Series: Home To Heather Creek, Book 1
Date Published: September 1, 2013
Publisher: Guideposts Books
Author: Kthleen Bauer / Carolyne Aarsen
Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary
Book Source: I received this book for free from Guideposts Books for my honest opinion.
It’s the dawn of a new season in Charlotte Stevenson’s life.
Charlotte Stevenson’s world is turned upside-down by the death of her daughter, Denise, whose three children are now coming to Nebraska to live on Heather Creek Farm. Sam is fiercely protective of his younger siblings; Emily desperately misses her friends; and young Christopher, a sweet soul, just wants to fit in. While Charlotte helps the grandchildren she barely knows adjust to their new life, she also wrestles with her own grief. What if she makes the same mistakes she made with Denise? Is this her chance to make things right? The miracle of new life, along with God’s healing touch, reminds all of them that it’s always darkest just before the dawn.
About the Home to Heather Creek series: Before the Dawn is the first book in the Home to Heather Creek series. Charlotte Stevenson is raising her grandchildren on the family farm after a tragic accident changes all of their lives forever. With the help of her husband Bob and a close-knit circle of friends, she will do whatever it takes to keep this fragile family together. See how God, who makes the sun rise and the crops grow, watches over our lives too.
Kathleen Bauer is the pen name for a team of writers who have come together to create the Home to Heather Creek series.
Before the Dawn is written by Carolyne Aarsen. Originally a city girl, Carolyne moved to the countryside near Neerlandia, Alberta when she married her husband Richard. While raising four children, foster children, and various animals, Carolyne learned how to drive tractors, front end loaders, and ATVs. She grew a garden and learned to can and preserve its produce. Somewhere in all this she learned to write. Since 1997 she has sold over 40 books.
She and Christopher trudged carefully back to the house, Thankfully, the rain had stopped, but they had to skirt a few puddles.
They slowed down when they came to the patch of darkness between the yard light shining from the outside of the barn and the porch light of the house.
Christopher stopped and looked up. “I don’t see any stars.”
“The clouds are hiding them.” Her coat was still damp from the rain and she shivered.
“At night, when I can’t sleep, I count them.” His grip on Charlotte’s hand tightened. “I wonder if my mom can see me from up in heaven.”
Charlotte felt a faint comfort in his words. She looked up into the sky, her yearning heart seeking God’s comfort and presence.
“Are you praying, Grandma?” Christopher asked.
In the faint light cast from the porch, Charlotte could see his eyes looking up at her.
“Yes. I am.”
“Can I pray with you?”
His softly spoken words brushed at the sorrow clinging to her heart
“Yes, my dear boy. Of course you can.” She gladly ignored the wet ground, the late hour, and the sleep clouding her mind, and knelt down beside her grandson, slipping her arms around his small body.
Christopher closed his eyes and lifted his head as Charlotte had. “Thank you, Lord, for my grandma and grandpa,” he prayed, his young, innocent voice almost lost in the dark night. “Thank you for the baby horse, Stormy. Help her eat. Be with her mommy and don’t let her die. Tell my mom I love her and miss her and help Grandma not to be sad either.”
His poignant prayer encircled Charlotte’s heart with a gentle warmth. She swallowed down the very sadness that Christoper had prayed she would be released from, then quietly added her own prayer.
“Thank you, Lord, that Christopher, Emily and Sam can be here with us, even though I know they would sooner be back home. Help us to be a family and to love each other and help each other.” She laid her head against Christopher’s and waited a moment, letting the prayer settle. Then she said, “Amen.”
“Amen,” Christopher added. He sniffed and wiped his nose with the back of his hand then glanced back at the barn. “I’m going to keep praying for Britney,” he said.
“I think that’s a good idea.” Charlotte slowly got to ger feet then took Christopher’s hand. “I think I will too.
Then they walked back to the house. Together.
Charlotte and Bob Stevenson are devestated when they find out that their daughter, Denise, is killed in a tragic automobile accident. The lives of Denise’s three children, Sam, Emily and Christopher, are thrown in turmoil. Not only must they cope with the death of the only parent in their lives but they must also leave their home and friends behind in California to move to Nebrasksa to live with their grandparents in their home on Heather Creek. Grandparents they barely know. When Denise was eighteen she ran away from home, never to return. Now Charlotte must face the task of raising three kids as well as come to terms with the fact that she never truly reconciled with her daughter. When rumors about Denise begin to circle around town, the newfound hope that is taking root in the children’s hearts is threatened. But amid the trials a tribulations that come their way, God reveals a hope, love and an awakening to the close knit Family they can be. God proves that it is always darkest Before the Dawn of a new morning.
While Before the Dawn is a heart warming story of hope, love and Faith, it’s also a story of tragedy, despair and devestation. Even though this story is fictional it deals with real-life events that happen every day in families throughout the world. The loss of a child or a parent with young children can be heart wrenching and leave devestation in it’s wake. Before the Dawn deals with these events in a most touching way and really opened my eyes to what children go through with the loss of a parent. Charlotte and Bob try to ease the children’s pain and help them settle into their new lives and I love that they worked so hard to instill Faith in God in them as well. I am partial to fictional romance books but, I can honestly say, I didn’t miss the lack of romance in this story. I certainly recommend this book to anyone who loves a story of hope and faith amid trials and tribulation.
**While I was given a free copy of this book for my honest opinion, I was in no way compensated for this review**