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Trina Muller has always had a passion for healing abandoned and injured animals. Her parents encourage this tenderness towards God's creatures until Trina confesses her dream of going to veterinary college. Why can't she accept that God's will is for her to be a wife and mother? Graham Ortmann loves Trina, but how can he possibly marry someone who is determined to go against the dictates of the Old Order Mennonite fellowship? Trina can never be happy if she is outside of God's will for her life. But which life will she choose--one with Graham or one in pursuit of her heart's calling?
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?
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?
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?
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?
Contemporary Romance: Four girlfriends make a pact to find true love by their twenty-eighth Christmas. As the deadline looms, each keeps busy with expanding career and experiences faltering Christmas spirit. Lori is a major struggling to bolster the small town's economy, Madison runs a Christmas store and often travels to build up stock, Deanna is the town's director of tourism on a campaign to put her town on the map, and Kathy is a writer living in California who has lost her small town faith. When romance arrives in Mistletoe, Montana, in unexpected Christmas packages, will each woman be able to accept the gift?
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?From the Trade Paperback edition.
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?
All alone on the Kansas prairie, Summer Steadman has few options. With her husband and children lost to illness, she has no desire to continue on farther west to where she and her husband planned to build their future. Instead, she seeks employment in a small Mennonite community in order to be near the graves of her family. Widower Peter Ollenburger, the local gristmill owner, needs someone to teach his young son. When he hears of a "learned woman" in town, he believes she is the answer to his prayers. He soon discovers, however, that helping this outsider may have troublesome consequences. There is little this father will not do for his son, but as the boy begins to look at Summer as more than a teacher, Peter must make a choice. Does he marry this woman to give his son a new mother, or does he marry only for love? Will Summer's broken heart ever be able to love again?
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 uninhabitable, 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?
When trouble roars into quiet Arborville, Alexa and Anna-Grace find themselves the target for discord and exposed secrets. Can they continue to seek the God of all grace amidst the fog of confusion? Alexa Zimmerman wonders if the Old Order Mennonite community in Arborville, Kansas will ever fully accept her. Her family roots here aren't what anyone thought when she first arrived, but she is hopeful that her culinary and hospitality skills will win the skeptics over. The bed-and-breakfast she's operating needs to succeed so Alexa agrees to allow Briley Forrester, the hotshot reporter from Chicago, to stay as a long-term boarder not knowing his real motives for being amongst the Plain folk. But when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna-Grace Braun, the presence of extended family brings out Alexa's insecurities and sets Briley on the trail to uncovering a web of hidden truths. Plans for a secure future and the sweetness of young romance hang in the balance when Alexa and Anna-Grace have to face that their secrets are interconnected, binding the two in ways they could not have imagined. They must trust in a loving, heavenly Father and His plan for their futures.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Riddled with doubt and lingering regrets, will Suzanne and Paul find strength in God to explore a second chance at love? It wasn't easy to move back to the Old Order Mennonite community from which quiet, responsible Suzanne Zimmerman was shamefully sent away as a pregnant teen. Returning twenty years later to take care of her mother, Suzanne and Alexa--the daughter she raised as her own--have spent months rebuilding relationships with her family. Now with the upcoming wedding of their biological daughter, Suzanne and Paul find themselves drawn to one another once again--but with new challenges to face. They have been single parents with painful pasts. Can Paul and Suzanne find the strength to rebuild the loving relationship that was torn apart by their teen pregnancy so long ago? Suzanne must also let go of Alexa as she heads back to Indianapolis to visit friends--and as her chance to find her birth parents. Leaving the bed-and-breakfast in Suzanne's apprehensive hands, Alexa embarks on a journey that will certainly change her life completely. Can mother and daughter trust God to restore all things in His timing?From the Trade Paperback edition.
She left, heavily weighted with secrets.But God reveals all things, in His timing. And He redeems them. Suzanne Zimmerman was only seventeen and pregnant when her shamed mother quietly sent her away from their Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. With her old home, family, and first love firmly behind her, Suzanne moved to Indiana, became a nurse, and raised a daughter, Alexa, on her own. Now, nearly twenty years later, an unexpected letter arrives from Kansas. Her brother asks her to bring her nursing abilities home and care for their ailing mother. His request requires that Suzanne face a family that may not have forgiven her and a strict faith community. It also means seeing Paul Aldrich, her first love. Paul, widowed with an eight-year-old son, is relieved to see Suzanne again, giving him the chance to beg her forgiveness for his past indiscretion. But when he meets Alexa, his guilt flickers in the glare of Suzanne's prolonged secret--one that changes everything. Suzanne had let go of any expectation for forgiveness long ago. Does she dare hope in mercy-and how will her uncovered past affect the people she loves the most?
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?
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