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When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple. With only her mother's quilt as a secret guide, the foursome follows the stitches through unknown treachery. As they embark on their perilous journey, they hope and pray that their path is one of promise where love sustains them, courage builds faith, and forgiveness leads to freedom.
Gavin MacKenzie, a chieftain heir who is hired to restore the ancient Castle of Braigh, discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world. Among them is Serena Boyd, a mysterious and comely lass, who captures Gavin's heart in spite of harboring a deadly past that could destroy her future. The villagers happen to be keeping an intriguing secret as well, and when a fierce enemy launches an attack against them, greed leads to bitter betrayal. Then, as Gavin prepares a defense, the villagers unite in a bold act of faith, showing how God's love is more powerful than any human force on earth.
2011 Holt Medallion Award Winner - Best First Novel Highland Blessings is the story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise he made to his dying father. Bryce MacPhearson, a highland warrior, kidnaps Akira MacKenzie on her wedding day to honor a promise he made to his dying father. While Akira's strength in the Lord becomes a witness to Bryce, she struggles to overcome her anger and resentment when he forces her to wed him, hoping to end a half-century-old feud between their clans. While Akira begins to forgive, and Bryce learns to trust, a series of murders leaves a trail of unanswered questions, confusion, and a legacy of hate that once again rises between their families. Clearly, a traitor is in their midst. Now the one man Akira loves no longer trusts her, and her own life is in danger. Can Bryce look beyond his pain and seek the truth? Will Akira discover the threat against her before it's too late? How will God turn a simple promise into bountiful Highland blessings?
Upon her grandmother's death, Izzy Fontaine finds herself in possession of a Wild Goose Chase pattern quilt that supposedly leads to a great treasure. Of course, once the rest of the family finds out about the "treasure map," they're determined to have a go at the treasure themselves. And, if that weren't enough, Max Logan, a local museum curator, contacts Izzy and says that Grandma Isabella promised him the quilt. What is it about this quilt that makes everyone want it? Is Izzy on a wild goose chase of her own, or a journey that will lead her to the treasure her grandmother intended?
Something big and black crashes against the windshield, and an explosion rocks the car. Turn into the skid! I see a flash and something in front of me. Something tall with black material flapping around it like the tail ends of an old-fashioned duster. Long, straw-colored hair. A scraggily goatee. A man? What's a man doing at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere? Why's he just standing there? Why doesn't he get out of the way? I yank the wheel back the other way, and the car swerves around him. And heads straight off the road. When the world stops bouncing and the car settles, I try to keep my eyes focused, but everything blurs around the edges. The waves ebb, and I hear a crunching sound, like boots on gravel. Straining to see, I barely make out . . . What is that? A flag? No, it's that flapping black material. I think it's the man I swerved to miss. A sweet, melodious voice makes its way through the undulating roar in my ears. "Let me help you." Help. Yes, I need help.
Twenty-five years ago, Monica Stanton gave up a baby girl for adoption. Now, the thing Monica didn't dare hope for has happened: Jessica has reentered her life . . . and brought a little drama and competition with her. Jessica is willing to meet her birth mother, but she wants the reunion to air on a reality TV show. Monica would rather chew glass than appear on TV. But she'll swallow her pride--and a few other unsavory items--if that's what it takes to reconnect. As if getting to know her grown daughter while competing on a remote island isn't hard enough, Monica is further confused when Jessica's long-lost birth father shows up, complicating both her relationship with her daughter and the attraction Monica has to the hunky reality show host. The fruit-basket upset of emotions, accusations, and regrets might make for good TV, but will it destroy the family in the process?
Within the course of a week, Natalie is dumped by her husband, receives an urgent call home from her father, and discovers her estranged sister is pregnant. A road trip on Route 66 may not help, but it sure couldn't hurt. Or so Natalie thinks, until Lindsay's boyfriend starts stalking them. Will their trip down the Mother Road bring the two sisters closer together or turn out to be the biggest wrong turn yet?
Maura Sullivan never intended to set foot in Granger, Ohio, again. But when circumstances force her to return, she must face all the disappointments she tried so hard to leave behind: a husband who ignored her, a congregation she couldn't please, and a God who took away everything she ever loved. Nick Shepherd thought he had put the past behind him, until the day his estranged wife walked back into town. Intending only to help Maura through her crisis of faith, Nick finds his feelings for her never died. Now, he must admit the mistakes he made, how he hurt his wife, and find a way to give and receive forgiveness. As God works in both of their lives, Nick and Maura start to believe they can repair their broken relationship and reunite as man and wife. But Maura has one more secret to tell Nick before they can move forward. It's what ultimately drove her to leave him six years earlier, and the one thing that can destroy the fragile trust they've built.
After a flood damages the looms at Zenus Dane's Philadelphia textile mill and the bank demands loan payment, Zenus turns to his aunt for help repurposing his textiles. Trouble is . . . his aunt has already been hired by the lovely yet secretive Englishwoman Mary Varrs. Eager to acquire his aunt's quilt patterns, Zenus attends the summer Quilting Bee, a social event his aunt has uniquely designed with the secret purpose of finding Zenus a wife. However Zenus only has eyes for Mary, but Mary has no such desire for him. Though his aunt is determined to design a masterpiece marriage, both Zenus and Mary will have to overcome their stubborn ways. Can he realize that love requires stepping out of his routine? And will she recognize that following her heart doesn't mean sacrificing her ambition?
