Thursday, July 12, 2018


~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author Bio,
Excerpt & Giveaway~


Title: The Hope of Azure Springs
Author: Rachel Fordham
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance 

Alone in a strange town, can she find healing for her new home . . . and herself?

Ada, Mich.—Between 1854 and 1929, the orphan train movement relocated over 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, or homeless children from the eastern United States to rural areas throughout the country, focusing primarily in the Midwest. Since that time, this movement has captured the attention and curiosity of readers. In The Hope of Azure Springs, debut author Rachel Fordham masterfully blends history and romance in her well-crafted tale of a former “train rider.”

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

Sheriff Caleb Reynolds is determined to solve the case and secure justice for Em. But what he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Historical romance readers will be charmed by the town of Azure Springs as they journey with Em to face her past, embrace her future, and rescue what she’s lost.

Debut Author Deftly Combines Orphan Train Tale with Sweet Prairie Romance


“I know you’ll take care of us all.” She squeezed his arm a little tighter.

Olivia stepped out of the shop just as they approached. Olivia Bingham was eighteen, a year younger than Eliza. She was dark haired and fair skinned. The two were often together. Everywhere they went the pair drew attention. More men talked about these two than any other females in the county.

“So nice to see you, Sheriff,” Olivia said when they approached. “About time you took Eliza for a stroll. I was beginning to think you’d never ask her. Don’t stop on my account. I can turn right around and buy more lace. The shipment today is better than any other. I plan to have a new frock made just so I can trim it with ivory lace.”

Caleb dragged his foot around in the dry dirt. “A stroll would be pleasant. To be honest, it sounds much more appealing than the day I have waiting for me. I can’t stay though. I have to see James over at the land office. But I’ll look forward to seeing your new frock. I’ll let you two go and pick out lace.” Caleb reluctantly unwound Eliza’s arm from his own, then turned and stepped away. “Good day, ladies.”

Smiling back at the pair of them, he forced his legs into motion and headed south. A few steps later he allowed himself one more backward glance. The women had linked arms and were whispering together, smiles lighting their faces, both carefree and radiant. Spending the afternoon with them would have been enjoyable. But he had a job to fulfill, and now was as good a time as any. Being a sheriff was an honor and a responsibility he took seriously. Still, there were days he wanted to walk away from the demands. Lead the quiet life he’d once dreamed of.

Caleb put all thoughts of Eliza from his mind as he walked to the land office. Once there, he pushed open the heavy wooden door and looked around for James. Cigar smoke filled the air, mixing with the smell of musty paper, the same smell that always greeted Caleb when he stopped by. At the sound of the door, James stood, put his half-smoked cigar down, and walked over.

“Sheriff Reynolds, what brings you here?” James’s voice was big and hoarse, as always, and he sounded as if he had something trapped in his throat. “Can I get you something?”

“I need you to help me dig up a claim. I want to see who owns a stretch of land.” Caleb fumbled through papers in the top drawer of an old desk. He pulled out several maps before finding the one he was looking for.

“Hollow Creek area?” James asked after giving the map only a glance.

Caleb nodded but didn’t look up. At last he pointed to the section he was sure was George’s land. “This bit here. I don’t know how big the claim is, but this is it. Can you tell me who owns it?”

“It’ll take me some time. I don’t recall anyone buying up any land there for years, but I can find out for you. I’ve got the records around here somewhere. When do you need them by?” James was already shuffling through papers, his head bent low, eyes racing across faded lines of scrawled hand­writing.

Caleb wondered how he knew where anything was. There seemed to be no system, no organization. “The quicker the better. I’m going to ride out there as soon as I can. I’d go today if I could, but it’s too late. Tomorrow I have to take the Strafford boy in to the county judge. There and back will take me the whole day. I’d have someone else take him, but there’s no one.”

Caleb scratched at his collar. “I’ll probably head out the next day before dawn. Do you think you could have it for me by then?” He knew James would find it by then, probably much sooner. Whenever he asked a favor of him, he managed to find a way to help.

“I’ll have it before you head out. Come by tomorrow when you get back in town.” James bent over and fought the frog that seemed to live in his throat. When it was finally suppressed, he asked, “Is this about that girl? The one they brought in half dead a couple days back?”

“Yeah. Not sure what the story is yet, but it might end up being a big one.” Caleb walked back toward the door.

“Thank you, James. I’ll come by tomorrow evening and see what you’ve found.”

Caleb opened the door and stepped outside, away from the stench of the stale cigar smoke. He felt grateful for his position and his shiny star. People were eager to help, and depending on how the next couple of days went, he might need that help. Already his gut was telling him this was no usual crime.


Credit: Kylee Ann Maughan
Rachel Fordham started writing when her children began begging her for stories at night. She'd pull a book from the shelf, but they'd insist she make one up. Finally she put her love of good stories with her love of writing and she hasn't stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

CONNECT WITH RACHEL:  website,  facebook,  goodreads 

GIVEAWAY: The publisher has graciously offered (3) winners each a copy of The Hope of Azure Springs and special Revell swag!

Giveaway will begin at midnight July 9, 2018 and last through 11:59 PM EST on July 17, 2018. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.  Complete prize open to US mailing addresses only.  For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE. Be sure to stop at a stop each day for extra entries!


For the full tour schedule, click on either of the launch pages below.

(All stops expected to post by 11:00 AM EST)

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
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-- Monday, July 16th: Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday historical fiction feature on a new novel by award-winning author, Kirby Larson, entitled, 'Code Word: Courage'. This book is set during World War II and features some unique characters and fine writing.

-- Tuesday, July 17th: Blog Tour Stop for 'Building a Life'. Post includes a book spotlight, author bio, excerpt, and ten behind-the-scenes facts shared by the author. Tour organized by Singing Librarian Books.

-- Wednesday, July 18th: Blog Tour Stop for 'The Last Summer'. Post includes a book spotlight, author bio, excerpt, and ten behind-the-scenes facts shared by the author. Tour organized by Singing Librarian Books.

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  1. Thank you for being a part of the tour!!

  2. Looking forward to reading the book.

  3. The cover makes me want to dive in! Thanks for the review and excerpt. I've added it to my tbr list.

  4. Thanks for the opportunity to enter a giveaway. Would love to win a print copy! Lual Krautter

  5. I love historical fiction! I'm excited to read this book.