by Angie Dicken
Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart…and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble.
Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him. When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Gate. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.
I am really enjoying the "My Heart Belongs" Series. Yes, they are all stand alone books, and do not have to be read as a series or in any particular order. With that being said, I am having a hard time choosing my favorite book in the series thus far. Each of the books are unique in their own way, and add their own special flair to this wonderful series. "Castle Gate, Utah" is no exception. From the very beginning of the book, I was drawn into this intriguing story and to the fascinating characters. The story is filled with so much history that you will find yourself wanting to learn more about the mining town in Castle Gate, Utah and what went on during that time period. The author did a wonderful job of showing us what it was like for the Greeks in America during the early 1900's. So if you are a fan of historical fiction and are looking for a good clean read, then I highly recommend this book.
I received a complementary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
The story I wrote stemmed from my heritage. From a very young age, I’ve been inspired by my grandfather. He was the son of a Greek coal miner who came over from Greece in the 1910’s. My grandfather always had wonderful stories to tell–he stirred up my intrigue for WWII era as he was a Purple Heart recipient (twice), and spoke of freeing concentration camps and invading Hitler’s homes; my grandfather lived a rags to riches legacy, having been born in a tent in a coal town, and then becoming a successful home and commercial builder–I declared I’d be an architect at age eleven…even majoring in Landscape Architecture in college.
My great grandfather, born in 1884 and immigrated to Utah in 1910's. Papou was one of my greatest heroes. And my novel was a tribute to him, to my Greek roots, to an American legacy.
Now it’s 2017, and that story is under contract with a publisher as of Fall 2016.
What timing, right?
Why did it take so long? Not for lack of trying. My agent and I took every possible measure.
Why did I get rejection after rejection, and write two other books in the wait?
What happened between then?
Only in looking back, do I see why I had to wait for this book. And when I look back, I realize just how muchTiming is His and there’s nothing I can do to speed it up or make it mine. All I can do is take courage, and wait.
I’ll give you a quick recap of what happened between 2013–when the book was put in the proverbial drawer of unwanted manuscripts–and now, 2017, the year it will get published (um, after a few rewrites and edits–always learning…).
My Community was Built. I fell in love with my writer friendships. A bit dramatic? Maybe, but it’s the truth. I connected with ladies who knew my heart as a writer, and allowed me into their lives in an authentic, Christ-loving way. I found hope in the writing journey because my friends held my hands and rubbed my back when all seemed lost. And in this, I grew not as a writer, but as a heart. My heart became soft for the needs of others and the value of authenticity in this short, precious life.
The Darkest Valley Was Ahead. Everything stood still in 2014. My personal crisis gave me little room for any true focus on my writing success. If anything, it made the effort seem petty. When you go through your days wondering if you’ll make it to the next morning without a complete mental breakdown, you can’t really dream. My dream in those moments was to crawl out of my skin and run away. This was not about my writing, this was about God’s faithfulness to someone who was losing faith–in the person she loved, in the life she constructed, in the heart that was broken. Looking back (I did climb up and out of this valley), I needed this valley walk (or crawl) to happen when it did–without a book on the shelf, without confidence in something that I had accomplished. I needed brokenness to become stronger and know that my strength has nothing to do with me.
There are several other moments and signs that I see as I look back, but I’m not going for the longest blog post of 2017, but I do want to share two sweet confirmations that the timing really is His.
First, I got a book contract! You know this, but, the contract came at a time when I had grown peaceful in the journey–the pride monster lay slain, and I picked up a pen and took an opportunity. My Oklahoma Land Run book with Love Inspired Historical won the Manuscript Matchmakers contest…and WAS coming out in Spring 2018.
I had secretly told those closest to me, that it would’ve been nice for it to come out in September instead…just because that’s when the book opens–September, 1893–the historical date of the Land Run.
So, what happens after I turn in my complete book a few days before its deadline? My editor tells me they bumped up my date to September of 2017. And I am sure, for them, it had nothing to do with the history, but for me, it was everything to do with the history–and His timing. Look for my debut novel, The Outlaw’s Second Chance this September!
My second contract came in! And this was a wonderful surprise. My agent and I had found out last spring that a new series was being launched based on geographical places around the U.S. I immediately thought of my Coal country story. So, I put together a proposal for a book I’d written long ago…and got a contract with Barbour this Fall for my novel, My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah.
But, the timing? November 2017 is my release.
God’s Timing in its finest…The book comes out during the centennial year of my grandfather’s birth. He was born in Dec. 1917 in Carbon County, Utah. My hero and my inspiration for this very book.
I just can’t stop smiling at the chance to honor my late grandfather with a story written by his third generation Greek American granddaughter who was inspired by his roots grown a century ago.
If only he could be here now. But I know he’s smiling, too.
It took a CENTURY.
Only by God’s grace, and His perfect timing.
Faithfully Bookish, October 31
Caffeinated Reads, October 31
Captive Dreams Window, November 1
Reading Is My SuperPower, November 1
A Greater Yes, November 2
Janices book reviews, November 2
Daysong Reflections, November 2
Red Headed Book Lady, November 3
Books, Books, and More Books., November 3
Just the Write Escape, November 3
Carpe Diem, November 4
Christian Bookaholic, November 4
Radiant Light, November 5
History, Mystery & Faith, November 5
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 6
Texas Book-aholic, November 6
Babs Book Bistro, November 7
Kristin’s Book Reviews, November 7
Singing Librarian Books, November 8
Connie’s History Classroom, November 8
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 9
J.E. Grace Christian Author Blog, November 9
Neverending Stories, November 9
Have A Wonderful Day, November 10
Pause for Tales, November 10
Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 11
Mary Hake, November 11
Splashes of Joy, November 11
Bigreadersite, November 12
Blossoms and Blessings, November 12
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12
Vicky Sluiter, November 13
Bibliophile Reviews, November 13
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1ff