Review: A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach

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null Book Info:

Date Published: April 1, 2013

Publisher: Abingdon Press

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Will Joel help Mara or take everything she has left? Mara Keegan is an uber-successful mother and a widow of three years. She’s been chasing success and all the “good things in life” for her family to make up for the cruel whim God played on them by taking her husband. In an effort to be the perfect mom, she decides to make a photo memory quilt, a graduation present for her daughter, Cadence.

She’s not yet finished when she experiences a heart attack. How can Mara trust the one man who nearly destroyed her life and business? While Mara recuperates, she’s forced to face her physically and spiritually broken heart. The memory quilt must be finished in time for Cadence’s big day, but Mara struggles with her burgeoning feelings for the man who must keep Mara’s business going during her recovery, Joel Ryan. Can Joel find his way into Mara’s heart and onto Cadence’s quilt? Or will he betray a vulnerable woman and her children?

You can order it Here:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |

Meet The Author:

Angela Breidenbach’s family tradition is giving unique quilts of memorable moments spanning birth to graduation to their graduating seniors as portrayed in her new release, A Healing Heart. Mrs. Montana International 2009, an inspirational speaker, and author, Angela also coaches weight loss/fitness in Missoula, MT.

Angela is a certified Stephen Minister, life coach, and weight loss coach. After her mom’s passing, Angela donated her mom’s brain for the study of schizophrenia. She’s also on the donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. Angela is married with a combined family of six grown children and now several grand children. She loves being a grammy.

You can find Angela Here:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  YouTube

My Favorite Scene:

  “Joel picked up the pile of quilt blocks off the couch. He laid one out over his large hand. “Is this Davis?” The man stood next to a yellow and black snowmobile and wore a medal over his yellow and black winter gear. Louie sat at his feet with a yellow and black dog coat.

  “Yes.” Mara’s stomach clenched at the site of the snowmobile. She hated, hated, hated that thing!

  “By the look on your face, you didn’t approve of his racing?”

  She inhaled and closed her eyes. “It wasn’t his racing. Although that should have been more enough.” She left the next thought unsaid. How could I speak ill of the man I loved? She blew out her breath with careful control. Still she fought for balance on this topic. They’d argued when he bought the dumb thing. He seemed to thrive on pushing more and more adrenaline through his body. He should have been a stuntman. “It was his risk-taking.”

  “Oh, I see.”

  “No, you don’t. He won a lot of races. But they weren’t enough. When extreme sports started getting popular, David took it to the next level. He and his buddies took their snowmobiles into the backcountry of the Bridgers. Then, according to the rescue patrol, they ignored the posted warnings.”

  She knew her voice took on an icy edge, but she couldn’t help it. “He died because he was hill climbing on that machine and ended up racing ahead of an avalanche. But his avalanche beacon malfuctioned. It took a long time to find him. When the guys dug David out, he was barely alive. The snowmobile landed on top of b him and created an air pocket. In fact, David lived almost two days after that. One lung had been crushed, several of his bones were broken, and the doctor said his spine was crushed.”

  “I can’t imagine what you went through.”

  Tears choked her words, “He asked me to kiss him and let him go. He thought a man who couldn’t walk, couldn’t feed himself, and couldn’t be a husband…” She reached for the glass of tea and sipped to relieve the clogged burning in her throat. “But I’d have rather had him here, walking or not.” A tear rolled from her cheek and plopped into the glass. She set it back down, embarrassed. Who cried in her tea?

  “Mara, I’m so sorry.” Joel took her free hand in both of his. “Why would you put this photo on a quilt block when it causes you so much pain?”

  “Cadence chose it. She wanted to remember him as strong and fearless. Not the broken man in the hospital.”

  “Ah, that makes alot of sense.”

  “Joel, the nurses worked hard to clean him up enough not to scare the kids. The hard snowpack ripped his helmet right off. He was a mess. Bruises and scraped skin everywhere. His face was so raw I asked the nurses to cover David’s face before the kids saw him. They couldn’t even cast his arms and legs for all the open wounds.The nurse helped me hold a sheet above him to hide the worst from the kids.” She looked at the photo. “I loved him so much. I can’t believe he risked everything for a thrill. But he did, Joel. And by doing that, he broke his promise to me. To our family. And God let him.”

  Joel moved closer to Mara and put his arms around her.

  She cried there, safe against his shoulder. “God let him.”