Running from his frustrating life, Chad loses his way on Christmas Eve and soon stumbles on the remote town of Piney Meadows. Before long, he falls in love with the people of the Old Order Mennonite community, accepts a job, and settles into the area. He is touched by the good people and their strong faith, even though he still has a lingering dispute with God. Most of all, he is fond of Anna. The more he gets to know her, the more he falls in love with her. But Anna is not happy in Piney Meadows. The Mennonite community is changing, but it's not changing fast enough for her. She longs to move to Minneapolis to get a job, make her way in the world, and find herself. Chad doesn't want her to go, but Anna can only see the freedom she imagines she will get in the big city. When she's ready to leave he contemplates leaving with her, but a personal crisis shakes Chad to his core. Feeling let down by everyone--including God--Chad wonders if Anna will now desert him too.
The Narrow Path is a story about a couple who must face their differences and learn to work together as they look toward a lifetime of love. Miranda Klassen's Mennonite church is big and modern and she loves the mixture of faith, action, and activity. But in order to follow her dream she moves across the country to a small town to organize the 75th anniversary celebration of an Old Order Mennonite church. Ted Wiebe has been assigned to assist and guide Miranda, feeling good that his church has chosen another Mennonite. But except for sharing the same basic faith and denomination, their churches have nothing else in common. His church embraces old-style roots, so Ted expects to find someone similar at the airport: a woman who never wears pants, no body piercing (including pierced ears), no makeup, and wearing a head covering as a sign of modesty, someone else who lives in accordance with old-fashioned values. But the woman who acknowledges him is wearing unreasonably high and outlandishly expensive shoes, denim jeans, and makeup, including bright red lipstick. As she gets off the plane she's fiddling with an iPod and yapping on the cell phone. When Miranda enters Ted's church and community she feels like she's been transported back into Little House On The Prairie. Ted is supposed to help Miranda fit in, and Miranda is supposed to help his church reach out into the community. When it's time to start planning and organizing for the celebration, then the fun really begins.
After her fiancé returns from the Klondike gold rush in 1897, Florence Harms sets about building a new life in her new marriage--even though the lingering effects of illness have left her weak and vulnerable. She and her young husband, Will, work tirelessly to clear the land around their Northwest cabin, content with their modest life. But then a stranger comes knocking and Florence suddenly senses a restlessness in Will's spirit that she had never seen before. When he leaves her with only a note that tells her he will return before their baby's birth, she is devastated, and the illness that stiffened her joints returns. Counting the days until Will walks back through her door, Florence busies herself with a Tree of Life quilt displaying a map of the farm they call home. Doubts claw at her heart as Florence struggles to believe Will's promise to return to her. Will her labor of love--and faith in God--sustain her as she waits to see her beloved once again?
After the end of World War II, Clara Kirkpatrick returns from the Women's Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier's last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the missed life they had planned to share. Struggling with her own post-war trauma, Clara thinks she's not prepared to handle the grief of this broken family. Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never cuddle the soldier's baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made. Now a labor and delivery nurse in her rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later stitches the child's name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever happened to Mattie--and if her own life would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt--years later and carrying even greater significance than when it was first bestowed.
Minor-but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman's initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans' son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington's friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless--and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk. With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?
Audrey Whitman's dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband, Grant, are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey's daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she's pulling makes it clear she's not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn's husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?
Priscilla Slater shows up at her 20-year reunion as a national celebrity. Her hair salon dynasty has skyrocketed, and to top it off, she has her own line of hair products. She has become a huge success with the "Ms. Prissy Big Hair" line that lets women with the thinnest of locks get the coveted "big hair" look so popular in the South. Her classmates have finally come to terms with adulthood, but they're handling it with the grace of a Southern woman wearing white after Labor Day. It's just downright awkward! Asserting the maturity that her classmates have often lacked, Priscilla holds her head high. But she can't ignore everything. When she catches her mother in the arms of her former high school principal, Priscilla can't get out of town fast enough. Eager to get back to her more comfortable life, Priscilla runs head on into an ultimatum: Tim tells her they're not getting any younger--as if she has to be reminded.
As Priscilla Slater's 15-year class reunion approaches, she decides to attend out of curiosity... and to flaunt her latest achievement--taking her business to a national level with the possibility of a TV show. As if getting ready for the event and putting up with the pranks of her former classmates isn't enough, Priscilla's hometown visit is further complicated by her parents' separation. With the once-solid sanctuary of her home broken at the foundation, there's only one thing Priscilla's parents can agree on: no matter what sort of accolades their daughter receives as a hair stylist, she's not living up to her potential. Eager to escape the painful reality of her childhood home, Priscilla bolts as soon as a call from New York brings good news: her offer to purchase one of the best salons in the country is likely to come through. But returning to New York means returning to Tim, Priscilla's best friend and business pal who has been impatiently suggesting their relationship should be more than a friendship. Despite her recent achievements, will Priscilla learn that success doesn't always result in popularity--or love?
