattern for Romance & God's Provision In Tough Times

We welcome two authors this week to Hope Inspired Stories: Carla Gade, presenting her historical romance, Pattern for Romance, and God's Provision in Tough Times in which Cynthia Howerter collaborated with a group of other authors to bring you an inspiring non-fiction collection. It is our hope you will enjoy these books, and discover God's guidance through their hope-filled stories.

Title: Pattern for Romance
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Author: Carla Gade

Honour Metcalf’s quilting needlework is admired by a wealthy customer of the Boston mantua-maker for whom she works. In need of increasing her earnings, she agrees to create an elaborate white work bridal quilt for the dowager’s niece. A beautiful design emerges as she carefully stitches the intricate patterns and she begins to dream of fashioning a wedding quilt of her own. When Honour is falsely accused of thievery and finds herself in a perilous position, merchant tailor Joshua Sutton comes to her aid. As he risks his relationships, reputation, and livelihood to prove her innocence, the two discover a grander plan—a design for love.

Author: Carla Gade

Carla Olson Gade has been imagining stories most her life. Her love for writing and eras gone by turned her attention to writing historical Christian romance. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she is represented by agent Chip MacGregor. Carla and her husband share their home in rural Maine where they reside near their two young adult sons and new grandson. To learn more about her, please visit her website or her popular blog

God's Provision in Tough Times is the second book hi-lighted on H.I.S. Stories this week by one of its authors, Cynthia Howerter.

Title: God's Provision in Tough Times
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Author: Cynthia Howerter and Guest Writers

Are you in the midst of tough times? Perhaps you're unemployed, underemployed, or having financial difficulties that leave you feeling hopeless and helpless. Do you question if God is aware of your circumstances? Are you wondering if there is a way out of your situation?

Cynthia Howerter and La-Tan Roland Murphy have both experienced God's provision in tough times. Along with guest writers, they candidly share their own personal stories of unemployment and financial despair.

You will find encouragement and hope as you read each story. Like you, many of these writers have lost their income, savings, homes, and health insurance. Some have found themselves on public assistance while others faced homelessness. Their faith and trust was refined and strengthened as God provided a successful path through their tough times.

Each writer's personal story demonstrates the power of God who knows exactly what you are going through and who promises to care for those who put their faith and trust in Him.

God's Provision in Tough Times includes personal accounts by guest writers Alycia W. Morales, Beth K. Fortune, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Cecil Stokes, Dan Walsh, Deborah Raney, Dee Dee Parker, Eddie Jones, Eva Marie Everson, Felicia Bowen Bridges, James L. Rubart, Ramona Richards, Roger E. Bruner, Tamara D. Fickas, and Torry Martin.

Author: Cynthia Howerter

If you wish to be included in the giveaway-- a copy each of Pattern for Romance, God's Provision in Tough Times, a 15" colonial "Honour" doll, a  5" x 7" crocheted cross book mark, please leave a comment with your e-mail address (only those living in U.S. and Canada are eligible).

"Honour" Doll

Bookmark  Cross 

Thank you for stopping in this week--Blessings!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Burning Sky: A Novel of the American Frontier

Welcome. This week it is my very great pleasure to celebrate debut author Lori Benton and her novel  Burning Sky. Coincidentally its release date was August 6th, the anniversary of the Battle of Oriskany, which plays an important part in the backdrop of Lori's book.  Included in this post is a short video of the Battle scenes illustrated by Don Troiani, an historical artist who has captured a sense of  early America and its rugged frontiersmen. Hope you enjoy this post and reading about Lori's new book!

Please try these links to meet with Lori and read about God's guidance and blessings on her journey to publication:


Burning Sky and the Battle of Oriskany ...

Lori, what affect did the Battle of Oriskany have on the characters in Burning Sky?
Burning Sky is set in 1784, seven years after the Battle of Oriskany, but the settlement of Shiloh, New York, is located near enough to Fort Stanwix and Oriskany Creek that the men from this fictional village would have been part of General Nicholas Herkimer’s mixed force of militia and Oneida warriors that fought against the British and other Iroquois Nations on that day.

