From author Janis Jakes


When my eldest daughter researched our family ancestry, she learned of an aunt in the 1800s who’d died, leaving behind a husband and several children. The deceased woman’s husband then married her younger sister, who raised the small children as her own.


I couldn’t help but wonder: what was their marriage like?


It was a different time in our country’s history. There were few orphanages, and not all of those were humane. Some orphaned children went to live with relatives, while others became indentured servants. Others roamed the streets as beggars and survived at the mercy of strangers.


In A Rose in Winter, Lucy’s love for her neighbor and friend compels her to care for the woman’s three small children following an untimely death. The fact she doesn’t get along with her friend’s husband is set aside for the greater good. It is a story rife with conflict from the onset—two neighbors who aren’t very neighborly come together to raise children they both love.


The more I wrote, the more I admired Lucy. She could’ve walked away. The opportunity was there. She could’ve let grief consume her. Many would have used that as an excuse. She could’ve become bitter and resentful at her lot in life. While she does struggle against such feelings, they flee as she regains her spiritual footing.


Through it all, Lucy experiences a greater level of trust in the Lord that ultimately transforms her heart and the heart of her husband. It is an “Only God” story, and I’m thankful to be part of the characters’ journey into the overwhelming goodness of the Father’s grace.


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Lucy and Elton are neighbors—but not very neighborly…

He's jealous of his wife's friendship with Lucy, and she thinks he's an overbearing ruffian, but when her friend suddenly dies, Lucy agrees to marry Elton—but only for the sake of the children. Lucy is still grieving her own loss and is steadfast in her faith, while Elton is an unbeliever, bitter over his wife's death and the murder of his parents by natives.

When Elton is elected by Mossy Ridge residents to oversee the native relocation program, he finds himself protecting those he once despised. With Lucy's help, he uncovers a secret plot to incite violence against the natives, and takes a journey toward forgiveness that leads him to the Lord.

Just when Lucy dares to love again, Elton makes a confession that breaks her heart. Will love cause him to stay? Or, cause him to go?

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