Excerpt Two From Loving Luther Book


  Genre: Christian Historical Romance 
Publisher: Tyndale House
Date of Publication: September 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 432
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Germany, 1505
In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.
Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows–a choice more practical than pious–but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.


Praise for Loving Luther:

[Pittman] pens an exquisite tale, capturing the emotions of a nun grappling with the faith she’s always known vs. a new and unfamiliar freedom in faith.  Simmering with tension of Katharina’s discontent and longings, the novel unveils a slow morphing that follows Katharina’s own personal transformation, from reverence to spirited determination in choosing her own way in the world. — Booklist
Loving Luther is a moving and rich historical romance based on Luther’s relationship with his wife Katharina.  In addition, it shows how their marriage was actually significant to the Lutheran faith.  Instead of dwelling on the couple’s courtship, the story goes deep into the roots of the Reformation.  Luther and Katharina interrogate their faith, living out their convictions in a way that is both inspiring and profoundly human.  Loving Luther has depth, and it is unexpectedly touching.  Katharina and Luther, in search of a happy ending, find one another.  Their love, Pittman shows, really did change the world. — Foreword Magazine
A historical novel with characters who are brave, strong and willing to take chances in times of persecution.  The plot is partially based on the teachings of Martin Luther and the many lives he changed, some for the better, some for the worse.  Pittman is a talented author who touches on topics that have been debated over the decades and are still being talked about today. — Romantic Times Reviews

Excerpt from Loving Luther

By Allison Pittman

Benedictine Monastery, Brehna 1505-1509

Chapter 1, Part 2


Continued from the Lone Star Book Blog Tours 10/2/2017 tour stop.

I knew, instantly, how I should answer. Thinking back to our small, dark home, with rooms shut away to ward off the chill. My three older brothers crowded around the table, squabbling for the last bowl of stew, and taking mine when there wasn’t enough. Now, with me gone, there would be more for everybody else. Not enough, but more. Maybe the new mama would smile a bit and not stomp through the kitchen rattling pots like a thunderstorm. Maybe my brothers would stop stealing bread and making their papa lie to the red-faced baker when he came pounding on the door. There would be one less body to soak up the heat from the fire, and more space in the crowded bed.

I stood up straight and wiped my nose on my sleeve. “I’m ready now, Papa.” “That’s my good girl.”

He kissed my forehead, my cheeks, then briefly, my lips. One kiss, he said, for each of my brothers, and one final from Mother watching from heaven. The nun kept her own silent watch until the end, when Papa handed me the small bundle he’d been carrying over his shoulder for the last mile of our walk.

“No.” The sister’s sturdy hand stretched from within the long black sleeve. “She comes with nothing.”

“Please, Sister—”

“Sister Odile, reverend mother of the convent of Brehna.”

“It’s just a nightcap,” Papa said, not mentioning that it was the cap Mama—my mama—had stitched with small purple flowers. “And clean stockings and an apron.”

“Nothing.” Sister Odile tightened her grip and dragged me to her side.

Head low, Papa shouldered the bag once again, saying, “As it should be, I suppose.”

I noticed the quiver in his chin and knew it was one of those times when I would have to be strong in his place. I needed to stand straighter, fix my eyes above, and set my mind in obedience. A pinpoint of cold pierced my shoulder where the gold band on Sister Odile’s finger touched my flesh. Ignoring the growing grayness of the sky and the imminent demise of Papa’s resolve, I took a deep, cleansing breath.

“You should start for home, Papa. It will be dark soon.”

“Yes,” he said. And that was all. In the next instant, I was turned toward the gate, then marched through it. Sister Odile’s robes flapped against her, an irregular rhythm in the growing wind. For all I knew, Papa remained behind the iron bars, watching every step. Counting them, maybe, as I did. I listened for his voice, waiting for him to call me back, but if he did, the words were lost to the crunching of the stones beneath Sister Odile’s bearlike feet. I myself felt each one through the thin, patched leather of my shoes. When we came to a turn in the path, one sharp enough to afford a glance out of the corner of my eye, I saw the gate, with Papa nowhere to be found.