In the pages of Burning Sky, those members of the militia who survived that battle and the rest of the war still live daily with its repercussions. The Warings, a prominent family in Shiloh, lost two of their members in that battle. Those who survived it were never the same for the brutality they witnessed and committed, or for the losses they sustained. Although it wasn’t called Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in the 18th century, my goal was to portray these characters, and the long-term consequences of war upon their bodies and souls, as honestly as I could in light of our current understanding of this disorder.

Publishers Weekly, in their review of Burning Sky, had this to say: A bruised reed He shall not break, and a smoking flax he shall not quench: that's the theme resonating through this lovingly rendered historical-romantic homage to the men and women of the American frontier after the Revolutionary War. That is part of what I hoped to accomplish with this novel, to honor those of all nations who fought on the New York frontier during the Revolutionary War, or suffered loss and endured to rebuild and reshape their lives.

I thought it very fitting that the release date for Burning Sky “happens” to fall on August 6, the anniversary of the Battle of Oriskany.

Title: Burning Sky
Author: Lori Benton
Publisher: Waterbrook Press

Lori Benton

“I remember the borders of our land, though I have been gone from them nearly half the moons of my life. But who there will remember me? What I have seen, what I have done, it has changed me.
I am the place where two rivers meet, silted with upheaval and loss.
Yet memory of our land is a clear stream. I shall know it as a mother knows the faces of her children. It may be I will find me there.“
 Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path. Feeling obliged to nurse his injuries, the two quickly find much has changed during her twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.

When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into in her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure.

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman called Burning Sky must find a new courage--the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty
wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?

My Review of "Burning Sky":

As I read this book, the word haunting came to mind ... not only in the lovely, lyrical writing, but in the characters of Willa, Neil, Joseph and Francis. They've stayed with me well after I've closed its covers. To me that's haunting--like friends who have never left you.

 There are a few books I've returned to; the Bible, and some of the classics. This well-crafted story will be one of them. This story,
with its depth and layers, will always seem fresh to me as I discover more from each read. I've always marveled at the mental, physical and spiritual toughness of our frontier forebears in times of triumph and tragedy; Ms. Benton has captured these unique qualities in "real" people, not just as romantic heroes of fiction.

I'd not call this first book by Ms. Benton a success, I'd call it a triumph.

Along with a copy of "Burning Sky", our giveaway will include a "Willa" doll (with her unusual eye coloring, dressed in colonial day dress and moccasins), a silk fan, a packet of Twinings Tea, and a botanical print of "Wild Rose", by the 18th century French artist Pierre Joseph Redoute suitable for framing; perhaps Neil MacGregor might have done a similar botanical study! Please leave your e-mail address when making your comment so we can contact you if you are the winner! (you must live in U.S. to be eligible for book and giveaway). 

Wild Rose  ~ Pierre Joseph Redoute

Cross Book Mark for Burning Sky

Battle of Oriskany, New York
August 6, 1777


Thank you for stopping in to H.I.S. Stories to look over this new release, and God's blessings.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Whispers from the Shadows

Welcome. This week we're hi-lighting Whispers from the Shadows, by Roseanna White, and third story in the Culper Ring Series which will release this week on August 1, 2013. Read a little about Roseanna's books, and how she became interested in the actual group of General Washington's spies called the Culper Ring. You'll also hear that coincidentally, a film is being produced about this same group of spies! visit Roseanna at    

Our giveaway: a copy of Roseanna's book, Whispers from the Shadows, a beautiful print of Louis Tessier's 18th century classic painting, "Bouquet of Roses" which you might have found in the finer homes of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Twinings tea, a silk fan for warm summer days and a lovely hand-crocheted cross bookmark.     

Title: Whispers From the Shadows
Author: Roseanna White 
Publisher: Harvest House

This exciting and adventurous romantic spy novel is the second book in a new series from Roseanna M. White. Whispers from the Shadows combines fascinating cloak-and-dagger secrets with a tale of love and intrigue during the War of 1812.

