The Hope of Rachel Fordham: An Author, Heroine, and God's Comfort

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“The Hope of Rachel Fordham: An Author, Her Heroine, and God’s Comfort”

One of the books I’m most excited about this summer is debut author, Rachel Fordham’s, The Hope of Azure Springs, releasing July 3, 2018 from Revell. Combining the history of the Orphan Train movement (which fascinates me) with the sweet prairie romance style (which first introduced me to Christian fiction) guarantees that this one is on my ‘must-read’ shelf.

From the Publisher:

Between 1854 and 1929, the orphan train movement relocated over 200,000 orphaned, abandoned or homeless children from the eastern United States to rural areas throughout the country, focusing primarily on the Midwest. Since that time, this movement has captured the attention and curiosity of readers. In The Hope of Azure Springs, Fordham masterfully blends history and romance into her well-crafted tale of a former “train rider.”

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister. But she won’t be able to do it alone.

Sheriff Caleb Reynolds is determined to solve the case and secure justice for Em. But what he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Historical romance readers will be charmed by the town of Azure Springs as they journey with Em to face her past, embrace her future and rescue what she’s lost.

I am delighted to welcome Rachel Fordham to Hope For Women today! She shares how God brought her comfort through her own heroine at a time when she most needed that tender touch from Him.

 Em

By Rachel Fordham, Author of The Hope of Azure Springs

I am one of those writers who begins with very little idea of where a story is going to take me. When sitting down to write Em’s tale, I knew that I wanted her to be resilient and flawed, and full of inner beauty. But I knew very few specifics. Once an author actually sits down and begins writing, unexpected things always happen. Going in, I did not know that Em would become a friend through two difficult trials in my life.

While writing about Em’s tragedy and triumph, I wandered through one of my own storms of life. My son was diagnosed with a chronic, life-threatening illness (adrenoleukodystrophy). I was shaken and distraught. I had to step away from writing for a season and find my new normal. I wrestled with how to accept an outcome I didn’t want. I had to learn how to find joy, despite my pain. When I did finally return to finish this manuscript, I found that the same principles of hope that I’d written into Em’s story needed to be applied to my own life. In her quiet, soft way, she spoke to me. She is fictional; yet, she was one of the friends who I needed in that dark time.

Now with Em’s story finally coming out for all the world to read, I find once again that the winds of life are thrashing against me. The details aren’t mine to share. But, I’ll say this: I am a foster parent. It is a beautiful thing that I love and advocate for another child. It’s a calling that is filled with both great joy and great pain. I was driving home from a court appointment only days ago, with tears rolling down my face. I’m pretty sure tears should fall in the distracted driver category. The pain of the verdict and what was ahead was so fresh and raw in my mind and heart that, despite the summer sun, my world felt dark. I needed a distraction. Something, anything to give me a reprieve from the hurt and anguish I was feeling. I popped in the disc from the audio of my own book that I’d just gotten, hoping it would be mind-numbing. My car filled with Em and her determination to fight. I wish I could say it calmed the storm and healed all pain. It didn’t. But, I believe God found a way to help me feel a little less alone. I’m grateful for that and for all the ways He comforts me.

Here’s the great thing: despite Em’s pain and heartache, she finds joy. She finds beauty and hope. And all of us can find that in our own life. Maybe it won’t look exactly like we want it to, but we are promised that, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

Em’s morning of joy came, and so did mine after my son’s diagnosis. It is that hope that I cling to now and that we can all cling to when life is hard. Em will always have a special place in my heart. I hope she will have a place in your heart, too.


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Rachel Fordham started writing when her children begged her for stories at night. She’d pull a book from the shelf, but they’d insist she make one up. Finally, she paired her love of good stories with her love of writing, and she hasn’t stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

The Hope of Azure Springs

by Rachel Fordham
ISBN: 9780800734732 | Ebook ISBN: 9781493414222 | 320 pages, paperback | $15.99 | July

Buy Links: Baker Book House