About the Book
Book: Matters of the Heart
Author: Heidi Gray McGill
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release date: July 15, 2022
When those experiencing the same fate she endured show up at her doorstep…
Katie determines to be their champion, no matter the fallout.
Will the man who fought for the other side also fight for her?
Unconventional Katie empathizes with the widows and orphans of the Civil War, searching for a place to call home in Shumard Oak Bend. But with no one to help her, she’ll need to do it secretly, a challenge she readily accepts. She’s taken charge before, and she’ll do it again, no matter who she has to outwit to get the job done.
He vowed to be his own man and stop doing everyone else’s bidding. But he follows orders when a pair of emerald green eyes, blazing red hair, and freckles that dance on the bridge of a pert nose conscript him to duty. Be his own man. Who is he kidding? Skunks don’t change their stripes. They leave disasters in their wake wherever they go, just like him.
Overcoming personal obstacles and finding your true self doesn’t mean going it alone. Yet the answer isn’t always in the one you seek.
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“You’re seeing your failure. I’m seeing your worth.”
Third in a series Discerning God’s Best, Matters of the Heart by Heidi Gray McGill is easily a standalone novel. Set in 1866 Missouri, with the Civil War barely past, there are situations and a few words that some might find offensive, but which are true to the times.
PTSD, homelessness, caring for widows and orphans, standing up for oneself and one’s friends, and running from God are all themes of this book.
You will enjoy the characters you meet in this story. Sassy, fiery, passionate Katie, with an impossible dream. Hans, “tired of doing everyone else’s bidding. Tired of living under another’s rule. Tired of lying to himself that he could change.” Reverend Jenkins, oh, my! What a character he is!! And Aunt Aideen- so wise, humble, loving, encouraging, and willing to challenge people to be their best. Plus so many more secondary persons you will love as well.
I love that McGill focuses on the fact that though people are different, working together brings the best results. I love the belief not in coincidence, but “God incidence.” Also, there is a lot Truth for living imparted in these pages.
I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit, plus bought my own ebook. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
“So far, you’ve told me how you feel but not how God feels.”
“You’ve shared your thoughts, desires, and plans, but you need to listen to what God would have you do. It’s His path that matters.”
“He did not need a woman. He did not need this family, and he did not need God. He’d be just fine on his own.”
“…he wondered if he could ever outrun himself.”
“He’d heard more than once that freedom cost dearly. The war may be over, but there was no freedom for those now enslaved by their scars.”
“Now, he wanted to make something of himself, be his own man, prove to himself he could do more than just follow rules and orders.”
“Don’t make a decision based on a season of life that will alter the rest of your life.”
“He was telling her to live in the ‘yet’—that transitional time where she could grow and learn until He was ready to fulfill His will.”
“Yes, every step forward changes the view, it never remains the same.”
“I trust my God enough to believe He will provide exactly what we need at the moment we need it. Not a second early, nor a minute late.”
“But, scriptures are just phrases until we know God on a deeper level and on more than just paper. I learned God’s Word doesn’t become powerful until it becomes personal.”
Great!! A great post-Civil War novel with many nuggets of truth!!
About the Author
Heidi is an optimist who chooses to find the silver lining in life’s clouds of doubt. This plays out in her writing. Her ability to weave scripture seamlessly into the lives of her characters will uplift and encourage you, while her masterful storytelling will keep you turning page after page and wishing for more.
Heidi lives with her husband of thirty years near Charlotte, NC. When she isn’t writing, you will find her outside playing with her two grandsons, walking, scrapbooking, reading, cooking, traveling, or finding an excuse to have an outing with a girlfriend.
Fusing Faith and Fiction™
True Christian Fiction. Relatable Characters. Life-changing stories.
More from Heidi
Where did the idea for Matters of the Heart originate?
Before I was an author, I was the founder and director of an English as a Second Language ministry. The program touched the lives of students from 35 different countries. Regardless of culture, religion, language, or age, I found a substantial similarity in these students—they all wanted to improve their lot in life and that of their children.
Stories abounded of walks across deserts, financial hardships, desperate attempts to explain emergencies to medical professionals or law enforcement, failed verbal connections with schoolteachers, and an inability to obtain work because of their lack of language skills. Prejudice and distrust blocked them, culture shock took them outside their comfort zones, and the urgent need to survive made them scramble to dig deep inside and find creative ways to secure shelter and put food on their tables.
It wasn’t that these immigrants weren’t capable of achieving success. In their home countries, vocations varied from chemist and biologist with PhDs, to teachers, lawyers, and medical professionals. Others came from poverty and had little education but were not afraid of hard work, long hours, and low pay. They were tenacious, and they worked with relentless determination and a bullheaded resolve to achieve their goals. They relied on each other and soaked in everything around them in their desire to assimilate into the American culture and find a new place to belong.
Immigrants in the late 1800s were not much different. Individuals came to improve their lot in life and be a part of the greatest country in the world. In Matters of the Heart, Hans Korhonen left Finland with his brothers to take advantage of the land grants. Together, they worked to establish a farm large enough to sustain four families and support troops during the Civil War. Yet, in their desire to belong and give back to our great nation, Hans’s idyllic life changed through his service as a Union soldier.
Kathleen Murphy, or Katie, came to the United States to escape a life of extreme poverty and abuse in Ireland. Working in her aunt and uncle’s boarding offered more than a job. It provided the love and support of a family. Katie rose from her previous station and started fresh with hope on the horizon. She found a source of ministry that gave her life a purpose she’d not had before.
My association with my former ESL students helped me develop the characters in this book into individuals with which readers can identify.
Join Katie and Hans as they establish themselves in their new home of Shumard Oak Bend.
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To celebrate her tour, Heidi is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the first three books in the series!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.