Bestselling author Kathleen Shoop has brand new covers for her award-winning Letter Series, designed by yours truly! Kathie already had lovely covers for these books based on the real-life stories of her ancestors, but she worried they weren't conveying the right tone. Too many readers were expecting romance and happily ever afters. While these stories do have romantic elements, they are part of a larger family saga filled with the hardships of life on the prairie and the struggles of coping with failure and change. So in an effort to lift them out of the realm of historical romance and into the realm of historical fiction, we opted to take them a little darker. Check 'em out!
Before & After:
Katherine wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't found the letter...
In the summer of 1905 Katherine Arthur's mother arrives on her doorstep, dying, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie's husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty--a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.
Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine's world apart. Now, seventeen years later, and far from the homestead, Katherine has found the truth – she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it's too late?
Before & After:
1891—Living separately for three years, fourteen-year-old twins, Katherine and Tommy Arthur, have done their best to make each boarding house feel like home. But unrest grows as they are driven to questionable actions just to survive. Meanwhile their desperate mother is confronted with breaking yet another promise to her children. Then a miracle descends. Hope rises on a cold, rainy night and changes everything. If Jeanie could just get word to Katherine and Tommy, she knows she can set their lives right again. Agitators, angels, and dangerous “saviors” illuminate the Arthurs’ unmatched determination and smarts.
1905—Though she tries to forget the awful years that hurt so much, the memories still haunt Katherine. Now, tearful mourners at her mother’s funeral force her to revisit a time in her life that both harmed and saved her in the most unexpected ways. Tommy grieves his mother’s passing as well. He too is thrust backward, compelled to rediscover the events in his life that shaped the man he has become. Will he commit to reconstructing his broken life? The Arthurs come to understand that forgiveness is the only way back to hope, the only way to find all that was good in the misfortune that transformed their lives forever.
The Last Letter and The Road Home are available now in ebook and print formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Add them to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Kathie's website for the scoop on all of her books and their inspiration.
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