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Thursday, April 25, 2019


Stone Creek, Michigan, April, 1901 — Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper clash after their sons collide in a fistfight. Both widowed, they’re each doing their best as single-parents. Outgoing Maggie has dreams for a home of her own and a business to provide for her son as she searches for God’s path for her life as a widow. Reserved Thomas struggles to establish his new pharmacy and take care of his four rambunctious children, while wondering how a loving God could take his beloved wife.

When Thomas becomes deathly ill, Maggie is recruited to nurse him back to health. Taking the children in hand, as well, is more than she bargained for, but she is drawn to help the grieving family. Both nurse and patient find themselves drawn to each other but promptly deny their feelings.

A baking contest sponsored by the Silver Leaf Flour Company brings former beau, Giles Prescott, back into Maggie’s life. When Giles offers Maggie a position at their test kitchen in Chicago, he hints that, along with assuring her a good job, it will allow them to possibly rekindle their relationship.

But then a charlatan comes to town, and tragedy soon follows. Maggie and Thomas discover the miracle potions he hawks aren’t so harmless when an epidemic hits Stone Creek. Thomas and Maggie realize they must work together to save lives.

Maggie finds herself caught up in battles within and without—the battle to help the townsfolk in the midst of illness and chicanery, and the battle to know which man—Thomas or Giles—deserves to win her heart. 

Kathleen Rouser is the multi-published author of the 2017 Bookvana Award winner, Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. Kathleen has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. A former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.

Twitter: @KathleenRouser
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Tweets for Secrets and Wishes with Click to Tweet links:

Maggie faces battles within and without. A lonely widower needs her and so does Stone Creek when a charlatan brings danger to its children. Will they join forces in time?
Secrets and Wishes by @KathleenRouser. #sweetromance available on #Kindle

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Secrets and Wishes, now available in a delightful #audiobook! #ChristianFiction, small-town drama and Gilded Age romance with heart, #HOPE, and humor!
Two boys clash as do their widowed parents. Can there be a second chance at love? @KathleenRouser

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Five Star review: “Kathleen Rouser created an absolutely overwhelming and heartfelt read with Secrets and Wishes, sequel to Rumors and Promises. I was drawn into the story from the beginning. . .” #sweetromance, #ChristianFiction by @KathleenRouser

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This is a nice story about a woman who loses her husband and is left to support her child by herself. In this time period it was hard to find a job for a woman. Maggie does have a gift of baking and it pays off win she wins a prize in a baking contest. I love the time period and how the author makes the story come alive. 

I thought it was interesting to read about the 1900s and especially about the new pharmacy in town. Maggie's husband used to be a pharmacist so she knows a lot about medicine. She clashes with the new pharmacist in town when her son and Thomas's son have a fight. It was funny that the boys were fighting over whose dad was the best pharmacist. It is hard to imagine that during this time period, aspirin and other drugs were just being introduced. Some people, like Maggie were skeptical of this new medicine practice.

Thomas sure has his hands full with a houseful of kids and a new pharmacy to open. When he becomes very ill, Maggie is thrown into caring for him. Oh my that was an adventure just having her try to be civil to him and try to control his unruly bunch of kids. Having lost his wife has been hard on all of them. The author gives us some great characters who try to outdo Maggie in the baking department and it leads to some sharp words and fun moments. 

There are a few surprises and a new person in town that stirs up trouble that makes the story enjoyable. The town faces tragedy while Maggie and Thomas try to work together to overcome the  crisis. The new man in town was my least favorite character because he was arrogant and pushy.  does make friction between people wherever he goes and kinda thinks he is better than others. Overall a nice story from a time period where new discoveries in medicine were happening and a woman with a dream that she hopes to see happen.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

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