A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs

This historical romance is set in Stirling, Scotland, during Christmas of 1894.

Meg Campbell should never have come home for Christmas. She missed her parents, but her brother, Alan, always managed to poison her visits with his bitter remarks. On Christmas Eve, she couldn’t leave Stirling quickly enough.

Gordon Shaw’s business in Stirling had been accomplished without anyone recognizing him as the one who’d caused an accident a dozen years ago that crippled a boy, Alan Campbell. Gordon couldn’t leave Stirling quickly enough.

A chance meeting on a train might have ended there—except for the falling snow that created its own problems.

I loved this multi-layered story with relatable, wounded characters. Higgs reaches deeply to touch their hearts and, in doing so, touches the hearts of readers.

Well-written. Moving. This one will stay with you.

Recommend!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Christianbook.com

 

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Lighthouses in the Great Lakes

Today’s post was written by fellow writer, editor, and friend, Pegg Thomas. Welcome back to Historical Nibbles, Pegg! 

The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides collection was my baby from the start. I wanted to offer Barbour Publishing a collection that showcased our beautiful Great Lakes and honored the memory of the men and women who pioneered this area.

Lighthouses—and the men and women who manned them—were essential to both bringing people and supplies into this vast wilderness and shipping valuable resources out to a growing nation. The Great Lakes are awe-inspiring in many ways, inland seas of fresh water teeming with fish and surrounded by dazzling sand dunes and towering forests. They were also treacherous. Violent storms, hidden shoals, and thick fogs made travel by boat dangerous. The lighthouses, often situated in remote, isolated areas, were literally the saving grace for many a crew.

Lighthouse keepers and their families had to be self-sufficient and hardy people. Often days of travel away from the nearest town, they had to raise, hunt, or catch much of their own food. Most did not winter at the lighthouse, but some did. Those also had to preserve enough to see them through the long, dark months of the year.

Aside from keeping the lights burning, lighthouse keepers also assisted in rescue missions, with or without the help of a life-saving station. Many heroic stories have survived through the years of men and women who risked their own lives to save those wrecked on the lakes.

The rest of the growing nation desperately needed the raw materials of iron, copper, and other metals of this area. Steel mills back east needed it to turn out hundreds of thousands of rails the country needed for the railway system that was spanning from coast to coast. The lumber was needed for building cities and homes. The area I currently live in was lumbered off in 1871 and 1872 to rebuild Chicago after the great fire.

I’m proud to be a part of this collection that shares these historical romances inspired by the people who pioneered our northern shores.

-Pegg Thomas

Amazon

Blurb:

Anna’s dream of running the lighthouse was difficult enough to achieve, but then a Russian stowaway was left on the island, and that complicated everything.

About Pegg:

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls.

Pegg’s blog

An Unlikely Hero by Mary Davis

The Pony Express Romance Collection

BethAnn fears for the safety of her and her younger sister, Molly, when they ride into a Pony Express Station. She loses sight of her sister while peering on the trail behind them. Had they been followed?

Fox rushes in to save Molly from pounding hooves, earning BethAnn’s gratitude and attention.

Fox knows the stagecoach passengers will only stay at the station overnight. He longs to stay and meet Molly’s beautiful sister but duty calls. The pony express rider dashes away on his next ride with a heavy heart.

This story grabbed my attention immediately and didn’t let go. The likeable characters had me pulling for them. I kept reaching for the book to find out what happened next.

Loved it! Well-written story.

Looking forward to reading other books by this author!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Christianbook.com

Within the Candle’s Glow by Karen Campbell Prough

Ella Dessa’s Story Series, Book 2

My interest was captured on the first page.

Ella Dessa is near seventeen now and it was time Jim McKnapp realized it. She’s loved him from the age of twelve but will he—or any man—ever love her enough to see beyond her scars?

Samuel McKnapp is Ella Dessa’s best friend but longs to be more. He’s seen the way she looks at his older brother, Jim.

Jim loves Ella Dessa. He’s aware that Samuel loves her, too. The two of them are closer in age and the best of friends. Should he walk away?

But Ella Dessa has also caught the eye of a third man—this one not so innocent.

Set in 1840, this story captivated me from beginning to end. I kept reaching for the novel even when I had other things to do. The way the characters talk and think feels authentic to the time and place. I loved it.

Recommend!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas   – Use coupon code SandraMHart for a 20% discount on Lighthouse Publishing books!

 

 

Battle at Fort Michilimackinac

Today’s post was written by talented editor and author, Pegg Thomas. The location of her book is a place I’ve longed to visit. Reading and loving one of her stories,  Embattled Hearts, has made me look forward to reading this newest novella.  Welcome to Historical Nibbles, Pegg!

 First, let me help you pronounce that fort, it’s mish-ee-lee-mack-in-aw. Right. Exactly how it’s spelled.

This fort sits at the top of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, at the point where the two peninsulas are the closest. It’s called the Straits of Mackinac and today is spanned by the very impressive 5-mile-long Mackinac Bridge. The fort has been rebuilt on its original foundation and is the longest ongoing archeological dig in the United States. It’s open for tourists and staffed with a good crew of reenactors to make the experience memorable.

My May release, Her Redcoat, which is part of The Backcountry Brides collection, takes place here in 1763 during the Indian uprising, Pontiac’s Rebellion. While Pontiac organized multiple tribes and led the uprising against Fort Detroit, other Indians who supported him also attacked Fort Pitt and Fort Niagara. Those major forts stood against the attacks, while eight smaller forts were overrun. Including Fort Michilimackinac.

Pontiac and his followers had been used to the level-handed relationship they’d built with the French fur traders. When the British ousted the French and moved into their forts, the Indians rebelled against the arrogant and heavy-handed methods of the British.