Meet The Characters:

Mara Keegan: Mara was determined, driven and desperate to keep her promise to her deceased husband David. She was a loving mother and designer of beautiful quilts. Her crow ancestors taught her the craft and it was a great love of hers. She was at peace when she was designing and crafting quilts.

Joel Ryan: Joel has a past of being hard and unfeeling in his business transactions. I love the new Joel that centers his life around God. Because of it, he has become a loving, kind and generous man that is full of faith and an overwhelming desire to help. He builds a great relationship with Mara’s kids.

Cadence, Marisa and Toby Keegan: Mara’s kids. Very well behaved and well mannered. Their only problem is missing spending time with their mother.

Mrs. Calder: The quirky next-door neighbor. She was actually pretty cute and adorable and a great help in their time of need.

Louie: The beloved family dog.

My Thoughts:

Mara Keegan is owner of Bridger Pack and Rescue, a company she started with her husband David before his passing. With the business expanding, her days are filled with attending to the business matters and everything else has pretty much fallen by the wayside, including time with her kids and the quilting she loves so much. Mara is under a great deal of stress and pressure to fulfill the promise she made to David and doesn’t realize just what that stress is doing to her… Until that fateful day she has a heart attack. Mara slowly comes to realize she needs help. Her help comes in the form of Joel Ryan.

Joel Ryan has a history with Mara only she doesn’t know it yet. When his boss sends him to coach Mara in how to grow her business, he fears she will turn him away for his past mistakes. Joel used to be a fortune hunter and tried to issue a hostile takeover of Mara’s company. Although Mara wants nothing more than to send Joel packing, she feels she needs to give him a chance to prove he has changed. When Mara has a heart attack, Joel steps up and takes over the handling of the company until Mara is well. They soon realize they are developing feelings for each but can Mara let go of David’s memory and move forward? Can Joel compete with her dead husband’s legacy? Like the stitching woven through the quilt Mara is making for her daughter, Cadence, Joel soon becomes woven in each of their lives.

I can’t tell you how this book warmed my heart. There were several “scenes” I wanted to share but decided not to because I didn’t want to give away any important details. You’ll have to read the book and discover them for yourself. There were a few times I cried and continued to cry for several minutes after reading certain scenes. This was a very touching story that dealt with love, friendship, family, healing and a deeper relationship with the”Big Guy”. It also dealt with Heart disease, one of the number one killers in America. A Healing Heart was so well written the words just flowed from page to page. Hat’s off to Angela Breidenbach for an amazing story.

What is a heart attack?:

Your heart muscle needs oxygen to survive. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely (View an animation of blood flow). This happens because coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can slowly become narrrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances that together are called plaque. This slow process is known as atherosclerosis . When a plaque in a heart artery breaks, a blood clot forms around the plaque. This blood clot can block the blood flow through the heart muscle. When the heart muscle is starved for oxygen and nutrients, it is called ischemia. When damage or death of part of the heart muscle occurs as a result of ischemia, it is called a heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI). About every 34 seconds, someone in the United States has a myocardial infarction (heart attack). To read more go to the American Heart Association.

Warning Signs:

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Quilting History:

The history of quilts began long before European settlers arrived in the New World. People in nearly every part of the world had used padded fabrics for clothing, bedding, and even armor. With the arrival of the English and Dutch settlers in North America, quilting took on a new life and flourished.

The term “quilt” comes from the Latin culcita, meaning a stuffed sack. The word has come to have 2 meanings. It is used as noun, meaning the 3-layer stitched bedcovering. It is also used as a verb, meaning the act of stitching through the 3 layers to hold them together.

In the 100 years between 1750 and 1850 thousands of quilts were pieced and patched, and many of them are preserved. Many of these quilts were so elaborate that years were spent making and quilting them. It is no wonder they are cherished as precious heirlooms and occupy honored places in homes and museums. Those early quilts provide a glimpse into the history of quilting as well as the history of the United States… For more information click Here.

This review was published on: My Blog  |  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  GoodReads  |  |  |  Tumblr

**A copy of this book was provided by for my honest review**


6 thoughts on “Review: A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach

  1. Hi Missy. It will be a great vacation read. A great anytime read for that matter. I think you will really ejoy it. Have fun on vacation!


  2. Thank you Diana! I am overwhelmed at the nice comments people are leaving for my reviews. Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope to see you regularly. 🙂


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