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1933/Present Day – West Virginia
A charming and engrossing novel for fans of Southern fiction and the recent hit memoir Hillbilly Elegy about a lush and storied coal-mining town—and the good people who live there—in danger of being destroyed for the sake of profit. Will the truth about the town’s past be its final undoing or its saving grace?
1933. In the mining town of Beulah Mountain, West Virginia, two young girls form an unbreakable bond against the lush Appalachian landscape, coal dust and old hymns filling their lungs and hearts. Despite the polarizing forces of their fathers—one a mine owner, one a disgruntled miner —Ruby and Bean thrive under the tender care of Bean’s mama, blissfully unaware of the rising conflict in town and the coming tragedy that will tear them apart forever.
2004. Hollis Beasley is taking his last stand. Neighbors up and down the hollow have sold their land to Coleman Coal and Energy, but Hollis is determined to hold on to his family legacy on Beulah Mountain. Standing in his way is Buddy Coleman, an upstart mining executive who hopes to revitalize the dying town by increasing coal production and opening the Company Store Museum. He’ll pay homage to the past—even the massacre of 1933—while positioning the company for growth at all costs.
What surprises them all is how their stories will intersect with a feisty octogenarian living hundreds of miles away. When Ruby Handley Freeman’s grown children threaten her independence, she takes a stand of her own and disappears, propelling her on a journey to face a decades-old secret that will change everything for her and those she meets.
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1873 – Utah
No women are allowed at the Batchwell Bottoms mining camp—yet Dr. Sumner Havisham headed West seeking a job there. When an avalanche strands her and several mail-order brides, she’s up against strict rules—and stern mine superintendent Jonah Ramsey. But nothing will stop her—especially from helping Jonah, who needs her healing in more ways than one.
For Jonah, his job is a refuge from his past. He has good reasons to stay far away from the spirited Sumner, especially since he thinks he has nothing to offer. But as tensions rise, her caring and skill ignites a love he’d never thought he’d find. Can they save the dreams they’ve worked so hard for—and claim a life together?
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1910 – Utah
Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husband’s life.
Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart…and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble.
Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him. When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Rock. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.
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1881 – New Mexico
When an explosion kills men and damages the CR Mining Company, the Bodens realize their troubles are not behind them as they thought. Shadowy forces are still working against them.
Cole Boden finds himself caught between missing his time back East and all that New Mexico offers. Sure he fights with his siblings now and then, but he does care for them. He enjoys running the mine and, when he’s honest, he admits that Melanie Blake captures his interest in a way no other woman ever has.
Melanie has been a friend to the Bodens forever. A cowgirl who is more comfortable with horses and lassoes than people, she never expected to find herself falling for someone. Particularly for refined Cole Boden, a Harvard graduate who may not stay long at the ranch. She’s determined, however, to help the Bodens finally put an end to the danger that’s threatened all of them. But will putting herself in harm’s way be more dangerous than anyone expected?
An Unlikely Mother
1883 – Colorado
Hoping to overcome her reputation as Leadville, Colorado’s biggest gossip, wealthy socialite Flora Montgomery offers to help a miner care for an abandoned child. But her growing affection for the sweet boy’s handsome rescuer could be a problem. Especially since her parents insist she must marry for money.
Undercover mine owner George Baxter is digging himself into a dilemma. The once-spoiled Flora has become a delightful, generous woman, and she’ll be devastated by his deception. Yet if he can’t discover who’s sabotaging the mine, George will lose any chance of making a home for Flora and Pierre. Can the little boy who holds both their hearts help them lay claim to a new dream of family?
The Chapel Car Bride
1913 – West Virginia
With her penchant for seeing the best in everyone, Hope Irvine sees a world full of good people in hard places. When her father accepts a position traveling in a chapel car as an on-the-rail missionary, she is determined to join him in his efforts and put her musical skills to good use by serving the mining families of West Virginia, saving their souls, and bettering their lives.
Luke Hughes shares Hope’s love of music and her love of God, but as a poor miner he knows he can offer her no future. Still, the notes she sings resonate in his heart. When she begins to travel with a young mine manager to neighboring counties, Luke can hardly suppress his jealousy. It isn’t until he begins to suspect these missions of mercy might be the mine manager’s cover for illegal purposes, though, that Luke feels justified in speaking up. But how can he discover the truth without hurting Hope or, worse, putting her in danger?
Where Hope Prevails
When Beth Thatcher returns to Coal Valley, she has much to be excited about. She anticipates Jarrick’s proposal of marriage and perhaps a spring wedding. The mine is expanding, and there are more schoolchildren than ever.
But the town’s rapid growth brings many challenges. A second teacher is assigned, and Beth finds herself going head-to-head with a very different philosophy of education–one that dismisses religion and rejects God. Fearful for the children who sit under the influence of Robert Harris Hughes, Beth struggles to know how to respond.
At the same time, Beth wonders if Jarrick is considering a position at her father’s company simply for her sake. Should she admit her feelings on the matter? Or keep silent and allow Jarrick to make up his own mind?
A Treasure Concealed
1895 – Montana
Emily Carver longs to have a home of her own, but instead she endures a transient existence in the gold mining camps of Montana, where her father’s hopes for riches lie endlessly buried. Promises of wealth from this wild land have brought only hardship and disappointment, causing Emily to wonder if her own modest dreams will ever see the light of day.
Caeden Thibault, a young geologist working for the government, is a man trying to escape the pain of his past, and the idyllic mountains of Montana serve his purposes well. In the course of his work, he has seen more than his share of starry-eyed gold seekers. So when Emily Carver catches his attention, he is intrigued by the fact that she isn’t pinning her hopes on striking it rich.
Will an unexpected discovery come between them or draw them together?
Rocky Mountain Dreams
1881 – Colorado
The last thing Joseph Stone expects to discover upon arriving in Leadville, Colorado, is a newfound little sister. Hoping to find his late father’s silver mine and hopefully keep his siblings back home out of an orphanage, Joseph needs an ally. The preacher’s lovely daughter agrees to care for the little girl. She’s just not as willing to trust the prospector….
Annabelle Lassiter has seen what men do in pursuit of riches. Yet for all the hardship he’s known, Joseph still shows tenderness and warmth. Annabelle’s plan has long been to leave Leadville far behind. But Joseph’s quest for silver could cost them a more precious dream—one of family, love and new beginnings….
The Miner’s Lady (Land of Shining Water, No. 3)
1890 – Minnesota
When Chantel Panetta’s younger sister claims to be in love with Orlando Calarco, Chantel knows there is no hope. The Panettas and Calarcos have been sworn enemies for decades, and young love cannot heal the deep wounds between the two iron-mining families. Yet, unable to resist Isabella’s pleas, Chantel agrees to help her sister spend time with Orlando…only to have a run-in with Dante, Orlando’s brother.
Chantel can’t deny the attraction that flares when she’s with Dante. But when a tragedy occurs at the mine, is there any hope that the hatred that has simmered between these two families might be resolved? Or will Chantel and Isabella’s hope for love be buried amidst decades of misunderstanding?