** Winner of The 2012 International Digital Award **
Jennifer Evan’s life is changed forever when a gas pipeline explodes and causes a fire at her apartment. Losing her home and beloved dog are terrible blows, but the ugly scars that cover her arm, neck and shoulder steal her confidence and cause her fiancé to desert her. With her funds depleted and her job on hold, she heads for Vermont where she hopes to reconnect with her brother and find a way to rebuild her shattered life.
Bill Morgan, her brother’s roommate and the head naturalist at the Wild River Nature Center, is a strong, quiet man whose faith runs deep. His efforts to share his faith with Jenn seem to push her farther away. But caring actions sometimes speak louder than words, and Jenn’s heart is drawn to Bill in spite of the spiritual gulf that separates them. Will she hold on to her pain of her past, or will she surrender her heart and find the faith and love she seeks?
You can see images of the characters and setting on my Surrendered Hearts Pinterest Board.
Reviews & Endorsements:
“Fire stole Jenn’s career, possessions, beloved dog, the affections of a fiancé who couldn’t see past her scars, and any remnant of faith she possessed. But struggling through her fears leads Jenn to an amazing God who cherishes her just as she is, and to embrace a love and life she could not have imagined. Surrendered Hearts is one more example of Turansky’s ability to draw a reader’s heart toward its Heavenly home, filling it with determination, hope, and romance for the journey.”
— Cathy Gohlke, Christy award-winning author of William Henry is a Fine Name, I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, and Promise Me This.
“This is a book every mother should give her young teenage daughters to show them what to look for in a man. It’s a romance that shows the power of God when hearts are yielded to Him. It’s a story of God’s grace and healing. Carrie Turansky reminds me of a modern day Grace Livingston Hill, whose love stories enthralled an entire generation. The characters are so real, with hurts and preconceived notions about people … in other words, just like us. You’ll want the story to go on and not end. Novel Journey and I give it a high recommendation. It’s a must read.”
— Ane Mullegan, editor, Novel Journey
“Carrie Turansky’s newest novel, Surrendered Hearts is an inspiring story of how life’s pain and suffering can be turned to peace and joy as we open our hearts to God’s amazing love. The main characters in this story are so real and you find yourself relating to each of their struggles along the way. There are just enough plot twists to keep you guessing and the ending leaves you happy you invested the time! (I hate finishing a book and wondering how I could have better spent those precious hours. Not so with this read….)”
“This was my first book by Carrie Turansky and i am hooked. Loved the book. Just when you think you know what is going to happen there is a nice twist waiting in the next chapter!! I highly recommend this book!”
— Pier Shea, NJ
“I downloaded this book when it was free on Kindle and it was the best download I have made this year! I could really feel God’s influence in this heart warming story which I devoured in a couple of days. I loved Jenn’s transformation not only on a spiritual level but also dealing with the scars she had from the gas fire. As a “new to me” author, Carrie has won me over with her story and very believable characters. I plan on reading more of her books.”
Bill Morgan, twenty-nine, head naturalist at the Wild Rive Nature Center, loves the outdoors and showing others the wonders of God’s creation. Noted for his warm sense of humor and easy-going nature, Bill is content with his job, friends, and peaceful life in Vermont. But when he meets Jennifer Evans, she awakens deeper needs for love, companionship, and family. A man of faith and action rather than words, Bill struggles to share his faith with Jenn as he waits for her to open her heart to God’s love and healing.
Jennifer Evans, twenty-five, was born into a loving Christian family, but at fifteen, after the death of her parents in a car accident, she closed her heart to God. Sent to live with relatives who resented her, Jennifer searched for approval and acceptance by focusing on perfecting her appearance and excelling in dance, music, and acting. The spiritual truths her parents taught her continually tug at her heart, but she cannot reconcile them with the painful loss of her parents and the explosion and fire that altered her appearance and sent her fiancé running. Bill’s acceptance and unconditional love help her discover her true beauty and value in God’s eyes and allow her to open her heart to love again.
Inspiration for the Setting:
Surrendered Hearts is set in the fictional town of Tipton, Vermont, and includes the some of the same characters who were featured in my first novel, Along Came Love. An article in Real Simple Magazine about the town Ripton, Vermont first inspired me to consider this lovely location as a setting for these books. I also drew on the true story of missionary Dan Bauman, author of Imprisoned in Iran, to create the character Wes Evans, the hero in Along Came Love, and Jenn’s brother in Surrendered Hearts.
My husband and I visited Vermont on a research trip and found a lovely art and antique gallery housed in a converted barn, and I knew we had found the inspiration for Lauren’s home, Long Meadow, and her gallery. Here are some photos of Country House Gifts and Antiques in Wallingford, Vermont. If you are headed to Vermont I encourage you to stop in and tell them you read these books!