About the Book
Book: Her Steadfast Heart
Author: Sharlene MacLaren
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release date: January 26, 2021
Joey Fuller is still mourning three years after his wife’s death, so much so that he leaves his four rambunctious young children to throw himself into the Civil War as a Union captain. But his kids are so ill-behaved that nannies keep quitting—and now, his mother has a broken leg and can’t handle them either. In desperation, Joey decides to advertise for a wife.
Faith Haviland is in a different kind of mourning. Not long ago, her fiancé left her to marry her best friend. Her customers at the diner where she works keep reminding her of that humiliating event and one of them, an older man, has been making aggressive advances. She’s desperate to flee the city—and Joey Fuller’s “Wife Needed” ad seems to be the answer to a prayer.
Will Faith live up to her name when Joey’s kids torment her with their mischief? Can she surrender this strange marriage to God while her new aloof husband is off fighting? And will a string of buttons convince her that he truly loves her?
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating with an education degree in 1971, she taught second grade for two years, then accepted an invitation to travel internationally for a year with a singing ensemble. After traveling for a year, she returned to her teaching job, then in 1975, she reunited with her childhood sweetheart, and they married that very December. They have raised two lovely daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying their own families. Retired in 2003 after thirty-one years of teaching, Shar loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family—in particular, her adorable grandchildren!
Shar has always enjoyed writing, and her high school classmates eagerly read and passed around her short stories. In the early 2000s, Shar felt God’s call upon her heart to take her writing pleasures a step further, so in 2006, she signed a contract with Whitaker House for her first faith-based novel, Through Every Storm, thereby launching her professional writing career. With more than twenty published novels now gracing store shelves and being sold online, Shar gives God all the glory.
Shar’s novels have won numerous awards. Her Steadfast Heart is her twenty-first novel and the second book in her Hearts of Honor series (after Her Rebel Heart).
Shar has done numerous countrywide book signings and has participated in several interviews on television and radio. She loves to speak for community organizations, libraries, church groups, and women’s conferences. In her church, she is active in women’s ministries, regularly facilitating Bible studies and other events. Shar and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan, with their beautiful white collie, Peyton.
Shar loves hearing from her readers. If you wish to contact her as a potential speaker or would simply like to chat with her, please send her an e-mail at SharleneMacLaren@Yahoo.com. She will do her best to answer in a timely manner.
More from Sharlene
Faith Haviland swept a few strands of damp hair off her forehead, irritated by how it had escaped the neat bun of this morning. She shoveled more dishes into the sink and set to washing them as fast as possible to prepare for the supper crowd that would soon descend upon Daybreak Diner. It wasn’t a fairytale job by any means, but, alas, it was a job, and many would clamor for it if her Aunt Martha ever hung up a “Help Wanted” sign in the window. Her aunt, who happened to be her father’s younger sister, owned and operated the establishment and often stated her wish for Faith to one day take it over. Faith shuddered at the prospect of telling Martha she’d been entertaining the idea of leaving Columbus. Martha wouldn’t like the news, but Faith couldn’t worry about that. Things had grown too tedious in her hometown, and too many found it their job to remind her of the unfortunate event of her canceled wedding. Add to that the troublesome, if not peculiarly obsessive, behavior of Stuart Porter, and tedious hardly described it. Ever since her fiancé’s departure with her best friend just two weeks before their April 15 wedding day, Mr. Porter had started closing in on her, insisting he would marry her in an instant if she’d simply agree.
For as long as she could recall, the man had outwardly admired her, even though she had done nothing to encourage it. Nothing about him appealed to her. First, he didn’t serve the Lord; second, he was an obsessive drinker; third, he came off as pushy and persistent; and finally, he resembled a goose with his nose sticking out like a beak. Not that looks meant all that much—goodness, she didn’t consider herself any major prize—but it was all the other things thrown in. The man was almost twenty years older than she and widowed to boot. At least, that was the rumor anyway. No one had really known his wife, only that she was there one day and gone the next. Some said she’d died, and others said she’d left him for another man. Whatever the case, it’d been a mysterious event that few knew anything about, and if they did, no one discussed it much, probably mostly from lack of caring.
I absolutely loved this book. It flowed with grace and captivated my attention. What character did I like the most? All of them. Each one had a purpose in the story that fit perfectly like a puzzle piece. I loved the time period and getting a glimpse at a war that was unforgiving. The author does a great job of writing a story that should be turned into a movie. Oh my it would be grand to see Faith and Joey on the big screen.
Faith is a wonderful person with a pure heart. Her faith is evident and she shares her love for God with everyone. Now I won’t go into details of how she happens to become a wife to Joey because that is something for readers to discover. I will say I wasn’t sure about her decision but I understood why she felt like she needed a change in her life.
Joey is grieving the loss of his wife while raising his children alone. He also is a Union Captain in the Civil War. He can’t seem to keep a nanny while he is gone . Perhaps his children are in need of someone special to come into their lives. I wanted to hug them and tell them they were loved. Faith has her hands full raising them while Joey is away. It would be awkward to be alone with children you barely know and have the full responsibility of caring for them.
I was excited to see where the author would take Faith and Joey’s relationship. They barely have time to get to know each other before he has to report to duty. There are sone powerful moments when Faith shares God’s Word with Joey. She prays daily for him and trusts that he will find his way back to God. The author illustrates with several characters how God forgives us. One particular character is mean, deceitful and stands accused of horrible crimes. Yet in the midst of chaos , he finds redemption. It is a beautiful moment in the story that should not be overlooked.
From an arranged marriage we witness forgiveness, God’s grace and new beginnings. One of the children share a true blessing with everyone that will have you crying. It made me think of the verse, “and a child shall lead them.” The children are a big part of the story and the author demonstrates the emotional toil a death of a parent has on them. In the bustle of life, they had been left behind to deal with emotions on their own. Faith brings light to them by sharing Jesus. She shows them kindness, understanding and unconditional love. As I end my review I want to mention the string of buttons. It is a cherished tradition that I loved learning about. Don’t miss the significance of this special item as you read the story.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion
Connie’s History Classroom, February 9
Texas Book-aholic, February 10
Britt Reads Fiction, February 10
Artistic Nobody, February 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 12
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 12
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 13
For the Love of Literature, February 14
Sara Jane Jacobs, February 14
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 15
Inklings and notions, February 16
Reviewingbooksplusmore, February 16
For Him and My Family, February 17
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 18
Labor Not in Vain, February 18
deb’s Book Review, February 19
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 20
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 20
Blossoms and Blessings, February 21
Vicky Sluiter, February 22
Genesis 5020, February 22
To celebrate her tour, Sharlene is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.