Treachery causes Gwyneth Fairchild's world to crumble. The daughter of a British general, she barely saves her life by fleeing London aboard a ship to America. Her goal is to find refuge with the Lane family in Maryland, having been told by her father she could implicitly trust Winter and Bennet Lane, even though their nations are once again at war. After meeting their son, Thad, she wonders how safe she truly is when she discovers that the Lanes trade in a dangerous commodity--espionage.

Not long after Gwyneth finds refuge in his city, Thad Lane experiences the tug of love, though he fears it may blur lines of loyalty. With family playing the part of enemies and enemies proving themselves friends, a future with Gwyn is uncertain. But at this moment, with the British advancing on Washington and Baltimore, they have only their shared faith in God as a shield about them.

Author: Roseanna White


Hot New AMC Show Filming In Richmond 

Casting call out for Washington spy drama 

by Brent Baldwin

Looking for your breakout moment on television? You could do a lot worse than a hotly anticipated new AMC television series pilot, “Turn,” slated to begin shooting in Richmond in April. Based on the book “Washington’s Spies” by Alexander Rose, “Turn” is a period drama set in 1778 that tells the story of George Washington’s personal spy ring, the Culper Ring. The show is set to be directed by Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of The Apes”) and is written by “Nikita” creator and executive producer Craig Silverstein.
Some big name Aussie stars are already attached, including Meegan Warner and Daniel Henshall. British actor Burn Gorman, who played Phillip Stryver in “The Dark Knight Rises," will play Major Hewlett, a British officer assigned to the colonies. The show will tell the story of New York farmer Abe Woodhull, who bands with a group of childhood friends to form a spy ring that helped turn the tide in America’s fight for independence.
Marnie Black, senior vice president of public relations at AMC TV, says it will likely take several months to shoot the pilot, six months to consider whether the pilot will become a series, and if the show is made into a series, the earliest you would likely see it is probably 2015.
A current local casting call is seeking “Caucasian males between 18 and 35 for a variety of roles, some of which require accents (British/Welsh/Scottish/Irish).”
Check the Virginia Film Office website for information under Crew Call.


Bouquet of Roses ~ Louis Tessier

Thank you all for stopping in and God's Blessings!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Return to Shirley Plantation and Bachelor Buttons

Welcome to Shirley Plantation (built 1613) in Charles County, Virginia, the setting of our first story, Return to Shirley Plantation by Carrie Fancett Pagels. We will also be joined by author Kathleen L. Maher who  has written volume three Bachelor Buttons in the Cry of Freedom series. Please join us as we note the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. Enjoy coffee, lemonade and iced tea and delicious sweets as we meet our authors.


~ an ebook or paperback copy of Carrie's and Kathy's books, reader's choice

~ a mug from Carrie with RtSP cover and her name/website
~ Shirley Plantation book by Julian Charity
~ A Shirley Plantation ornament
~ A teal-colored picnic tablecloth (Kathy's favorite color)

CRY OF FREEDOM:  150 years ago the history of America changed forever. Live 1863 through the stories of some of our finest writers – the passion, the romance, the tragedy, and the triumph.

The plantations. The Underground Railroad. Chancellorsville. Vicksburg. Gettysburg. Little Round Top. Chickamauga. Chattanooga. Missionary Ridge. The soldiers in the field. The families at home. The nurses in the hospitals. The speeches at Richmond and Washington. The prayers in churches North and South. It’s all here in one of the most dramatic series ever produced. A new story by a different author released every two weeks between April and November. Join us for one of the most exciting events in American inspirational publishing – Helping Hands Press presents CRY OF FREEDOM! The volumes in order of appearance....

