The doubts and darkness with which Sarah Langley greeted the New Year seem to be giving way to a renewed hope that her failed marriage, her unfaithful husband, and the loss of her successful life in Phoenix can finally be put behind her so that she can move forward into a destiny where her life has purpose. Working as a secretary in the church where she was baptized, confirmed and married; learning more about Ian Cameron before he became a pastor; sharing the stories and the drama of the church community combine to give Sarah roots in her hometown. Finding the roots of her faith is more complicated, because there’s no uniformity among church members when it comes to understanding God, and only God can appreciate the individuality of His followers. Within the congregation, there are those who feel that they serve God by pointing out the cobwebs left behind by the church sextons; there is the musical war between the expressive and volatile choir director and the controlled, reserved organist. The salt-of-the-earth faith of treasurer Joanne is a refreshing foundation for Sarah as she strives to redefine her adult understanding of God. She’s not quite sure where her destiny will take her, but she’s willing to believe that in life, as in the seasons, spring is the rebirth of the spirit after the emptiness of winter. But she’s hesitant to trust her heart to anyone, even to the warm-hearted, good-looking pastor who is giving her strong signals that he wants more from her than just a work relationship. When the two share a night of confidences at a youth overnight event, Sarah’s hope for the future blossoms, until she finds out that love is never effortless. The gossip among some members of the church concerning Sarah the secretary and Ian the pastor threatens to destroy their romance before it even gets a chance to develop. Can Sarah’s brittle emotions withstand the challenges of speculation from people in the congregation who have misinterpreted her response to Ian? Can Ian’s desire for love handle the expectations of his congregation? Can both of them trust that God’s purpose plays out in the routine of everyday life, and that true love that can last forever must weather human storms? Winter must always give way to spring and Sarah learns that God, who rules over the seasons of the year, also rules over the seasons of her life.
With his twenty-first birthday, Hyam begins a journey that will lead him to his destiny–or his doom.
Hyam has always shown a remarkable ability to master languages, even those left unspoken for a thousand years. But now the shadow of suspicion that was cast upon him as a child prodigy at Long Hall is lengthening, and he must keep his identity hidden–or face annihilation.
As Hyam’s mother slips toward death, she implores him to return to Long Hall before he settles down to farm his land. This journey born from duty becomes an impassioned quest for the truth. War is coming swiftly, and Hyam must rely upon his newfound powers and the friends he meets along the way in order to unravel the puzzling past and ensure that he–and the realm–will have a future.
“Book one of the Legends of the Realm series is a wonderful journey away from the real world. This universe is one of fantasy with good and evil, magic, and creatures both mundane and fantastical. The young hero and his companion animals will soon have readers wanting to go on adventures with them. A fine start to this intriguing series.”–RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
“Readers of inspirational fantasy will enjoy [Locke’s] foray into a new genre.”–Publishers Weekly
“A superbly crafted fantasy adventure novel that engages the reader’s total and rewarded attention from beginning to end. Very highly recommended.”–Midwest Book Review