“This is a powerful story of grief, love, forgiveness, and holy mystery, and I loved it. Billy Coffey is a master storyteller.” —Lauren Denton, USA Today bestselling author of The Hideaway
Owen Cross grew up with two loves: one a game, the other a girl. One of his loves ruined him. Now he’s counting on the other to save him.
Owen Cross’s father is a hard man, proud in his brokenness, who wants nothing more than for Owen to succeed where he failed. With his innate talents and his father’s firm hand guiding him, Owen goes to college with dreams of the major leagues—and an emptiness full of a girl named Micky Dullahan.
Owen loved Micky from the first time they met on the hill between their two worlds: his middle-class home and her troubled Shantytown. Years later he leaves her for the dugouts and the autographs, but their days together follow him. When he finally returns home, he discovers that even peace comes at a cost. And that the hardest things to say are to the ones we love the most.
From bestselling author Billy Coffey comes a haunting story of small-town love, blinding ambition, and the risk of giving it all for one last chance.
“In one evening, a single baseball game, Coffey invites us into a lifetime. With lyrical prose and aching description we join Owen Cross on a journey of love, loss, faith, the unexpected—and America’s favorite pastime.” —Katherine Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley and The Austen Escape
My Review of Steal Away Home
Billy Coffey gives us a profound story of love and loss in a town where discrimination and intolerance are as natural as breathing in Steal Away Home.
Owen Cross loves baseball. He has since he was a small boy, but then again he doesn’t have much choice. His father Paul, a real contender for professional ball, lost his chance when an injury cost him his pitching arm. Paul lives through his son Owen and is determined to have his son succeed where he has failed. Owen is happy enough to pursue his father’s passion and make professional baseball his dream until he meets Michaela (Micky) Dullahan. Owen has never met anyone quite like Micky. Micky is beautiful, independent and wise beyond her years and Owen is immediately smitten. When anxious to meet up with Micky again she explains to Owen their friendship must be kept a secret. Micky is from Shantytown and shanties don’t mix with the town people. Their relationship would be considered taboo from the people in Shantytown as well as the folks in town, so a secret they remain.
As time goes by, Micky and Owen grow closer and their relationship stronger. Owen and Micky count the moments when they can be together on the hill, their secret meeting place. As graduation closes in, it looks as if Owen will get a baseball scholarship to YSU. It’s everything he and his family have ever wanted. The only part that they are unaware of is Owen’s plan to whisk Micky away when he leaves for college. Everything seems to be going as devised until the night of their class graduation party. Held at an old farm on the edge of town everyone is there, even the shanties. As long as the shanties and town grads are divided by an invisible line that neither will cross a general peace is kept. When a dangerous challenge to play chicken involving a speeding train is thrown down Micky jumps at the bait. As the speeding train approaches Owen moves in to save her, but a spiritual phenomenon transpires changing both Micky and Owen’s lives forever. Owen refuses to acknowledge what has occurred, but Micky is so changed from the experience that her life will never be the same. Micky has a new found faith in God and wants to share that faith and love with the world. No longer afraid to invade the town territory Micky is on a mission to spread love and joy to anyone who will listen. But her faith alone will not allow her to be accepted. She is a shanty in their eyes and always will be. When Owen refuses to accept this new version of Micky their lives are forever changed. Improvising a plan, Owen takes matters into his own hands culminating in disastrous results. What really happened on the night of the graduation party Owen will continue to deny until his and Micky’s past and future collide.
Told from the bench of an Oriole’s game where Owen is given an opportunity to sub for one game, Steal Away Home is a story about the painful reality of love and the lengths some will go to find happiness. Steal Away Home is a book that shows the prejudices of a world where the poor and downtrodden are not accepted and only those who have a future made for the stars have a chance. It’s about using people for gain, without a shred of guilt and assuming knowledge of someone without walking a mile in their shoes. It’s about the courage to stand for someone and something without fear of the consequences. Steal Away Home will steal your heart and make you think about who you are and what you want to be. It’s the story about one boy and one girl, but so much more.
I want to thank Thomas Nelson – Fiction via NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of Steal Away Home for a fair and honest review.
Outstanding Debut Novel from an Author to Watch
Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.
A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives--including her own--are lost?
My Review of The House on Foster Hill
Full of twists and turns, the House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright is a suspenseful, knuckle biting read that will keep you turning the pages till the wee hours of the morning. In my opinion one of the best Christian Fiction books of the year.