Title: Return to Shirley Plantation (Vol. 1)
Author: Carrie Fancett Pagels
Publisher: Helping Hands Press

Abducted against his will, Matthew Scott is conscripted into the Confederate army because of his Copperhead father’s political leanings. Injured at Malvern Hill, Matthew is taken by the Union army to Shirley Plantation in Virginia where he is tended by seamstress Angelina Rose, a freed slave. Given an opportunity to leave the South and start a new life for herself, Angelina remained for the sake of her sister’s orphaned twins who are still enslaved. Will Matthew’s return to Shirley Plantation settle a mystery concerning his father’s past? And help Matthew find the family he longs for.

My review of Return to Shirley Plantation:

As I read Return to Shirley Plantation I was impressed. it showed a maturity in fiction writing, and a depth revealed in Ms. Pagels' characters' unique internal conflicts. She doesn't just stop as many do with an external conflict, she goes much deeper into her characters' lives and feelings.

I also appreciated her details; they lend a very real and sensitive note to the story. For instance, I never realized slaves' skin could not come in contact with white owners or their clothing. I always feel if I've learned something new after reading a story, it's enriched it for me all the more. The gentile setting. and lovely way Angelina's & Matt's relationship is handled makes this a memorable debut for this author.

Ms. Pagels tells a strong story with a delicate touch. 

Title: Bachelor Buttons (Vol. 3)
Author: Kahleen L. Maher
Publisher: Helping Hands Press

The daughter of immigrants who fled the Irish Potato Famine, Rose Meehan longs for a better life than the tenements of New York City. Courted by two men--a young doctor who represents material security, and a poor violin instructor who has captured her heart--she must choose between a life of advantage-grabbing or a life of faith. When Manhattan explodes in mob rule following Lincoln's unpopular draft, the heroic action of one suitor brings provision for those she loves, and reveals God's plan.

Kathleen L. Maher’s novella Bachelor Buttons released through Helping Hands Press in May, 2013 as part of a Civil War sesquicentennial collection. Her manuscript Closer than a Brother won the historical category of ACFW’s Genesis contest in 2012. Her work has finaled in several writing contest since 2009. She is represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency.

Kathleen blogs about New York State history and enjoys reading and writing reviews for historical CBA releases. She and her husband live in a 100-year-old farmhouse in upstate NY with their three children. Two rescued Newfoundland dogs and a tuxedo cat complete their family.

My Review of Bachelor Buttons:

Admittedly I was first drawn to this story because Kathy and I share so much background though I've never met her--we are both New Yorkers, have ancestors who came here during the Irish potato famine, and even share an ancestral name--Meehan.

I've read some of Kathy's other work and am especially impressed by Ms. Maher's writing style; it is lovely, lyrical writing. She brings the spirited Rose, William and Ian to life as they struggle to seek fulfillment in the tenements of New York during the upheaval of the draft riots. I was immediately captured by Rose's story and the choice she must make--for herself and her family.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Author: Jocelyn Green

Beginning this week on H.I.S., I'm pleased to welcome author Jocelyn Green and her latest release, Widow of Gettysburg. 

...Greetings and welcome to open-house at the new Liberty Inn. Please have a seat and enjoy some coffee, tea or hot chocolate and sweets before you sign in at the desk. (leave a comment on this site for my giveaway) Then step into the parlor (the author's site for another giveaway at: ) and visit with Jocelyn to learn more about her latest release,Widow of Gettysburg, where her heroine, Liberty Holloway struggles to survive while hiding a life altering secret as the battle of Gettysburg rages around her.

Title: Widow of Gettysburg (released: April 2013)

Author: Jocelyn Green
Publisher: River North

When a horrific battle rips through Gettysburg, the farm of Union widow Liberty Holloway is disfigured into a Confederate field hospital, bringing her face to face with unspeakable suffering--and a Rebel scout who awakens her long dormant heart.

While Liberty's future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty's hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.

In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it?

