If you recall I mentioned in my Ten Points to Consider Before signing a Book Contract that I read books from the publishing house before signing. Today I’d like to introduce you to the rest of the novels in the Smitten Imprint that share space my novel Secrets & Charades. Because I adore historical fiction I continued to read the rest of the Smitten imprints even after I was contracted. Reading all the novels helps me understand the imprint better. I am more aware of what might be of interest in the future. I have a better idea who I want to follow and interview. Yeah, I’m a fan, not just a reader. The rest of this post is showcasing these delightful stories.
This first novel In A Pirates Debt, by Elva Cobb Martin, has a wonderful setting of the Barbary Coast in 1700s Colonial times. Haven’t seen this setting in an Inspirational romance before. Lots of swashbuckling sword fights, explosions and privateering. Not to mention a strong damsel in distress.
Saving her can land him in a hangman’s noose at low tide in Charles Town Harbor. Repaying her debt to him will consign her to a life worse than death.
When confronted with a forced marriage, Travay Allston flees her stepfather’s Jamaica plantation and dives into the sea. Death would be preferable to life with Sir Roger Poole, a drinking, gambling, scoundrel whose advances make her skin crawl.
Lucas sails the high seas as the dreaded Captain Bloodstone. He is on a quest to find his mother, a woman last seen clapped in irons by the Spanish. As his ship slips past Jamaica, he spies a young woman plunge into the sea. A prize of such beauty must be saved and Lucas dives in to rescue her. The last thing Lucas needs is to get involved with Travay, a childhood friend who caused him nothing but trouble. Especially now that she’s become a stubborn, alluring young woman.
Lucas delivers Travay to her aunt in Charles Town and washes his hands of the affair. Or so he thinks. But when Sir Roger shows up demanding that Travay marry him or face the wrath of Charles Town’s newest council member, Lucas feels that familiar boyhood tug on his heart. Will this wanted pirate of the crown risk his life to save Travay a second time? Betrothed to a man she hates, will Travay repay her debt to a pirate by marrying Sir Roger in exchange for his promise to pardon Lucas? And if she does, will such a rascal keep his word? Falling in love with the pirate was never part of her plan …
I’m listing them by dates.
This 1770 novel A Heart Set Free by Janet S Grunst focuses on the subject of indentured servants. The truth- ugly indeed. Love the premise and the historical realism. Winning an award is one of the things I list as a consideration in the ten points post.
2017 Selah Awards Winner for Historical Romance
In 1770, Heather Douglas is desperate to escape a brewing scandal in her native Scotland. Penniless and hoping for a fresh start far away, she signs a seven-year indenture and boards a British merchant vessel headed to Virginia.
Widowed planter Matthew Stewart needs someone to help raise his two young children. The tall blond standing on the Alexandria quay doesn’t look like much after her harrowing sea voyage, but there’s a refinement about her that her filthy clothing cannot hide. Could God be leading him to take this unknown indentured servant as his wife?
When Matthew purchases Heather’s indenture, marries her, and takes her to his farm, she is faced with new and constant challenges. And Matthew wonders if they can ever bridge their differences and make a life together.
But in the Virginia countryside, Heather begins her greatest journey, one of self-discovery and of maturing faith. Here, she discovers that her emotional and spiritual scars bind her far more than her indenture . . . and love will finally set her heart free.
Saratoga Letters, by Elaine Cooper takes you between two worlds, the Revelotionary War and modern day. As you can see it was considered for an award. Thorough research makes this novel exceptional.
2017 Selah Awards Finalist
It is 1777. The Battle of Saratoga, a turning point of the Revolutionary War, encourages the American Continental Army with their first great victory. But there seems little to celebrate for one patriotic woman forced to nurse wounded British soldiers right in their war camp. Thrust into deception by a cruel Loyalist uncle, Abigail lies in order to survive, all the while dealing with doubts that challenge her faith.
Two hundred years later, on the anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga, thousands arrive from Europe and the United States to celebrate the event—including descendants from the war. One young American, Abby, meets the offspring of a British soldier. When she is threatened, Abby turns to the only person she knows at the event—her British ally. Can she trust him with her life? Or will he betray her in the same way loyalist spies betrayed her ancestors? Perhaps letters from long ago will reveal the truth.
The Planter’s Daughter by Michelle Shocklee is Pre-Civil War. Again I love the honest portrayal of life on a plantation and the struggle for the characters to realize slavery is horrible.
Adella Rose Ellis knows her father has plans for her future, but she longs for the freedom to forge her own destiny. When the son of Luther Ellis’s longtime friend arrives on the plantation to work as the new overseer, Adella can’t help but fall for his charm and captivating hazel eyes. But a surprise betrothal to an older man, followed by a devastating revelation, forces Adella to choose the path that will either save her family’s future or endanger the lives of the people most dear to her heart.
Seth Brantley never wanted to be an overseer. After a runaway slave shot him, ending his career as a Texas Ranger and leaving him with a painful limp, a job on the plantation owned by his father’s friend is just what he needs to bide his time before heading to Oregon where a man can start over. What he hadn’t bargained on was falling in love with the planter’s daughter or finding that everything he once believed about Negroes wasn’t true. Amid secrets unraveling and the hatching of a dangerous plan, Seth must become the very thing he’d spent the past four years chasing down: an outlaw.
