It’s been a busy month with the release of Shine Like the Dawn, and I’ve had lots of opportunities to connect with new reading friends. One question I’m often asked is, how does your faith impact your stories, and how do you weave in faith elements? So I thought I’d tell you about the spiritual themes from Shine Like the Dawn.
I’ve enjoyed writing several English historical novels set in the Edwardian era over the last few years including The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall. They all contain family drama, romance, and inspiration. But in my latest novel, Shine Like the Dawn, I decided to also include a mystery. And for my heroine, Maggie Lounsbury, solving the mystery becomes a very personal search for justice.
As I wrote the story I found inspiration in the theme verse, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, and your vindication like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:5 – 6
Maggie suffers a great loss at the beginning of the story, and her search to understand why it happened and who is responsible are key plot points in the novel. Maggie’s losses shaped her personality, and she has become stronger and more determined because of them. Those losses also hardened her, and she distanced herself from the Lord. She questions God’s love and justice, and is determined to find the answers to her questions herself. But through the kindness of the hero and wisdom shared by her grandmother, Maggie’s heart begins to soften. As she continues on her journey to solve the mystery she eventually sees the way God balances Justice and Mercy. This renews her relationship with God and opens the way for forgiveness and restoration.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading Shine Like the Dawn and feel as though they’ve been swept away to Northumberland, England in 1903, but I also hope you’ll be challenged to explore what it means to forgive and reflect God’s mercy to those who have hurt you in the past. Those are lessons that touched my heart as I wrote this story, and I trust they will touch my reading friends too.
Shine Like the Dawn is available in paperback, eBook, and audio. The Dutch edition will release in June. To read the first chapter, purchase your copy, and see more images of the characters and setting please visit this page.
Until next time . . . Happy Reading,