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A Healing Heart: Quilts of Love Series Paperback – April 1, 2013
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From the Author
A Healing Heart was a joy to write. I incorporated a long-standing family tradition of memory quilts at graduation, teen talk that happened in my house all the time (dude and dudette), and had the joy of immortalizing our beloved family dog, Louie. Yes, Louie could do most of the tricks in the book and a few more ;)
Are you a workaholic? I am. So when people ask if any of Mara's character came from myself, the answer is yes-the workaholic, driven part. The rest is pure fiction, but don't you think most women deal with the stresses of work, love life, and children? I'm glad the Big Guy watches out for us!
Another joy for me was sharing my love of Montana and the many real places to visit. The local places in Bozeman are real and you can take your family to any of them when you visit. I'll be putting up blog posts to feature each one. Pop over to my website to read more about these awesome tourist destinations. Museum of the Rockies even has a new Taylor Planetarium opening spring of 2013! That's in the book and on my calendar of events!
The other thing to be aware of for 2013? It's supposed to be a stellar year for solar flares. That means awesome Northern Lights displays in Montana. You bet I'll be out at night looking up at our big skies. I hope you will too.
From the Inside Flap
More Praise for A heart-warming and romantic story of new beginnings and hope through the fog. A story of real life filled with true emotion and characters you can't help but love. --NY Times bestselling author, Tosca Lee, Tosca's latest book: Iscariot A Healing Heart is an emotional story of learning to let go of the past and embracing the future. Angie Breidenbach deftly creates lifelike teenagers, a frazzled mother, and a caring hero you will love. This charming book tugs at your heart and encourages you to reevaluate what's important in your life." --Vickie McDonough, author of 25 books and novellas, including End of the Trail
"Restoration and hope drive this emotionally charged novel by Angela Breidenbach. Mara Keegan's healing journey will keep you turning the pages as she uncovers promises of a life she never thought she would have again. Family dynamics, made richer through the process of gathering photos for a memory quilt, come full circle as Mara learns to let go, let God, and let love into her heart; a truly healed heart." --Lindi Peterson, award-winning author of Her Best Catch and Summer's Song.
"Breidenbach's latest novel, A Healing Heart, paints a knee-bending word picture of our Healer God. Whether the physical, spiritual, or emotional heart, the Big Guy can handle it. Laden with conflict, sweet romance, and humorous contradictions, the story propels the reader forward while giving her pause to wonder . . . 'What places in my heart need healing? What wounds will I allow God to stitch?' A Healing Heart sports an endearing and motley cast of characters, and the frigid Montana landscape contrasts nicely with the hero's warm, sigh-worthy persona. It's a unique and touching addition to the Quilts of Love series."
--April W. Gardner, librarian and award-winning author
"Some stories provide pure entertainment, while others teach a lesson. A Healing Heart by Angela Breidenbach does both and is one of those books that every over-achieving, God-loving woman should read. Not only did I enjoy this book, I found myself reflecting on my own life and how much of myself I saw in the story." --Debby Mayne, author of Sweet Baklava, Waiting for a View, and the Class Reunion series
"What could be more perfect than a book that has quilts? But would A Healing Heart deliver or just throw in a quilt as an attempt to make quilters happy? It delivers! Mara, the main character, struggles to keep a business afloat despite grief, injuries, and a disgruntled daughter. The book had me riding the emotional roller coaster. Breidenbach weaves the quilt story through the book in such a way that it becomes a character." --Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, author of A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee; Wyoming Weddings; and We're not Blended, We're Pureed: A Survivor's Guide
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Top Customer Reviews
Workaholic, Mara Keegan, must heal her heart from loss and a heart attack before she can love again. But she has to trust her business to the one man that tried to destroy it.
A heart attack has stopped Mara Keegan in her tracks, leaving her daughter's unfinished photo memory quilt hanging by a thread. Little does Mara know, this quilt--and the memories it bolsters--are the key to her rehabilitation. But Mara's heart needs to be healed in more ways than one. And Joel Ryan is fraying her last nerve. With her daughter's graduation fast approaching, even Mara starts to wonder if she--and her faith--can mend in time.
With its focus on the Keegan family, creation of a memory quilt, and the Bozeman, Montana setting, A Healing Heart has a warm, cozy feel to it. Angela did a great job of creating a sense of place, as the characters interact in the Bozeman community, snowmobile the Bridger Mountain Range, and dance at the Museum Ball in the Museum of the Rockies.
Mara is an appealing, well developed character. Her husband's death in a snowmobiling accident and a promise made to him left her in charge of "25 employees, business loans, and a dream built for two." Anyone who has ever been guilty of putting work ahead of family can relate to Mara as she strives to become everything to everyone. But as is often the case, that goal wasn't achieved very well at home.
Business coach Joel, brought in to assist Bridger Pack and Rescue, is a completely likeable character - intelligent, trustworthy, lives out his faith, and is good with Mara's children. I liked how Joel appreciated Mara's art for its beauty rather than as a marketing commodity.
It's interesting how the title, A Healing Heart, has a double meaning, as Mara heals both physically and emotionally. She has some important things to work through - care of her physical heart, learn to delegate, make peace with the past, and grow close to her children again. The construction of the memory quilt is woven beautifully throughout the narrative, and tells the story of Cadence's life through family pictures. A statement of Joel's sums the theme up nicely: "Our lives are woven together with what feels like scrap pieces. We can see clearly what's happened in the memories of our past. But the future is all about hope."
I enjoyed A Healing Heart and recommend it to all who enjoy inspirational fiction. A sequel is in the works, tentatively titled Climb Every Mountain. It's the story of Cadence Keegan, all grown up as a fitness coach with her own gym.
Learn more about Angela and her books at angelabreidenbach.com.
This book was provided by Abingdon Press through BookFun.org in exchange for my honest review.
This book holds special meaning to me because my parents made quilts for my brother and me when we graduated from college. Now my son has just graduated from college so by family tradition it is time for him to receive a quilt. It seems like a serendipitous gift from God to read about Mara's family quilt tradition at this time in the life of my family. Who knows what special gift you may find waiting for you in the reading of this book? I highly recommend it.
I initially learned of this talented author on bookfun.org.
Mara's business mentor is close to retirement and passes her files to Joel Ryan, a man who once attempted a hostile takeover of Mara's business. Joel claims to be sorry--to be a changed man in Christ--but Mara doesn't trust him.
But she doesn't have a lot of choice as her health crashes. She suffers a broken ankle when she falls during a heart attack. And who steps in during her forced recuperation? Joel. Not only in her business--that's bad enough, considering their history--but her kids take to him like crows to shiny things.
Does Joel deserve forgiveness, and a permanent place in her daughter's memory quilt?
This fast-paced debut novel is not to be missed. You'll laugh and cry with Mara as she's forced to relinquish control. You'll see your kids in Mara's kids--their interactions brought back fun memories for me. You'll love the city of Bozeman, Montana, and wish you could visit. You'll experience Mara's healing firsthand: from the death of her husband and the results of her workaholic lifestyle. And maybe. . .just maybe, you'll fall in love.
A Healing Heart is part of the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press.