Priscilla Slater goes to her ten-year high school reunion with equal parts dread and eager anticipation. Even though she's a successful owner of a chain of hair salons and no longer has the mousy brown hair, crooked teeth, and discount-store wardrobe, she still feels like the ugly duckling. But when she arrives at the reunion, Priscilla soon realizes that her old classmates aren't exactly as she remembers them. With humor and a just a touch of sassiness, Priscilla finds herself facing her own truth--and she may be surprised at what she discovers.
After years of looking for a place to belong, Paula Andrews finally finds her niche in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Her soap and candle shop flourishes, and her friendship with the Papadopoulos family gives her the love and support she never got from her own family. The only thing missing is a romance-or in the grand hopes of the Papadopoulos family, a proper marriage. Preferably with Nick, their favorite son, currently serving in the Air Force. Paula, however, has doubts. After all, he's been gone a long time and loves flying. Their lives have grown apart. Would he still feel anything for her? When Nick comes home on leave, sparks fly, and not just with Paula. Nick's father wants him home, helping with the family sponge-diving business. His mother wants him back in the family, back in church. Nick just wants Paula . . . and the Air Force. So who's going to give in first? And what will it mean for their love and future?
Emmalyn Ross never thought a person could feel this alone. Sustaining a marriage with a man who's not by her side is no easy task, especially since her husband currently resides behind impenetrable prison walls. His actions stole her heart's desire and gave their relationship a court-mandated five-year time-out. What didn't fall apart that night fell apart in the intervening years. Now, on a self-imposed exile to Madeline Island--one of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior--Emmalyn starts rehabbing an old hunting cottage they'd purchased when life made sense. Restoring it may put a roof over her head, but a home needs more than a roof and walls, just as a marriage needs more than vows and a license. With only a handful of months before her husband is released, Emmalyn must figure out if and how they can ever be a couple again. And his silence isn't helping.
Jayne Dennagee has spent her life running from the "doctor death" legacy of her father. His Kervorkian-copycat methods of euthanasia ruined her childhood, covering it in shame. She won't let him steal her future, too. After changing her name to Becka, she assumes a new life and new job caring for the ailing mother of a handsome young businessman, Isaac Hughes. Becka struggles to sort out her feelings for her new boss just as her patient passes away under unusual circumstances. Suddenly, her past catches up with her and the unnerving details of her heritage make Becka look like a murder suspect. Worse, all sense of home and all hope for love vanish. Even if she could clear her name, a phone call from prison wraps a suffocating shroud around her heart. Her father is out--and he needs her help. Can Becka open her new life to the man who has prematurely taken so many? Or will her father's legacy make it impossible to open her heart at all?
Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn't know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy's listening ear until the day she suspects Anna's tall tales are not the ramblings of dementia. They're fragments of Anna's disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can't resist tugging, Ivy records Anna's memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman's emotion-packed, grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy's answer buried in Anna's past? Becky, Ivy, Anna--three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.
Finalist - 2011 Carol Award and 2010 RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award When Libby's husband Greg fails to return from a two-week canoe trip to the Canadian wilderness, the authorities soon write off his disappearance as an unhappy husband's escape from an empty marriage and unrewarding career. Their marriage might have survived if their daughter Lacey hadn't died . . . and if Greg hadn't been responsible. Libby enlists the aid of her wilderness savvy father-in-law and her faith-walking best friend to help her search for clues to her husband's disappearance . . . if for no other reason than to free her to move on. What the trio discovers in the search upends Libby's presumptions about her husband and rearranges her faith.
Passed over for promotion and dumped by her boyfriend, Nina O'Malley is further frustrated when her editor assigns her one of the "soft" stories she despises--covering a gala benefit supporting the AIDS Memorial Quilt. More determined than ever to prove she deserves a promotion to the NY office, Nina decides to write a series featuring a local quilting group raising money for AIDs research. At the event, she runs into her high school nemesis: Greg is a widower and the adoptive father of Jazarah, an HIV positive girl from Ethiopia. Unlike Nina, Greg has faith in a loving God, and he trusts in God's plan for his life. Greg and Nina grow closer, and as Nina interviews the quilt families, she begins to question the choices she has made and her lack of faith. Nina suddenly finds herself facing two possible dreams, two paths for her life.
Without warning, Elle Butler's 15-year-old secret-named Faith--shows up on her doorstep. Abandoned by her adoptive mother, Faith sets off a chain reaction that threatens to destroy the fragile balance of Elle's life with her husband, Langdon, who is campaigning for State Representative. Already damaged by the stress of his campaign, their marriage is fractured even more when Elle reveals that not only did she give up a baby for adoption, but that the child is Langdon's. Faith is the daughter he never knew he had. As the three battle the gauntlet of challenges brought on by their unplanned reunion, they carefully navigate the watchful eyes of an unforgiving political public. Trying to forge her way back to her husband, Elle runs into the God she thought had abandoned her. And when Faith's adoptive father returns, Elle and Langdon learn true selflessness in helping Faith finally find her way home.
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