A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

About the book:

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie’s pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves–but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can’t seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Fan-favorite Rachel Fordham brings to life the dusty streets of an 1880s frontier town in this story that affirms where you come from matters far less than where you’re going.

My Thoughts:

From the very first chapter until the last word on the page I was completely invested in the characters of this story. Written with such detail and care, Rachel Fordham invites the reader to join with the characters in the story. My heart went out to Agnes, she sacrifices her own dreams for what she feels is best for those she loves. Several years later when she comes face-to-face with her past, will she make the same choices a second time?

Amid uncertainty and calamity Agnes clings to the truth that God loves her and has a plan for her life. A beautiful reminder to us all that even when things look bad, God can make a blessing out of it. God’s love for us can right any wrong!

(I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

About the Author:

Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook //

First Line Friday: Yours Truly, Thomas

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham. With engaging characters and a charming setting, this is a story you won’t want to miss. CLICK HERE to read my full review!

 

YoursTrulyThomas

Washington, DC
1883

Dear Clara,

     I lied. I told myself I had run westward for the promise of big sky, and fertile soil. But the truth is, I just ran.

Hmm…Sure makes you want to know more! What is he running from, and will he find what he’s looking for?

Click the title to snag your copy:

Yours Truly, Thomas

 

Before you rush off… be sure to stop by and check out my author interview with Susie Finkbeiner and enter the giveaway (click here)!

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham

Synopsis:

For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people’s mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more–a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn’t expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.

When Penny’s undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring–perhaps too much–for the one who wrote it.

Yours Truly, Thomas

My Thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this sweet romance. I especially loved reading the letters from Thomas and found myself cheering for Penny as the story progressed. This tender story of love, redemption and discovering God’s purpose for our lives.

Reminiscent of endearing love stories from Grace Livingstone Hill, this story is sure to wrap itself around your heart and bring a gentle smile to your face as the story unfolds in all its beauty.

With engaging characters, and a charming setting, this is a story you won’t want to miss. I highly recommend this fantastic, stand-alone story to anyone looking for a sweet romantic story to while away the hours.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

RachelFordham Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook //

Click on the title below to snag your copy:

Yours Truly, Thomas

Also from Rachel Fordham:

The Hope of Azure Springs

June 2018 – Month in Review

There have been some wonderful stories that I’ve enjoyed reading this past month! Join me as we take a look back at the bookish fun we enjoyed in June.

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Books Reviewed:

TheOrphansWish  The Orphans Wish by Melanie Dickerson

WhereTheFireFalls  Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

AmongThePoppies  Among the Poppies by J’nell Ciesielski

TheLoveLetter  The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

ADaringEscape  A Daring Escape by Tricia Goyer

MoreThanMeetsTheEye  More Than Meets the Eye by Karen Witemeyer

TheHopeOfAzureSpringsThe Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

EnduringLove  Enduring Love by Toni Shiloh

 

Author Interviews:

InterviewKarenWitemeyerKaren Witemeyer

InterviewTaraJohnson  Tara Johnson

 

Cover Reveals:

BetweenTwoShoresBetween Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

 

I’d love to hear from you:

Have you read any of the books I reviewed this month? If so, did you have a favorite?
What book(s) are you looking forward to reading in July?

 

First Line Fridays: The Hope of Azure Springs

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham! This wonderful, heart-warming story is sure to not only entertain but to also keep your attention!  I found myself invested in these characters right from the beginning! CLICK HERE to read my full review!

TheHopeOfAzureSprings

Azure Springs, Iowa 1881

               “She dead?”
     Em heard a man’s voice from somewhere above her. A strange thumping pulsed through her with each word he spoke. Her throat burned, screaming for water, but she could not cry out.

 

I hope that you get the opportunity to pick up a copy of this wonderful book to enjoy for yourselves!

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

 

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

Synopsis:

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Debut author Rachel Fordham invites historical romance readers to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where the people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

My Thoughts:

It has taken me a few days to clear the book euphoria in order to write this review. From the very first page, until the very last words at the end of the story, I found myself blissfully swept away on a current of words. Poignant and filled with emotion, this story is one that is sure to linger with you long after you’ve put the story down.

