Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher



MY REVIEW:

When pastor Adair felt called by God to leave his Virginia home to minister to the western town of Grand Couer in the Idaho territory, his loving and obedient daughter accompanied him. Unhappy with leaving the comfortable and refined life she was accustomed to in her lifelong home, Shannon had some difficulty adjusting to the rough and rowdy customs of her new home and also had difficulty hiding her negative attitude about it. Matthew Dubois, a Wells Fargo stagecoach driver, thrives on the adrenaline from driving at top speed. He cannot imagine any other profession and realizes that there is no place for a wife or children in the life he has chosen. When his widowed sister and her young son move in with him so that she can recover from an illness, he gradually becomes attached to them and to Shannon who has stepped in to help care for his sister who is more seriously ill than he believed.

As usual, Robin Lee Hatcher has penned a story that kept me turning the pages until I reached the end. I enjoyed reading about Shannon’s  personal growth and her spiritual journey and watching as Matthew transformed from an independent and solitary soul to a loving family man. Alice’s faith in the midst of her suffering was inspiring and her son Todd was adorable. With a well paced plot and a storyline that included interesting historical facts pertinent to the location and era, “Heart of Gold” also included plenty of action, suspense, humor, a satisfying romance, and at least one moving scene that called for a box of tissues close at hand. A mystery involving stagecoach robberies and their connection to the war added an extra dimension to the story. I also want to say that the cover art for this book is just gorgeous. I felt like it expressed the them of the book perfectly.

I thoroughly enjoyed “Heart of Gold” and would recommend it to all who enjoy historical romance novels. I sincerely hope that it will be the first of a series because I hated for it to end.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publisher’s BookSneeze program.



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Against Shannon’s wishes, love stakes its claim in her heart. Will she discover treasure or treachery?

When Shannon Adair accompanies her minister father to the western gold rush town of Grand Coeur, she’s certain she’ll never be happy away from her beloved Virginia, even though the South is still gripped in civil war.

Wells Fargo driver Matthew Dubois isn’t sure the lovely Shannon belongs in Idaho Territory either, but he is a desperate man. His widowed sister is dying and leaving her young son, Todd, in his care. Matthew wants to return to driving coach for the express company soon—so he’ll have to find a wife to look after the boy when he’s away.

Shannon is determined not to lose her heart to a man who is neither a Southerner nor a gentleman. But love stakes its claim. Now, will her heart survive learning the truth behind the courtship?

Read an excerpt from “Heart of Gold” HERE.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She discovered her vocation after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 60 novels.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. Several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying plays under the stars. She makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet, the high-maintenance Papillon, and Princess Pinky, the kitten who currently terrorizes the household.

Learn more about Robin and her books on her WEBSITE.

Chasing Lilacs by Carla Stewart

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Chasing Lilacs

FaithWords (June 17, 2010)

by
Carla Stewart


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carla Stewart’s writing reflects her passion for times gone by. She believed in Jesus, the power of the written word, and a good cup of coffee. She’s a country girl living now in a mid-sized city with her engineering husband who just happens to be her best friend and biggest fan.She and her husband have four adult sons and delight in the adventures of their six grandchildren.

FROM CARLA:

I grew up in the Texas Panhandle with two younger sisters and loving parents. Small town school. Great neighbors. Today, those small-town, fundamental things resonate within me — the twang in people’s voices, the art of being neighborly and just being a decent human being.

Growing up, I preferred the company of books over TV and playing outdoors. I imagined myself in many different careers, but given my down-to-earth raising, I settled on nursing. I didn’t faint at the sight of blood and did well in science, so it seemed a natural choice.

I worked as a registered nurse off and on through the years, but primarily I stayed home with my four rambunctious boys and dreamed of the day when I could write the novels I loved to read. When our youngest son was in high school, I quit my job as a nursing instructor and settled in to pen my first novel. It’s been quite a journey. One I wouldn’t trade for anything.

I’m committed to writing the stories of my heart and am truly thankful to Jesus, my Savior, for allowing me this freedom. May all the glory be His.

Chasing Lilacs is her first book!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

It is the summer of 1958, and life in the small Texas community of Graham Camp should be simple and carefree. But not for twelve-year-old Sammie Tucker. Sammie has plenty of questions about her mother’s “nerve” problems. About shock treatments. About whether her mother loves her.

When her mother commits suicide and a not-so-favorite aunt arrives, Sammie has to choose who to trust with her deepest fears: Her best friend who has an opinion about everything, the mysterious kid from California whose own troubles plague him, or her round-faced neighbor with gentle advice and strong shoulders to cry on. Then there’s the elderly widower who seems nice but has his own dark past.

Trusting is one thing, but accepting the truth may be the hardest thing Sammie has ever done.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Chasing Lilacs, go HERE.

MY REVIEW:

Chasing Lilacs perfectly captures the essence of the late 1950’s, a time when children freely roamed their neighborhoods without fear. Both nostalgic and heart-wrenching, this book requires a box of tissues near at hand.

All Sammie wants is a mother who cares about her and spends time with her doing normal mother-daughter things. When her mother is hospitalized with depression and then commits suicide shortly after her release, Sammie’s emotions run the gamut from grief to anger to guilt and more. When her mother’s sister shows up to “help”, Sammie’s life becomes even more difficult. Although her friends have problems of their own, the support of Sammie’s newest friend Cly, a favorite teacher, and an elderly neighbor help her through the hard times.

Chasing Lilacs is beautifully written with characters who could step off the page. Situations and reactions are perfectly realistic and as the plot progresses, several surprises are in store. I can’t recommend Chasing Lilacs enough. I highly suggest that you pick up a copy.

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Crossing Oceans
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
(May 1, 2010)
by
Gina Holmes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gina Holmes began her career in 1998, penning articles and short stories. In 2005 she founded the influential literary blog, Novel Journey. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her husband and children in southern Virginia. To learn more about her, visit May 2010’s issue of CFOM at Interview with Gina Holmes or Novel Journey.





ABOUT THE BOOK:

Jenny Lucas swore she’d never go home again. But being told you’re dying has a way of changing things. Years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter, Isabella, must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank–toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella’s dad . . . who doesn’t yet know he has a daughter. As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love and its ability to change everything—to heal old hurts, bring new beginnings . . . even overcome the impossible. A stunning debut about love and loss from a talented new voice.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Crossing Oceans, go HERE.

Watch the Video Book Trailer:

MY REVIEW:

Beautiful but poignant story of a young woman’s return home to prepare herself for death and to secure her daughter’s future. As real life is neither all tears nor all laughter, Crossing Oceans covered the entire range of emotions including anger, grief, joy, forgiveness, and peace. Eloquently written with well rounded characterization, the book made me laugh on one page but quickly brought me to tears on another. Crossing Oceans was well worth my time and I plan to keep my eyes open for future books by Gina Holmes.