Naomi Hope Rawlings is a survivor. She fought her way out of the darkness from a traumatic assault as a teen to build Songbird’s Bakery and Cafe into a thriving company in Cardinal Point, Texas. Her painstaking work will enable her to create a healing sanctuary for young women who have gone through the same nightmare. But just when the dream can become reality, all the carefully orchestrated pieces fall apart.
Nathaniel Shepherd has lost his way. He once had a family, a home, and a best friend. All of that vanished with a move to the city that ended his brother’s life and landed him in jail. He’s survived the heartache, but he’s restless. An offer to buy his company causes him to lose grip on his hard-won balance. Something is missing. Can he find it back in Cardinal Point, the last place he felt whole?
Naomi and Nathaniel have unfinished business. A long time ago, their unbreakable friendship turned to love before life interfered to crush childhood dreams. Now, Nathaniel is back to find her. Can she see beyond her inability to trust outsiders? And can they both move beyond the past to find hope and the promise for tomorrow?
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Texas girl by birth, child of the world by choice.
While I was born in Texas, it was a momentary layover on our way back to Venezuela. My dad was in the oil industry which allowed me to have my backyard in countries like Norway, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. We came back to the U.S. every summer and that made for interesting communication challenges for my grandparents. The first four years of my life, I only spoke Spanish. My mother would have to leave flashcards for them whenever they babysat.
I’ve ridden elephants in Thailand, shopped in the souks of Morocco and skied on the slopes of Switzerland. Even though I consider myself having an idyllic childhood, it wasn’t without some turbulent moments. In Venezuela, we barricaded ourselves in our house while a political and military coup raged around us in the streets. When we arrived in Malaysia, the first few weeks in the hotel were wonderful. Overnight, the cultural climate changed when too many seats in parliament were held by the Chinese. The situation exploded, and we were finally evacuated in an armored truck with large soldiers and even larger guns. On a side note, Peter Jennings was in the hotel with us and used my mother’s typewriter to write his story while cars burned and shots were fired through the windows.
I was lucky enough to have grown up on an airplane with adventure at my fingertips. The one thing I had not experienced was living in my home country. When I was seventeen, that changed. I was dropped off at Tulane University in New Orleans. Talk about culture shock!
I earned my undergrad (French Literature and Education) and grad (Early Childhood Development with a focus on social isolates) degrees. As soon as I finished, it was back off to Malaysia to teach. I met my husband on an airplane and the rest is history. It turns out he grew up overseas as well- I think an angel put him in that seat just for me. We now have two kids and hop planes whenever we can!
Journeys, whether inner ones or across continents, have been a mainstay of my storytelling from the beginning. Based on my life and education, it’s not such a big stretch to understand why. My very first book was written in London on a large stack of hotel stationery when I was fifteen. It was terrible, but the bug bit and I’ve dabbled ever since in writing romances with characters searching for their happily-ever-after.
I have won several writing awards like the Holt Medallion, The Emily, and The Maggie for some of my other books. My favorite hobbies are sketching, cross stitch, cooking, and decorating!