From a young age, Em has felt that she didn’t measure up, that she lacked in beauty and worthiness. She has been passed over, and flat-out ignored for so long that she doesn’t even realize her own worth. Em is an excellent story-teller and has a big heart for children. She likes to help others, she sees a need and she seeks to fill it. She doesn’t hold a grudge and is quick to forgive. Only by accepting who she is in God will she begin to find her own inner beauty.

Sheriff Caleb Reynolds is charming and outgoing. He’s your typical youngest child, seeking to please others. Caleb more than any other character in this story, grows the most. It is fun to watch his progression as he realizes that all he had thought as truth was sorely lacking. But will he realize what true beauty is before its too late?

This story has multiple layers to enjoy. Moments of laughter, and moments that will have you holding your breath and wondering what will happen next. Have a few tissues ready also, because like me, your emotions might just overflow.

I recommend this fantastic story to one and all, especially if you enjoy mid-western prairie, early american, historical romance. I give this wonderful story 5 enthusiastic stars and encourage you to pick-up a copy to enjoy!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

 

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

RachelFordham Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook //

Pre-order your copy today!

The Hope of Azure Springs

 

May 2018 – Month in Review & Giveaway

There have been some wonderful stories that I’ve enjoyed reading this past month! Join me as we take a look back at the bookish fun we enjoyed in May. Be sure to enter the giveaway before you go!

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Books Reviewed:

TheBackcountryBrides  The Backcountry Brides Collection

TogetherForever Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

SecondImpressions  Second Impressions by Pepper Basham

TheCapturedBride  The Captured Bride by Michelle Greip

Edenbrook  Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

TimelessLoveCollection  Timeless Love: Romantic stories that span the ages

AllForLove All for Love: Three Historical Romance Novellas

HerPlaceInTime  Her Place in Time by Stephenia H. McGee

EngravedOnTheHeart Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

RambleAndRoar  Rable & Roar by Catie Cordero

BountyBeyondReason Bounty Beyond Reason by Kari Trumbo

 

 

Author Interview:

RachelFordham  Rachel Fordham

 

Excerpts:

IMG_0335  Give Me Thine Heart by Andrea Boeshar

img_0361 Facade by Pepper Basham

img_0370 Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall

 

Cover Reveal:

JaneByTheBook Jane by the Book by Pepper Basham

 

 

I have a full schedule of books I’m looking forward to sharing with you in June!

 

***** GIVEAWAY *****

I am giving away 1 (one) print copy of Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson. Due to shipping cost this giveaway is only open to those with U.S mailing addresses.

Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.

Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Have you read any of the books I reviewed this month? If so, did you have a favorite?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

***** GIVEAWAY ENDED *****

Winner: Robin W.

 

img_0504

Author Interview: Rachel Fordham

Greetings reader friends! I’m super excited to have Rachel Fordham visiting with us today! I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to Rachel. Over the past few months, we’ve chatted several times. Rachel has a big heart for children, and families and she has a exceptional talent for weaving together words into a beautiful story that dances across your imagination and pulls you in.

RachelFordham Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook //

BONUS: Rachel is offering a FREE ebook; visit her webpage for more details!

For those who haven’t yet heard of Rachel’s book, The Hope of Azure Springs, let’s take a look at what this story is about.

The Hope of Azure Springs 

TheHopeOfAzureSpringsSeven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Debut author Rachel Fordham invites historical romance readers to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where the people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

CLICK HERE to add to The Hope of Azure Springs to your Goodreads List

 

Q:  Are you a coffee or tea drinker?

Rachel:  Neither. I am about as boring as they come. I prefer water and I don’t even like it too cold. I want to be able to take a huge drink and not burn or freeze my throat.

 

Q:  What is your favorite dessert?

 Rachel:  I’m currently trying to break my sugar addiction but with little success. I LOVE all treats. My favorite is anything homemade. Maybe because I like baking. I love the smells and the process. I love baking with my kids. A really well-made chocolate chip cookies are a favorite (hmmm…I might actually like the dough better).

 

Q:  What would be your dream vacation?

Rachel:  In the past, I would have said Jerusalem or Italy. Some exotic destination. The older I’ve gotten my dreams have changed a little. I’d love to go live somewhere else long enough to really know the people and help out if I could.

We do have a family goal to see all fifty states and are getting pretty close.

