Matters of the Heart Kick-Off Package
About the Book
Book: Matters of the Heart
Author: Heidi Gray McGill
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release date: July 15, 2022
When those experiencing the same fate she endured show up at her doorstep…
Katie determines to be their champion, no matter the fallout.
Will the man who fought for the other side also fight for her?
Unconventional Katie empathizes with the widows and orphans of the Civil War, searching for a place to call home in Shumard Oak Bend. But with no one to help her, she’ll need to do it secretly, a challenge she readily accepts. She’s taken charge before, and she’ll do it again, no matter who she has to outwit to get the job done.
He vowed to be his own man and stop doing everyone else’s bidding. But he follows orders when a pair of emerald green eyes, blazing red hair, and freckles that dance on the bridge of a pert nose conscript him to duty. Be his own man. Who is he kidding? Skunks don’t change their stripes. They leave disasters in their wake wherever they go, just like him.
Overcoming personal obstacles and finding your true self doesn’t mean going it alone. Yet the answer isn’t always in the one you seek.
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About the Author
Heidi is an optimist who chooses to find the silver lining in life’s clouds of doubt. This plays out in her writing. Her ability to weave scripture seamlessly into the lives of her characters will uplift and encourage you, while her masterful storytelling will keep you turning page after page and wishing for more.
Heidi lives with her husband of thirty years near Charlotte, NC. When she isn’t writing, you will find her outside playing with her two grandsons, walking, scrapbooking, reading, cooking, traveling, or finding an excuse to have an outing with a girlfriend.
Fusing Faith and Fiction™
True Christian Fiction. Relatable Characters. Life-changing stories.
More from Heidi
Where did the idea for Matters of the Heart originate?
Before I was an author, I was the founder and director of an English as a Second Language ministry. The program touched the lives of students from 35 different countries. Regardless of culture, religion, language, or age, I found a substantial similarity in these students—they all wanted to improve their lot in life and that of their children.
Stories abounded of walks across deserts, financial hardships, desperate attempts to explain emergencies to medical professionals or law enforcement, failed verbal connections with schoolteachers, and an inability to obtain work because of their lack of language skills. Prejudice and distrust blocked them, culture shock took them outside their comfort zones, and the urgent need to survive made them scramble to dig deep inside and find creative ways to secure shelter and put food on their tables.
It wasn’t that these immigrants weren’t capable of achieving success. In their home countries, vocations varied from chemist and biologist with PhDs, to teachers, lawyers, and medical professionals. Others came from poverty and had little education but were not afraid of hard work, long hours, and low pay. They were tenacious, and they worked with relentless determination and a bullheaded resolve to achieve their goals. They relied on each other and soaked in everything around them in their desire to assimilate into the American culture and find a new place to belong.
Immigrants in the late 1800s were not much different. Individuals came to improve their lot in life and be a part of the greatest country in the world. In Matters of the Heart, Hans Korhonen left Finland with his brothers to take advantage of the land grants. Together, they worked to establish a farm large enough to sustain four families and support troops during the Civil War. Yet, in their desire to belong and give back to our great nation, Hans’s idyllic life changed through his service as a Union soldier.
Kathleen Murphy, or Katie, came to the United States to escape a life of extreme poverty and abuse in Ireland. Working in her aunt and uncle’s boarding offered more than a job. It provided the love and support of a family. Katie rose from her previous station and started fresh with hope on the horizon. She found a source of ministry that gave her life a purpose she’d not had before.
My association with my former ESL students helped me develop the characters in this book into individuals with which readers can identify.
Join Katie and Hans as they establish themselves in their new home of Shumard Oak Bend.
This story has so much emotions running throughout that I devoured every word. From the beginning we can see how faith holds this story together and how it affects our two main characters. I loved the historical facts scattered within the scenes which made them come to life. The author captures the time period with depth and shows how hard it was to survive everyday. Food was scarce and at times there was little to share with others.
Katie is someone who is fiery, determined and outspoken. She has this dream to open a place where widows and orphans can go for shelter and help in getting their lives back in order. Her soft heart for this dream makes her sometimes try to get ahead of God’s plan. Have you ever stepped out ahead of God’s timing? I know I have. It didn’t turn out well but it was a lesson I needed to learn about patience.
Hans is very unsettled in his life. He has taken orders from others for so long that he has to get out on his own. The things he witnessed in the war has left scars on his emotions. We can also see that the unkind words he has heard growing up has made him feel like a failure. His heart has turned away from God yet he knows that he needs to find his way back to him.
My favorite character is the sweet woman who Katie calls Aunt Aideen. She has this gift of hospitality and makes everyone feel welcome at her boarding house. I could smell the fresh bread baking and the aroma of meals that made me feel content. She has a special relationship with her niece. I love how she always has a warm smile for everyone and tells Katie, “ we chose to have joy in our present circumstances rather than dwell on all that were wrong around us.” Oh my were those such profound words. We do have a choice to either be happy where we are or be miserable and continue to try to do things on your own.
There is much wisdom spoken from people who try to guide Katie and Hans. They both seem a little unsure of themselves. As they search for where they belong, the author delivers a strong message. “ when our identity comes from anything or anyone other than God, we will fail.”
Both Katie and Hans take a journey to overcome their past, learn to trust God and use their servant’s heart to help others. It is a beautiful story that reminds us that,” Every step forward changes the view, it never remains the same.” As we focus on what is in front of us, we can let go of the past. Once we let go of the feeling that we will fail, we can walk in freedom and follow God’s direction.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5
Texas Book-aholic, August 6
Book Butterfly in Dreamland, August 6
Inklings and notions, August 7
lakesidelivingsite, August 8
For Him and My Family, August 9
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 10
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 11
Blossoms and Blessings, August 12
deb’s Book Review, August 12
Connie’s History Classroom, August 13
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 14
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 15
Pause for Tales, August 16
Truth and Grace HomeschoolAcademy, August 17
To Everything There Is A Season, August 17
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 18
To celebrate her tour, Heidi is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the first three books in the series!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Matters of the Heart sounds like a very compelling story for me to read, thanks for sharing it with me!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Texas Book-aholic, for sharing your review!
Have a spectacular weekend!
Thank you, Stormy!Delete
I am so excited to read this book!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Tracie!ReplyDelete
Deana, This review touched my heart. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing your wonderful review of Matters of the Heart, I love the cover and synopsis and I am looking forward to reading this story myselfReplyDelete
Deana, Thank you for sharing your excellent review! Matters of the Heart sounds like one not to miss.ReplyDelete
This sounds like a very good romance with wonderful lessons of faith.ReplyDelete