Spring Into Reading with A Life Once Dreamed

Hello reader friends! Welcome to my Spring Into Reading Event! Every day this month, and into the month of May, I’m going to feature a new release (or will be released) book for you to add to your TBR. There will be guest posts, giveaways, book excerpts, and more! So make sure you come back daily and see what book is in the spotlight next! And if you’ve missed any, be sure to click on the “Spring Into Reading” tab and look at the other posts!

Today I’m happy to share Rachel Fordham’s next book, A Life Once Dreamed! Releasing in August, this is a book that I highly recommend adding to your TBR. I have a feeling it’s going to be my favorite of hers! To celebrate this future release, Rachel has offered to give away a signed copy of her earlier release The Hope of Azure Springs (fantastic book in case you were wondering)! Keep reading for the inspiration behind A Life Once Dreamed and your chance to win!


A Life Once Dreamed by [Rachel Fordham]

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory, where she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie’s pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves–but he is the one person who can never know.

In the shadows of the Black Hills, can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can’t seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?

Fan-favorite Rachel Fordham brings to life the dusty streets of an 1880s frontier town in this story that affirms where you come from matters far less than where you’re going.

Pre-Order today!


Every book comes about in its own way and this book is no exception. I wrote this book prior to ever publishing and with no thought of its potential audience or what an editor might be excited about. There is a lot of freedom in simply running with the ideas that come without worrying at all about what reception they will have.

I was looking through a box of old papers and found a questionnaire from when I was in Kindergarten. On it I wrote my favorite color and what I wanted to be when I grew up. I also wrote that my favorite movie was Blossoms in the Dust. I laughed when I saw my answer. I’m guessing I’d watched the old movie with my mom but couldn’t remember anything about it so I decided to rewatch it. After watching it I’m certain my young self has simply liked the little kids in it (I’ve ALWAYS had a soft spot for orphans and children in general). I’m certain I didn’t grasp the actual storyline. Watching as an adult I was shocked by the prejudice illegitimate people suffered and that unfair trial it was for them. How tragic to be labeled forever because of something entirely out of one’s control.

My mind started spinning right away wondering how I could use that prejudice and labeling to build a story. That one piece of the puzzle it all it took for a story to begin growing in my head. Without giving too much away I’ll just say that I enjoyed delving deep into the ramifications of prejudice. In our world today we don’t tend to judge people based on their last name and the status of their parents but we still judge too quickly far to often. It’s my hope that readers will be able to look at this historical issue and feel that they’ve learned something but also be able to see ways we still do similar things. 

Of course, this book is not just about illegitimacy, it’s also about love and growth and adventure. It’s about what makes people family and what a gift it is. My main character is a school teacher and I have to say that she has one student in particular who gives me the giggles and hopefully will for you as well. This book like so many others is also sprinkled with little pieces of my own life. The dates in the book are important dates from my own life, one of the deaths is similar to the disease my son has and several names in this book are people very dear to me.

It’s my hope that readers will read A Life Once Dreamed and be swept away in a romantic story that leaves them with a contended sigh and at the same time close the cover and be left thinking about how we judge others when we ought not to. And maybe, the world will be a kinder place because of it.


Rachel Fordham

Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.

Learn more about current projects at rachelfordham.com


The Hope of Azure Springs
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you still have things from your childhood? If so, what? Don’t forget to stop back every day for more great reads, and if you’ve missed any days, go back and check them out!

11 thoughts on “Spring Into Reading with A Life Once Dreamed

  1. I still have a clown doll that plays twinkle, twinkle little star. I still cuddle with it if I can’t sleep.

  2. I enjoyed reading how Rachel came to write “A Life Once Dreamed.” I still have the short stories scribbled in elementary school as well as my favorite doll, my first necklace, and a few other things.

  3. I have different crafts and drawings from Preschool and Kindergarten. They make me cringe every time I see them! 😀

  4. A pocket sized English-French dictionary my dad gave me. They learned English by ear. Thanks for the chance.

  5. I have a really silly keychain that I got for Christmas when I was kid years ago that I still have.

  6. I still have all my Barbie dolls as well as their clothes and accessories. I also have my little Revere Ware sit of copper bottom pots and pans that matched my Mom’s. Those are the two things I kept all these years.

    I also, have the little homemade doll bed my Grandfather made my Mom for her 4th Christmas which has a little homemade mattress my Granny made out of the cotton picked out of their fields and the small patchwork quilt she hand stitched.

    Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “The Hope of Azure Springs”. Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

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