Kaine Prescott is leaving California behind and all the nightmares that went with it. Since the death of her husband Danny two years ago, Kaine’s appeal to the police to investigate his death as a murder has fallen on deaf ears. She also believes that the man who took her husband’s life is now stalking and toying with her. Unable to convince the current authorities that her husband was murdered, Kaine decides to leave San Diego and move to Oakwood, WI to start a new life. That new life involves buying and renovating her great-great grandmother Ivy’s old house on Foster Hill. Unfortunately, upon her arrival in Oakwood and the house on Foster Hill, she realizes her mistake at buying the house sight unseen. Everything is in shambles and in desperate need of a major restoration. With no other options for her, Kaine is determined to succeed and regain a sense of independence and sets about the rehabilitation of her new home.
Once in town, the friendly residents of Oakwood are more than happy to greet Kaine and provide her with a none too appealing history of her great-great grandmother’s house. It would appear an unsolved murder of a young girl named Gabriella still haunts the property to date. The old house, the mystery of Gabriella’s murder and her great-great grandmother Ivy’s infamous preoccupation with death provides the background for the town’s rumors of the old home’s ghosts and hauntings. Determined to finish what she started despite all the rumors and hard work, Kaine is resolute on restoring the old house on Foster Hill. She returns each day adamant on getting the project done. It is during one of her visits to the old house that she uncovers what she believes are the writings of the young girl named Gabriella hidden under some floor boards on the second floor. But when she also discovers a picture of her late husband Danny in one of the upstairs bedrooms, Kaine is convinced her stalker has returned and followed her to her new home in Oakwood, WI. Kaine knows she will never be free unless she makes a stand once and for all and fights for her life. With her new friends from Oakwood in tow to protect her, Kaine is resolved to confront her stalker and solve the mysteries of Gabriella and her great-great grandmother’s past.
There was never a dull moment in The House on Foster Hill. A page turner from the very start, this suspenseful book was a roller-coaster ride and I didn’t want to get off. Cleverly written from the perspective of both Kaine in the present and Ivy from the past, I couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter. Just when I thought I had it figured out, something new would happen to send me off in a new direction. Not only was the story-line full of mystery, but the tension between the characters was palpable. I loved Joel’s and Grant’s characters the best. They were strong, chivalrous and determined to help the women they loved. Kaine and her great-great grandmother Ivy were more alike than even Kaine knew. Fighting for the rights of women and the injustices they endured, Ivy was a woman before her time. I was also happy that Grant was able to help Kaine find the strength to live a full and faith filled life once again. And last but not least, I thank the author for resolving all the mysteries surrounding the old house and the women who lived there. Like all good reads, The House on Foster Hill will be a book that will stay with me for quite a while.
For those who like great fiction filled with suspense and a plot that keeps you guessing Jaime Jo Wright’s, The House on Foster Hill, is for you. A book with strong characters and a story-line that is a sure hit, this is one book you won’t put down once you pick it up. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to an early Christmas present with The House on Foster Hill.
I want to thank Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright for a fair and honest review.
BOOK TWO IN THE SOUND OF SILENCE SERIES IS NOW AVAILABLE!!!
TAYLOR DEANMy hometown decided to rename me Jailbird. Every day I silently scream out, “My name is Mia Faraday!” My time in jail does not define me. I am so much more than one heated mistake. And yet, my slip-up weighs on me. There’s so much more to the story than anyone realizes. I must face Stony, my ex, and confess everything. I don’t want to. I’d rather have five teeth pulled. While I’m awake. Without anesthesia. But this is something I have to do, something I need to do. Not just for Stony. I need to do it for me. Especially for me. I can’t move forward with my life until I gain closure from the past. When I meet Grayson Elliott, I am easily pulled into his orbit and it’s exactly where I’d love to stay. He makes me laugh and not take life so seriously. He makes me want to live again. But I don’t love me right now, and that healing needs to come first. I’m not relationship-ready or marriage material. My mind is focused on redemption. I want it. I need it. Besides, when Grayson hears about my colorful past, I’m sure he’ll be gone before I have time to utter the word goodbye. After all, who could ever love a jailbird?
The Sound of Silence Series is a three book series.
Book One: Stone Silence, Spencer’s Story
Book Two: Jailbird, Mia’s Story
Book Three: Hothouse Flower, Shay’s Story
Each book has a happy ending and there are no cliffhangers.
They are not standalones and should be read in order.
Did you miss Book One, STONE SILENCE?