Then came the rush of tears.

“Stop that, now.”

To emphasize her command, Sister Odile stopped in the middle of the path, leaving me no choice but to do the same. I scrunched my face, calculating the distance between the looming church and the empty gate. Both were within a few easy, running steps. And I was fast—faster than any other girl on my street, and some of the boys, too. I could outrun my brothers when I needed to avoid one of their senseless poundings, and I could cover the distance from our front door to the top of the street before Papa could finish calling out my name in the evenings when he came home before dark. In an instant I could be free, back at the gate, squeezed through, and in Papa’s arms before the nun would even realize I’d escaped. Or I could fly, straight and fast, right up the path to the looming church. Surely Sister Odile’s cloddish feet and flapping sleeves would make her lag in pursuit. The height and breadth of the outer stone walls promised a labyrinth of dark corridors and twisting halls within. I could run away, hide away, lose myself in the shadows until morning, when the clouds might disperse and reveal a shining sun to direct me home.

Labyrinth. It was a word Papa taught me, reading from a big book of ancient stories. A monster lived in its midst— half man, half bull. Minotaur. I mouthed the word, feeling the dryness of my chapped lips at the silent m, and reached a tentative hand out to Sister Odile’s skirt, wondering if the voluminous fabric might not be hiding such a creature within.

“Hör auf.” Sister Odile slapped my hand away and resumed our journey, doing nothing to allay my fear that I might well be in the custody of a monster. The size of the feet alone promised supernatural proportions, and now the woman’s breath came in snorts and puffs like some great-chested beast.

“You want to run, don’t you, girl?”

“No.” The lie didn’t bother me one bit.

Sister Odile let out a laugh deep enough to lift the cross off her frock. “Back out the gate, wouldn’t you? And what if I told you to go ahead? You’re little enough to squeeze right through, aren’t you? You want to chase down your papa? Do you even know which way he went? Up the road or down?”

Every word in every question climbed a scale, ending in a high, gasping wheeze.

“If I did run, you’d never catch me. I’d disappear like a shadow.” It’s what I did at home, on nights when Papa wasn’t there. I’d fold myself into the corners, away from the reach of the new mama’s spoon.

“Not even a shadow can escape the wolves,” Sister Odile said, her grip softening a little. “And hear me when I tell you this, my girl. That is all that waits for you outside these walls. Wolves ready to tear little girls into scraps for their pups.”

This, I knew, held some truth, as Papa had often said the same thing. Still, my trust faltered. “And what is inside the walls?”

Sister Odile laughed again, but this time the sound rumbled in her throat, like the comfort of long-off thunder. “Great mysteries and secrets. The kind that most little girls will never learn.”

“Like in books?”

“In the greatest book of all. And sacred language.” Our steps fell into a common pace, with mine trotting two to every one of Sister Odile’s.

“I can read a little already,” I said, my words warm with pride. “Papa taught me. I can read better than my brother, and he’s eleven.”

“Then your father has done a very good and unselfish thing, allowing you to come here. Let your Dummkopf brother fend for himself.”

I stopped my laughter with the back of my hand. Fabian was an idiot, by all measures. Cruel and thick and lazy. He was the closest to me in age, and therefore the most likely to deliver abuse. Clemens was thirteen, and Hans a full-grown man, almost, and I wondered if they would even notice my absence. Our sister, Maria, had been gone for nearly a year, married to a solicitor’s clerk, and had rarely been mentioned since.

“You can find peace here,” Sister Odile was saying, “because we work to keep the darkness of the world away.”

We’d come to a heavy wooden door with an iron ring fastened so high, Sister Odile had to stretch up on her toes to reach it. Thud. Thud. Thud.

Click to continue reading the rest of Chapter One!

Allison Pittman is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed novels and a three-time Christy finalist—twice for her Sister Wife series and once for All for a Story from her take on the Roaring Twenties. She lives near San Antonio, Texas, blissfully sharing an empty nest with her husband, Mike.
October 2-October 11, 2017


Author Video #1
Excerpt, Part 1
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Excerpt, Part 2
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