Hi, y’all! Today, we welcome back our author friend, Toni Shiloh, and her newest release, Returning Home the first installment of the Freedom Lake series.
about the book
Returning Home by Toni Shiloh (Freedom Lake book 1)
Genre: Adult, Christian, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: September 26, 2017
Jo Ellen Baker is shocked to find out that the boy who teased her mercilessly throughout high school, has returned to their hometown of Freedom Lake, and he’s missing a leg. When his mother asks her to renovate their carriage house to give him a place to gain his independence back, she wants to say no. But one look at him brings a rush of forgotten feelings.
Evan Carter can’t believe he has to return home and live with his parents. Every hope and dream he ever had dissipated in a car crash that cost him his leg. Stuck in a wheelchair, he’s forced to reexamine his relationship with God and the local carpenter, Jo Ellen Baker.
Will renovating his home open the door for a mended relationship, or are some wounds too deep to heal from?
Grief, loss, trials… they are part of living regardless of who you are, where you are from, or what you believe. At its core, this book is about life and faith and love and the TRUTH. Returning Home‘s authentic and encouraging storyline touched my reader heart and stirred my spirit.
Jo Ellen Baker was bullied in high school, is nitpicked by her mother daily, and misses her deceased father dearly. I can relate to Jo’s hesitancy to trust and open herself up to anyone who hurt her in the past, simple self-preservation. Although Jo is blessed to have dear friends and her beloved grandma nearby to love and encourage her, she can’t shake the feeling of being alone.
Evan Carter was just as pleased as hot apple pie with a successful career and girlfriend before his life-changing accident. Now he feels like he has lost everything and he is not happy about it, to say the least! Evan’s parents are encouraging and supportive (and occasionally smothering) every step of the way while his friends provide the brutal honesty and a healthy dose of reality.
With a great cast, an idyllic setting, and compelling story, Returning Home definitely sparked my appetite for MORE stories from Freedom Lake!
I requested the opportunity to read this book through the author. The opinions expressed are my own.
about the author
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.
Returning Home excerpt
Evan Carter stared at his girlfriend, admiring her beauty. Brenda’s pixie haircut framed her pretty face and a soft smile graced her lips. She wore charm and gentleness like a cloak as she gracefully changed lanes. She drove his new Altima like it was made for her.
He loved that Brenda suited every aspect of his life. She was a slam dunk in the girlfriend department. He ran his fingers over the velvet box in his pocket. Tonight was the night. The restaurant staff had been informed of his plans. With their help, his proposal would be flawless.
“Should I adjust the temp?” he asked.
“I’m good, sweetie,” she smiled at him, then quickly faced forward again.
Brenda would make the best high-school coach’s wife. His students loved her and she loved basketball as much as he did. It was so easy to be with her.
“Evan, you made the perfect choice. This car is so quiet. I can’t believe we can’t hear the outside noise.”
“I know. That’s what sold me.” He pointed up ahead. “Make a right at the light.” He hadn’t revealed their dinner location. If he didn’t pay close attention, they’d miss a turn.
“Are you sure you don’t want to tell me where we’re going?”
“I’m sure. I still think you should have let me drive. Then it would really be a surprise.”
She laughed. “Of course, it would have been better, but I’ve been itching to get behind the wheel ever since you bought it.”
A black truck swerved in and out of their lane.
“Baby, slow down. Watch out for that truck!”
There was nowhere to pull over, no way to avoid the impending collision. The two-lane road had no shoulder and the truck was picking up speed.
The black truck righted itself. But before Evan could even sigh in relief, the truck corrected, ending up in their lane, headed straight for them.
They were going to collide.
Evan held his breath, clenched his eyes, and braced for impact. Brenda’s scream pierced the air, but it seemed far away. His seat belt locked tight as the car came to an abrupt stop.
A weight dropped onto his leg. Pain exploded, smoke filled his nose. His body struggled to make sense of what happened. Finally, he closed his eyes and gave in to the darkness.
Let’s chat about the book! What did y’all think of the excerpt?
Be sure to add Returning Home by Toni Shiloh to your tbr!