Grab it on AMAZONGreat big beautiful love. Does it really exist? Everyone tells me it does. They say, “Spencer Elliott, don’t worry, you’ll find it one day. You just have to find the right man and when you do, it will surprise the heck out of you.” I’m still waiting for that heck of a surprise to hit. It has proven to be elusive thus far. I’m pretty sure the entire world is lying about love and the joke is on me. I know I want a man in my heart and in my life. Unfortunately, most men immediately push my OFF button and I lose interest quickly. Feeling pressure to prove I’m trying to find my soulmate, I finally give in and agree to a date. Huge mistake. Afterward I find myself abandoned in the middle of nowhere, in desperate need of help. That’s when I meet Stony by chance. He’s a silent and unsmiling man who intrigues me with his ability to keep going after life has knocked him down. Suddenly the abstract notion of love becomes tangible and within my reach. Once I experience it, I wonder how I ever lived without it. That’s when I stay with Stony by choice. But when Stony’s hidden past and present-day reality collide, his silence is broken. And the truth about his life nearly brings me to my knees. I can’t compete with ghosts from the past. I refuse to fight for a man’s love. He either loves me or he doesn’t. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. My only hope is . . . he does. Praise for STONE SILENCE: Oh. My. Gosh! I absolutely LOVE Stone Silence! Talk about swoony! This book is AMAZING! I was sucked in from the very beginning and found myself lost in the journey of Spencer and Stony. I laughed out loud, got teary eyed, let out little dreamy sighs and refused to put this book down until I finished it! I devoured it! -KJ's Book Nook Oh man. I will always read everything Taylor Dean writes with no hesitation. I LOVE Taylor Dean books. If you have never read anything by her, you really must. -Aimee, Getting Your Read On
Hothouse Flower, Book Three will be released on January 1st, 2018Read an excerpt from Jailbird: Excerpt #1:
Stony and Spencer’s Place.
Ugh. It’s magical inside the fenced-in property, as if I just walked into a secret garden. Stony always said he was going to build himself an oasis in the middle of the prairie land, and he did it. I didn’t expect it to be quite this beautiful. Green grass covers small rolling hills. Sidewalks meander the property. Flower beds bloom madly with all the colors of the rainbow. It’s almost like being inside of a Thomas Kinkade painting.
I want to run. I want to turn around and erase this serene picture from my mind. I’m not sure I want to witness Stony’s happily-ever-after. The consolation is that now I know I didn’t ruin his life. I should feel grateful for that knowledge. I kind of do and I kind of don’t. My emotions are a tangled mess when it comes to Stony. I’ve had two years in jail and a little over a year in Galveston to think about this moment, to anticipate exactly what I want to say to him. Now that it’s upon me, I can feel my mind going blank.
But I’m doing it anyway.
I march forward with determination in every step and I push on the doorbell before I can change my mind. I hear a Windsor chime echo through the house in a majestic sort of way. A little more cringing goes on inside of me at the perfection of it all.
The seconds before the door is answered seem interminable. I’m a hot mess.
Lock me in a tank with hungry—no—starving sharks. Put me in a lion’s den and let them have me for dinner. Make me appear on that dumb TV show, Naked and Afraid.
Anything but this. I don’t want to face Stony. I don’t, I don’t.
Excerpt #2:THE DOOR OPENS and there he is, looking just as handsome as I remembered. He’s wearing shorts and I can see his prosthetic leg. He’s wearing a short-sleeved shirt and I can see his mottled skin plain as day.
I did that to him. And I hate myself for it.
Hate. Hate. Hate.
I ignore my negative thoughts and concentrate on Stony. He looks confident and fit. His hair is longer, combed back on his head in a stylish sort of way. He’s sporting the unshaven look with a slight beard that only adds to his masculinity. His tanned skin proves he spends a lot of time outdoors. There’s still a deep line between his eyebrows that speaks to the intensity of his personality. In spite of everything, he’s the vision of health and vitality. I know how hard he’s worked to achieve it and I’m impressed with his tenacity. He’s the poster child of someone who refuses to give up no matter how many times life knocks him down. I wish I had his strength.
Standing this close, I want to fall into his arms and let him hold me. It seems the natural thing to do, but things have changed.
His eyebrows furrow even deeper—and the action is not lost on me—then he says, “Mia?”
I swallow. He doesn’t seem happy to see me, but then the constant lack of a smile makes him hard to read. “Hi, Stony.”
I’ve surprised him, that’s obvious. And not in a good way.
He doesn’t say anything, he just stares at me. So I say, “Can I talk to you?”
He hesitates and says, “Uh . . .”
I hate his hesitation, the way he looks so unsure.
“Please,” I say. I’m not above begging. I need to do this. “I’m not here to cause problems for you, I swear. I know you’re a married man now. I would never do anything to jeopardize your relationship. I’m not trying to come between you and your wife.”
“Stop it, I know that,” he says and he means it. At least he knows me well enough to know I would never do something like that. Now that he’s married, Stony is off-limits to me.
But we do have some unfinished business.
He seems to think things over for a moment, then he comes to a decision. He nods and says, “Sure. Come on in.”
Author Taylor Dean Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.Blast Giveaway Details $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/22/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
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