In the background of my story is the history of Fort Michilimackinac. The British commander with his forty-some troops was vastly outnumbered by upwards of five hundred warriors. But in his full British arrogance, the commander could not see the danger all around him. He could not believe that savages—as he thought of them—could best the mightiest military in the world.

They did.

The results were devastating. Most of the regular soldiers were slaughtered. The officers were captured and held for ransom. There was one man, a British fur trader, who escaped the attack. He wrote his first-hand account of the story which has been made into the book Attack at Michilimackinac 1763. If you’re interested in this time period and the unrest in the backcountry of Britain’s American colonies, you’ll enjoy this book.

-Pegg Thomas

Bio:

Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls.

Her Redcoat teaser:

Laurette Pettigrew grew up in the northern frontier. Henry Bedlow arrived against his will. Their chance meeting changes everything. Will a deadly clash of cultures keep them from finding happiness?

Buy her book on Amazon or Christianbook.com.

Subscribe to Pegg’s Newsletter.

Enter Pegg’s Giveaway for this beautiful shawl by subscribing to her newsletter!

Pegg gives away one of her signature handspun, handknit, wool shawls with the release of each new story. To celebrate the release of Her Redcoat, Pegg is giving away the shawl Northern Lilacs. The Straits of Mackinac are known for their abundance of lilacs each spring and this shawl showcases their varied and gorgeous colors. Everyone who subscribes to Pegg’s newsletter is automatically entered in the drawing.

 

Embattled Hearts by Pegg Thomas

The Pony Express Romance Collection

Alannah Fagan and her brother, Conn, are running for their lives. Still grieving the recent death of her mother, Alanna can’t take another beating from her stepfather.

Stewart McCann works at a relay station on the Pony Express route, a lonely job in the middle of nowhere. When he discovers Alanna and Conn hiding, he knows from the bruises on her face and the fear in her eyes that helping them comes with a cost.

The story pulled me in from the first paragraph. I had to keep coming back to the book to find out what happened next. I felt like I was there on the lonesome Pony Express station with the characters. The story moves quickly as danger escalates. Well-written story!

Looking forward to reading other books by this author!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Christianbook.com

You’re the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

A Roaring Twenties Novel

This novel drew me in immediately.

Marjorie Corrigan still mourns that Jack, her first love, didn’t come home from the war. Listed as missing, she still hopes to see him again after ten years.

Yet, time marches on, and she agrees to marry a successful young doctor. With the wedding just months away, she starts having fainting spells that send her to Chicago for medical testing.

Then she spots a man at the train station who looks just like Jack.

This novel is a page turner. Marjorie makes many decisions that lead the small-town girl down an unfamiliar path. I kept reaching for this novel to find out what happened next. Sometimes I wanted to shake her and say, “Wake up!”

Written in first person, characters struggle with losing themselves in the pain and heartache. It tugged at my heart.

This is the first book in a series. I also read and enjoyed the second novel,  Ain’t Misbehavin’.

Recommend!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas:  https://www.shoplpc.com/product/youre-the-cream-in-my-coffee/

– Use coupon code SandraMHart for a 20% discount on Lighthouse Publishing books!

 

 

 

 

Saratoga Letters by Elaine Marie Cooper

I enjoyed this novel!

This is an unusual story. It begins in the Revolutionary Battle of Saratoga. Abigail is patriotic to the colonies in 1777. The recent death of her father leaves her at the mercy of a cruel uncle who forces her to nurse wounded British soldiers.

William Carpenter is one of the British soldiers. The officer falls in love with his beautiful nurse who needs his protection.

The second half of the story is set 200 years later. Abby Carpenter travels to Saratoga for the 200th anniversary celebration of the battle where her ancestor fought.

Constable Ian Thacker has flown from his home in England to honor his ancestor who fought in the battle. Though the pair are historically on opposite sides, they find much in common. Abby finds she needs Ian’s protection from those who mean her harm.

I loved this story. The author has intricately woven the two stories together across the centuries in a fascinating way.

Recommend!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas  – Use coupon code SandraMHart for a 20% discount on Lighthouse Publishing books!

Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

Five women share an apartment to save expenses in the 1950s. They are each so busy that they barely know each other—that makes the rare treat of a free Saturday all the more special.

The roommates enjoy a fun day together. Little do they know that one spontaneous decision they all make that day will bind them for life.

The five independent women are very different from each other. They choose different paths yet all want to—eventually—find the man of their dreams.

I was delighted to discover in the “A Note from the Author” that one of the girl’s stories was basically true with parts fictionalized.

Knowing that, I leave it to you, the next reader, to try to figure out which romance is based on truth. Read the story and then read the author’s note.

This novel is a page-turner!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Christianbook.com

Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Jennifer Lamont Leo

This novel captured my interest immediately.

Dot Rodgers’ desire for a singing career previously led her to a job in a speakeasy where she dated the owner. Since she narrowly escaped jail, Dot doesn’t want that life anymore. She’s been dating her roommate’s brother, Charlie, but he doesn’t like her friends.

Charlie loves Dot yet a party with her friends shows him how stodgy and boring she must view him when compared to the glamorous crowd.

Neither feels worthy of the other, leading to twists and turns that are realistic to life and to the Roaring Twenties.

This novel is a page turner. I loved learning more about the time period. The characters are real with honest struggles and heartaches. It tugged at my heart.

This is the second book in a series. I also read and enjoyed the first novel,  You’re the Cream in My Coffee.

Recommend!

-Sandra Merville Hart

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas   – Use coupon code SandraMHart for a 20% discount on Lighthouse Publishing books!