Author Interview and Giveaway – A Life Once Dreamed – Rachel Fordham

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Raise your hand if you can’t wait to read the next Rachel Fordham book! With the classic combination of a schoolteacher heroine and doctor hero, this story is sure to be one for the keeper shelf. Welcome back to the Index, Rachel!

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A Life Once Dreamed

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?

Rachel’s Website


Questions about Rachel’s Story

What inspired this story?

My mom saved a whole stack of papers from when I was in school. One of them was a list of questions I’d answered in Kindergarten. I listed Blossoms in the Dust as my favorite movie. I’m guessing I’d watched it with my mom and felt old and special by picking it. I decided to rewatch this old film that delved into the life of Edna Gladny, orphan rights and illegitimacy. That was the catalyst for writing this story. I’ve always felt bad for people who are labeled when they shouldn’t be and this was a prejudice that many people have forgotten.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

This was the first book I’d written where my characters knew each other before the first scene. I loved being able to start their relationship with chemistry rather than having to build up to it like I had in previous books.

What character in your book turned out to be your favorite?

A Life Once Dreamed has a lot of serious issues happening in it which I think adds to the quality of this story. In order to add comic relief the characters of Tommy (one of her students) and Minnie (one of her friends) show up and give everyone a good laugh. I enjoyed writing these two outspoken characters that say what they think without a filter!

Why did you choose the geographical location in which your book is set?

I created a fictional town in the Black Hills because I’d been to the Black Hills and could picture them in my mind. I also felt that it was far enough from the world Agnes left to be a stark contrast. I hope readers enjoy this beautiful setting as much as I enjoyed writing it.

What do you hope readers learn from this story?

I hope readers are entertained and that they happy sigh when the book is done (that’s always my hope when I write a love story). I also hope that readers will close the cover of this book and feel a renewed commitment to never judge others based on things they can’t control. Illegitimacy is not the tragic label today that it once was but there are plenty of other ways we box people in or limit them based on things out of their control. Let’s fight those injustices together!


Questions about Rachel’s Reading

What Christian Historical Novel did you reread last, and why did you reread it?

I reread Redeeming Love. It’d been such a long time and I wanted to remember how Francine Rivers pulled off tackling such difficult topics with so much grace.

What Christian Historical Novel did you last personally recommend to someone and why did you recommend that one to them? The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin. Not only is it a great novel (excellent actually), but the opening scene is extremely compelling, and I used it as an example for another author of how to start with a bang.

Rachel is giving away a paperback (US entrants only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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