Widow of Gettysburg is inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath.Go to this link for a second giveaway: 

Title: Wedded to War (released: June 2012)
Author: Jocelyn Green
Publisher: River North

Wedded to War 

It's April 1861, and the Union Army's Medical Department is a disaster, completely unprepared for the magnitude of war. A small group of New York City women, including 28-year-old Charlotte Waverly, decide to do something about it, and end up changing the course of the war, despite criticism, ridicule and social ostracism. Charlotte leaves a life of privilege, wealth-and confining expectations-to be one of the first female nurses for the Union Army. She quickly discovers that she's fighting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Corruption, harassment, and opposition from Northern doctors threaten to push her out of her new role. At the same time, her sweetheart disapproves of her shocking strength and independence, forcing her to make an impossible decision: Will she choose love and marriage, or duty to a cause that seems to be losing? An Irish immigrant named Ruby O'Flannery, who turns to the unthinkable in the face of starvation, holds the secret that will unlock the door to Charlotte's future. But will the rich and poor confide in each other in time?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey's letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured.

Jocelyn Green's debut novel is endorsed by historians and professors for its historical accuracy and detail, by award-winning novelists for its spell-binding storytelling, and by entertainment journalists and book club leaders for its deep and complex content, perfect to share and discuss with others.

My giveaway: (see below) A 15" hand-made Civil War era doll, silk fan, Godiva chocolate, and a Currier and Ives print suitable for framing called "Farmer's Home in Summer"


Farmer's Home in Summer - Currier & Ives print

Wedded to War Doll

Please leave your e-mail address if you want to be included in the drawing. Thank you for stopping in...and God's blessings!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Thorns in Eden

The Everlasting Mountains 
Rita Gerlach

A 2-in-1 Collection / Historical Drama

John Nash journeys back to England before the first shots of the Revolution are fired. Rebecah Brent, a young woman who has known little more than the solitude of an isolated manor, has lost her father and is now under the control of a domineering patriarch.
As their romance unfolds, they become trapped in a slanderous scheme forged by Rebecah’s uncle, Sir Samuel Brent. The door is rapidly closing to return to the Colonies, forcing Nash to leave England and return to a land immersed in one of the most infamous Indian wars in Colonial history. When an unselfish request is made by Nash’s father, Rebecah flees the entanglements her uncle in order to be reunited with the man she loves.
Can Nash protect his beloved from a renegade who has no allegiance to any nation, tribe, or creed, wanted for robbery and murder, who has vowed vengeance? In Thorns in Eden and The Everlasting Mountains, love and faith are the sustaining forces that cannot be overtaken by the vines of adversity.
As the firebrands of the Revolution grow hot, they marry and work together to build their estate, Laurel Hill. Facing a strange new world, Rebecah experiences the prejudice of being English, but finds friendship and acceptance in the wilds of the Maryland frontier. John Nash leads a band of rangers who protect the frontier families from Indian attack. His friendship with Chief Logan has not prevented the Indian War from reaching their peaceful home along the lush hills of the Catoctin Mountains.
Available on Amazon: ebook and paperback

Author: Rita Gerlach

Rita Gerlach writes inspirational historical fiction with a romantic bent, with unique settings in both America and England. She lives with her husband and two sons in a historical town nestled along the Catoctin Mountains in central Maryland.

Titles are:
Before the Scarlet Dawn

Beside Two Rivers

Beyond the Valley

Surrender the Wind
The Rebel’s Pledge
Thorns in Eden & The Everlasting Mountains

Rita’s Blog: InSpire

Leave a comment and be in the drawing for a gift giveaway of a 15" colonial doll, a Currier & Ives print suitable for framing (The Farmer's Home - Summer), a silk fan and Godiva chocolate. 


Below is the trailer to King's Faith, a Christian movie produced by my church. It opened in theaters this weekend--hope you enjoy it when it comes to your town! Please "like" on FB!

Get your tickets while you still can! Theaters have already reported sold out showtimes. Click on the button below to view a full list of theaters and showtimes.

Before you watch the movie with your group, please download and print out our discussion guide written by one of our associate producers Josh Eisenhart. It's a great launching off point to start a conversation with your students and to see how they reacted to the movie.


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