So excited to spotlight a character from Sondra Kraak’s book Two Ways Home! Mary is a great character. Strong, stubborn, funny, talented, and more. I hope you like reading about her as much as I did!
Purchase your copy here!
About the Book
She’s about to lose her home. He never wanted to see his again. And a stalker is staking a claim . . .
Mary Smith was never one to back down from a challenge. Her father’s health may be failing, but their dairy farm was her mother’s dream, and Mary will do whatever it takes to keep her father from selling it—even if it means sneaking off to the next town to earn money by playing the piano in a questionable establishment. No one seems to understand why home is so important to her, least of all her childhood nemesis who’s just wandered back into town.
When injured Texas Ranger Luke Thomas is forced to return to Pine Creek, Washington, he’s hailed as a hero and thrust into the town’s first race for sheriff. But no one knows the secret he carried to Texas, nor the secret he’s brought home. Setting his perfect aim on returning south, he refuses to get tied down by the town’s admiration, his brother’s disapproval, or the spirited, hardworking dairy girl who’s less annoying than he remembers.
But strange things are happening at the Smith dairy and in Pine Creek, and Luke’s instincts tell him Mary is in far more trouble than she realizes. One thing is certain: “home” is about to get more complicated for them both.
Full of wit and romantic tension, this Christian historical love story sets forth the true meaning of coming home.
Character Spotlight – Meet Mary
You can’t help but have fun around Mary. She’s bold, dynamic, opinionated, and a little on the wild side. On the other hand, she’s down to earth, ready to work hard, and refuses to give up. Here’s a peek into her unconventionality (they’re sitting on the ground by the gravestones of Luke’s father and Mary’s mother; this is from Luke’s point of view):
“Take off your shirt,” she said.
“What?” His gaze jerked to hers.
“I want to see your scars again.”
“I don’t think so.”
“It’s not appropriate.”
He stretched his legs out, and she leaned her elbow across the top of his boots.
“You’re right,” she said. “But I’m curious.”
And honest. Eccentric. Beautiful. She made him laugh, wheedled him into talking about things he’d not talked about with anyone. And the absence of condemnation in her expression made him feel safe. Understood.
Dangerous thoughts, Thomas. Thoughts like that didn’t free a man to return to his job.
And a bit later in the same scene . . .
She’d locked her jaw, presumably to hold back tears. “No one’s prayed for me like that.”
“I pray for you every day.”
“You do?” Pink tinged her cheeks.
“Whenever I think of you, which . . .” was by the hour, by the minute. Was she ever out of his mind? “Which is every day.” He’d pictured the day he’d bring a flush to her cheeks, and prayer hadn’t been part of the equation.
“I don’t know what to say.”
“Please don’t say anything.”
She’d come up with something sassy. Or worse, profound. Something that might contribute to their mounting intimacy.
One of the interesting things about Mary is that she’s fearful of thunderstorms. Can anyone relate? That’s a fear that most children outgrow, but for Mary, storms turn her insides to jello, send her sweating and ducking under the covers. To realize where this fear came from and why she can’t get over it, she needs to learn a few things from her father about her past, and then let Jesus heal those hidden memories.
Thanks for taking a peek at Mary! Visit Sydney at the Singing Librarian tomorrow to take a look at Mary’s counterpart, Luke Thomas. If you want to read more, don’t miss out on the e-book sale which ends Friday.
Mary and Luke remind me of the two little kids that pick on each other constantly, but grow up and have this great love story. They did pick on each other. I loved his name for her, Dairy Mary. But what I enjoyed more was that Mary could hold her own. The picking and teasing didn’t bother her, she just gave it back. She was a strong character that worked hard and wouldn’t give up without a fight. Stubborn at times, but what great heroine isn’t?!
There is a little mystery involved in this story too, which brought a new and exciting element to the storyline. You see little glimpses of it in the first half, but if you’re not really focused on it you might miss it. But it comes to light in the second half, and I like how it was presented. I kind of had an inkling all along what and who it might be, but still enjoyed reading about it.
Overall this was a great story. About becoming you are meant to be, coming home, accepting forgiveness, and of course love. Mary and Luke are my favorite couple so far this year. I hope to see them more in the future! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
A native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, blogging about spiritual truths, and writing historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She delights in sharing stories that not only entertain, but nourish the soul. Her debut novel, One Plus One Equals Trouble, was an ACFW Genesis semi-finalist (2015) and the winner of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Unpublished Women’s Fiction Award (2015). Sondra has since published three novels.
If you’re interested in following this blog tour for other interviews, character spotlights, and more, here’s the schedule:
Katie at Fiction Aficionado (interview, excerpt), Saturday, May 20
Kathleen Denly (game), Monday, May 22
Trisha at Joy of Reading (interview), Monday, May 22
Beth Erin at Faithfully Bookish (setting spotlight), Tuesday, May 23
Jessica at A Baker’s Perspective (spotlight on heroine), Wednesday, May 24
Sydney at Singing Librarian (interview, spotlight on hero), Thursday, May 25