In a nod to #ThrowbackThursday, I'm throwing it back to 2011. It was there, on Lee Street in Lawton, Oklahoma, when I did a happy dance in traffic after receiving a call from my very first editor, the late Connie Kline of Five Prince Publishing, telling me of her accepting my novel A Heart on Hold for publication -- on the condition I write three more books in the series.
These four award-winning and Amazon bestselling books were my first published novels and spanned a time where A Heart on Hold was truly the mantra of my life. I was in a failing military marriage, had my fourth child while revising A Heart on Hold, underwent an emergency thyroidectomy, and earned my first cancer diagnosis. These adventures and misadventures are what made the characters and their trials come to life within the pages of the Everlasting Heart series.
A Heart on Hold
Charlotte Adamsland is separated from her husband, Sanderson Redding, the day after their marriage. A captain in the Confederate Army, Sanderson must return to his unit, leaving Charlotte alone on their Arkansas homestead to fend for herself. Yankees camp around the town of Altrose, bringing their own kind of lawless danger. And then, one dark day, a Southern soldier arrives with terrible news…Sanderson has been killed trying to escape a Yankee prison.
Sanderson has found salvation and hell in a single turn of events he could never have imagined—his much-younger brother, Jackson, is his Yankee guard. When Jackson’s cruel commanding officer learns of the brothers’ family ties, he devises a wicked plan to see them both dead. Jackson is determined to get his brother to safety—but a last-minute betrayal by another prisoner could be the death of both brothers.
Charlotte can’t accept the news of Sanderson’s death—he promised to come back to her. She heads north armed with only her faith in God and her beloved horse to bring her love home—one way or the other. Will she be able to rescue him? Or will her love remained locked forever in A HEART ON HOLD…
At last, the War Between the States is over! Sanderson Redding is finally home, and for Charlotte, life is good. Until the Army comes knocking.
Sanderson's old captors have charged him with the murder of Lieutenant Lantz, who died mysteriously on the streets of St. Louis when the South surrendered. With help from the most unlikely sort, can Sanderson convince the Yankee jury of his innocence?
Left alone when Sanderson is carted off for murder, newly pregnant Charlotte is despondent. However, when the stress of their predicament threatens the life of their unborn child, Charlotte is more grateful than ever to have Minerva as her sister-in-law, and roommate.
When the judge sentences Sanderson to a suicide mission in lieu of hanging by the neck until dead, Charlotte knows she can't go along on this adventure. Between a hard pregnancy and a rash of hydrophobia that threatens the entire Arkansas countryside, Charlotte wonders if Sanderson will have a home waiting for him, if he survives the mission, and if he wants to come home at all.
However, a freakish dog bite in the midst of the outbreak may well be the end of them all.
Travel is hard on Charlotte, who is pregnant, but she finds a new measure of determination to face what comes their way—including a prairie fire, hostile Indians, and a hard childbirth she is afraid she might not survive.
But the demons of Sanderson’s military life refuse to be left behind, as he finds himself embroiled with the Earp brothers and a lady of the night who carries a grudge against Charlotte.
In a world where women are expected to be silent, Charlotte refuses to ignore injustice. When she defies the powerful bank president, it causes repercussions that can devastate the Redding family. In standing up to the town bullies to protect Cotton, Charlotte finds an unlikely ally in the handsome young half-Chinese outlaw, Johnny Tan. But will Johnny prove to be Sanderson’s nemesis or his saving grace?
Charlotte knows she can’t stay in Fort Bidwell, where circumstances seem to be ripping her once-happy family apart. Determined to leave, can she convince her beloved Sanderson to give up the security of his railroad job, pull up stakes, and head for Idaho, with A HEART FOREVER WILD…
Happy reading and cheers to your own happy #ThrowbackThursday!