 

Q:  If they were to make a movie of The Hope of Azure Springs, who would you choose to play the hero & heroine?

Rachel:   That is so hard. I doubt anyone would fit with the characters I’ve created in my head. Maybe readers of this post can help.

Em is often described as plain (some townspeople call her much worse). She has stringy yellow hair. She is thin and freckled with a scar up one of her arms. That’s her physical description but we’d need to find an actor that when we first see her we don’t think much of her but then as we get to know her we realize that they are possessing true beauty. The kind that is often overlooked initially but that is pure and shines past any outer shell.

Caleb is the type of man you’d stop and stare at. He’s a sheriff and rugged with dark hair and usually a little scruff on his face. Pretty much he’s your classic heart-throb with a bit of country flair. His personality though is a man that comes across as all seriousness but underneath is a man with feelings and worries of his own.

 

 

Q:  Where did your inspiration for The Hope of Azure Springs come from?

 Rachel:   I have always had a soft spot in my heart for orphans and foster children. When I heard about the orphan trains I wanted to build a story around that. It grew from there!

 

Q:  Did you have a favorite character while writing The Hope of Azure Springs?

Rachel:   Margaret is a character that started out just being a plot device and ended up being a woman I’d love to live next door to and pick her brain for wisdom and laugh with. I adored her!

 

 

Q:  Did anything surprise you during your research for The Hope of Azure Springs?

Rachel:   When researching orphan trains I realized there were a lot of experiences. Some were beautiful stories of lost children finding homes and families. Others found homes where there was no comfort. They were neglected and abused. I tried to write a book that showed both sides of this piece of history. More than anything I realized these train riders were real people and I wanted to tell that story.

 

 

Q:  What book are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?!

Rachel:   My next book with Revell is due out in 2019. It’s not a sequel but does pass through Azure Springs so we get to revisit some of the same people (yay!). It begins at the Dead Letter Office in Washington DC. I have always loved letters and so this was not only fun to research but fun to write. What would you do with a letter that comes into your hands, speaks to your soul but isn’t meant for you?

 

Pre-order your copy today!

The Hope of Azure Springs

April 2018 – Month in Review

Spring has finally arrived here in the northern hemisphere! I’m enjoying the warmer weather and reading some outside in the sunshine. There have been some wonderful stories that I’ve enjoyed reading this past month! Join me as we take a look back at the bookish fun we enjoyed in April.

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Books Reviewed:

ThePirateBride The Pirates Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #2) by Kathleen Y’Baro

StartingFromScratch Starting From Scratch by Kate Lloyd

ALoyalHeart  A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund

TheAccidentalGuardian The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy

The Weavers Daughter  The Weaver’s Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd

AmongstTheRoses  Amongst the Roses by Meghan Gorecki

FallingForYou  Falling for You (A Bradford Sisters Romance #2)

 

Author Interviews:

2754194 Michelle Griep

Meghan Gorecki  Meghan Gorecki

 

Author Spotlight:

RachelFordham  Rachel Fordham

 

Excerpts:

img_0321 Bookishly Ever After by Sarah Monzon

IMG_0325 Teach Me to Love by Kari Trumbo

StepheniaHMcGee&Timeless The Heart of Home by Stephenia H. McGee

IMG_0329 This Freedom Journey by Misty M. Beller

 

Cover Reveal:

HerPlaceInTime Her Place in Time: A time travel romance by Stephenia H. McGee

 

I’d love to hear from you:

Have you read any of the books I reviewed this month? If so, did you have a favorite?
What book(s) are you looking forward to reading in May?

I have a full schedule of books I’m looking forward to sharing with you in May!

Author Spotlight: Rachel Fordham

Hello reader friends, I have a special feature today. I’d like to introduce you to Rachel Fordham. She is a debut Christian fiction author. Her first book The Hope of Azure Springs is set to release this summer (7/3/2018) from Revell.

RachelFordham Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook //

BONUS: Rachel is offering a FREE ebook; visit her webpage for more details!

 

The Hope of Azure Springs 

TheHopeOfAzureSpringsSeven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Debut author Rachel Fordham invites historical romance readers to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where the people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.

CLICK HERE to add to The Hope of Azure Springs to your Goodreads List

 

Pre-order your copy today!

The Hope of Azure Springs