A Rebel In My House By Sandra Merville Hart is set during on of the hardest fought battles of the Civil War, Gettysburg. Lots of historical detail adds to the realism of the setting.
Sarah Hubbard makes her living as a seamstress in her solitary home beside Willoughby Run, a creek near Gettysburg. Her loyalties are firmly on the side of the North so when Confederate soldier, Jesse Mitchell, seeks refuge at her home she cautiously agrees to help him.
Jesse promised his sister-in-law to bring her husband, Jonas, home safely. With all the death he’s witnessed fighting for “The Cause,” protecting Jonas has become a matter of honor. He is prepared to die for his brother and his country. He appreciates his luck in finding a caring woman behind enemy lines.
When Union soldiers spill onto their property, Sarah’s compassionate decision to conceal Jesse’s presence in her home leads to more hardships than she can imagine.
More than borders separate the couple. Can a Southern soldier and a Northern seamstress overcome the bitterness of loss and find the love amidst the horrors of war?
In keeping with the timeline let me offer my novel, Secrets & Charades set on a ranch in 1872. Post-war trauma and lots of other secrets pepper this plot. Loved all the research to bring these characters to life. I feel honored to be part of the quality authors published in the Smitten Imprint.
Jake Marcum’s busy ranch leaves him no time for courting, and his wounded heart has no place for love. When battlefield nightmares disturb his peace and his tomboy niece, Juliet, needs taming, somehow a mail-order bride seems like a logical solution.
Dr. Evangeline Olson has no idea her niece is writing to a rancher on her behalf, and she sure isn’t interested in abandoning her medical practice for a stranger. But when an inheritance threatens to reveal a long-buried secret, she travels west to become Jake’s wife.
Jake soon realizes Evangeline is more than he bargained for, especially when her arrival causes a stir in the community. As the two try to find their way in a marriage of convenience, their fragile relationship is further tested by cattle rustling and kidnapping. Can their hearts overcome past hurts to create a real marriage?
Secrets & Wishes by Kathleen Rouser is a turn of the century romance. Pharmacist as a profession and the pharmacy were new in the early 1900s. This is a new offering with Smitten and the characters are well-crafted and the setting so believable.
Stone Creek, Michigan, April, 1901 Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper clash after their sons collide in a fistfight. Both widowed, they’re each doing their best as single-parents. Outgoing Maggie has dreams for a home of her own and a business to provide for her son as she searches for God’s path for her life as a widow. Reserved Thomas struggles to establish his new pharmacy and take care of his four rambunctious children, while wondering how a loving God could take his beloved wife.
When Thomas becomes deathly ill, Maggie is recruited to nurse him back to health. Taking the children in hand, as well, is more than she bargained for, but she is drawn to help the grieving family. Both nurse and patient find themselves drawn to each other but promptly deny their feelings.
A baking contest sponsored by the Silver Leaf Flour Company brings former beau, Giles Prescott, back into Maggie’s life. When Giles offers Maggie a position at their test kitchen in Chicago, he hints that, along with assuring her a good job, it will allow them to possibly rekindle their relationship.
But then a charlatan comes to town, and tragedy soon follows. Maggie and Thomas discover the miracle potions he hawks aren’t so harmless when an epidemic hits Stone Creek. Thomas and Maggie realize they must work together to save lives.
Maggie finds herself caught up in battles within and without—the battle to help the townsfolk in the midst of illness and chicanery, and the battle to know which man—Thomas or Giles—deserves to win her heart.
This final offering You’re the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo takes place during prohibition. The research was spot on. The mysterious twists made this an award winning gem.
Winner of the 2017 ACFW Carol Award for Debut Novel
Winner of the 2016 Grace Award for Women’s Fiction
2017 Selah Awards Nominee
In 1928, Chicago rocks to the rhythm of the Jazz Age, and Prohibition is in full swing. Small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has sworn that coffee’s the strongest drink that will pass her lips. But her quiet, orderly life turns topsy-turvy when she spots her high school sweetheart–presumed killed in the Great War–alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs.
Although the stranger insists he’s not who she thinks he is, Marjorie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. To the dismay of her fiancé and family, she moves to the city and takes a job at a department store so she can spy on him. Meanwhile, the glittering world of her roommate, Dot, begins to look awfully enticing–especially when the object of her obsession seems to be part of that world. Is it really so terrible to bob her hair and shorten her skirt? To visit a speakeasy? Just for a cup of coffee, of course.
But what about her scruples? What about the successful young doctor to whom she’s engaged, who keeps begging her to come back home where she belongs? And what, exactly, is going on at the store’s loading dock so late at night?
Amid a whirlwind of trials and temptations, Marjorie must make a choice. Will the mystery man prove to be the cream in her coffee–the missing ingredient to the life she yearns for? Or will he leave only bitterness in her heart?
I’m confident my novel is at a great house. These stories are so well written you can’t go wrong. If you enjoy historical romance or historical settings in your novels they are available at lpc.
You can find them on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback and e-book. Thanks for indulging me as I shared some wonderful books from my fellow-authors with Smitten. There are more coming and I can’t wait to read them.
Who are some authors you love to follow and why?