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Home for Wounded Hearts (eBook)

Home for Wounded Hearts (eBook)

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Women in crisis form new bonds of friendship in this novel of hope and renewal. Join the residents of Lovie's home in their day-to-day lives as they endeavor to move from uncertainty toward independence.


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In a world teetering on the edge of despair, Faith Neilson emerges as a beacon of hope. Fueled by a newfound purpose, she dedicates herself to creating a sanctuary for women in crisis—a haven for the homeless, the abused, the addicted, and the grieving. But as her dream takes shape, she grapples with the looming question: Can she secure the vital funding needed to keep this lifeline running?

Meet the heart-wrenching ensemble of women whose lives intersect at the shelter. There's Tilda, haunted by the dread of early-stage Alzheimer’s; Molly, a rough-around-the-edges yet endearing street dweller; Caroline, obsessed with gardening as she grapples with the unbearable loss of her son; and Jenny, a young firebrand, fighting to reclaim her life after a devastating betrayal by her husband.

As Faith guides these women toward stability and self-sufficiency, the bonds of friendship form and strengthen—but so do the challenges. Tensions peak when the arrival of a young resident, haunted by an abusive stepfather, throws the sanctuary into jeopardy, posing a threat not just to the program, but to their very lives.

Prepare to be captivated by this compelling narrative that delves into the human spirit's capacity for resilience and redemption. As Faith and her indomitable band of women strive for liberation and healing, you’ll find yourself cheering for them every step of the way. It's a story of courage, renewal, and the transformative power of community, destined to stir your soul and stay with you long after the last page is turned.

Read an Excerpt

Click the down arrow . . .

Butterflies batted around in Faith’s stomach the following morning as she faced the small crowd of family, friends, and townsfolk gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. As with most waterfront properties, the side of the home facing the inlet was considered the front. But Faith had opted to hold the ceremony under the porte cochère, at the driveway entrance out back, in case they had rain. She needn’t have worried. The weather was ideal with clear skies and warm temperatures, as one might expect for late April in the Lowcountry.

Shoulders back and head held high, she welcomed her guests. “Good morning! And thank you for joining us for this monumental occasion.”

She wore a simple pale-blue sleeveless dress with a floral scarf at her neck, and courtesy of one of their new residents, a new hairstyle—shoulder-length layers and streaks of blonde that added shine and life to her brunette locks and made her appear considerably younger than her forty-six years.

Faith continued, “Our community, our beloved town of Prospect, is long overdue a women’s shelter. There was a time, not that long ago, when I was trapped in an abusive marriage. My sisters rescued me from my home.” She smiled at her older sisters in the front row—Sam with her crop of messy blonde hair who’d always been her rock, and Jackie who looked as sophisticated as ever in a St. John tweed suit, four-inch heels, and square designer sunglasses. Faith’s face grew serious again. “But . . . by offering me a place to hide, they put the rest of our family in grave danger. At the time, the nearest shelter was forty miles away, which presented a challenge for me with a six-year-old daughter and a truck that barely ran.”

She paused to take a deep breath. “Our mission for this shelter is to mend broken hearts. In addition to women suffering from physical abuse, we welcome those who are homeless, dealing with addiction, or coping with grief over the loss of a loved one. When necessary, our staff psychiatrist, Dr. Robin Bowman, known to our residents as Dr. Robin, will refer our patients to other facilities for more specialized care. We currently have five rooms with ten beds, five of which have been filled for over a week now. You may be wondering why we’ve admitted residents before our official opening. In Dr. Robin’s own words, ‘These women are good fits for our program, and they need our help. We couldn’t very well turn them down.’ I’m excited to announce that plans are in the works for an annex offering ten more rooms for a total of twenty beds.

“Our goal is to be as self-sufficient as possible. We will eat from the land and the sea. We will share the responsibilities of fishing our waters, growing our produce, and preparing our meals. We’ll live like pioneers, bonding together as a family working side by side. We are fortunate to have the multitalented Emilee Early on staff. Her duties are many as house mother. She is receptionist, meal planner, and special events coordinator. And she will live on property should any of our residents need assistance during the night.”

When Faith extended her arm to Emilee in the front row, the house mother turned to face the crowd. With her small stature that radiated energy, she’d dressed for the occasion in a rainbow-colored tunic and white leggings with her dark bob smoothed back by a hot pink headband. As she waved, Emilee flashed the lopsided smile that had initially drawn Faith to her. Emilee never talked much about herself, except to say she’d gotten married too young, divorced within a few years, and never had children. Faith knew Emilee was devoted to her aging mother, the reason she’d returned to the area from Savannah in recent years.

The breeze blew a wisp of Faith’s hair in her face, and she tucked it behind her ear. “There are many people responsible for making this day possible. At the top of the list is Mayor Harmon and the City of Prospect for donating the Humphrey estate to our cause. The property has been uninhabited for the past ten years when the last remaining Humphrey heir died and bequeathed the property to the city.” She gestured at the two-story, porch-wrapped lowcountry-style house behind her. “The home is lovely now, but when it fell into our hands last fall, it needed an enormous amount of work. My husband, Mike, an emergency room doctor at Creekside Regional Hospital, and my dear friend and locally renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Moses Ingram, worked tirelessly to procure funding from local citizens and corporations for the renovations.”

The crowd erupted in cheers and someone near the back chanted, “Go, Big Mo!” A former University of Georgia linebacker and Heisman Trophy candidate, Moses stood out as a big celebrity in their small town.

“Another generous soul is with us today, not in body but in spirit. Most of you knew my late mother, Lovie Sweeney, who recently passed away from Alzheimer’s disease. Mama greeted every stranger with a smile and was always first in line to offer a helping hand to those in need. Based on the sizable gift made from her estate, we are dedicating the home in her honor.” She turned to the gray-haired gentleman to her right. “So, without further ado, I’d like to invite Mayor Harmon to cut the ribbon and officially declare Lovie’s Home for Wounded Hearts open for business.”

As she handed the mayor the large scissors, Faith noticed a woman wearing a red quilted raincoat and knitted toboggan—despite the cloudless sky and eighty-degree temperature—and dragging a tattered suitcase through the thick St. Augustine grass as she paced in large circles near the back of the crowd.

Faith motioned to Moses, who was standing behind her, to move in close. Cupping her hand over her mouth, she whispered, “There’s a woman at the back of the crowd who looks lost, like she might need our help. Will you check on her, please.”

From his six-and-a-half-foot vantage point, Moses spotted the woman over the top of the crowd. “I see her,” he said, stepping away from Faith and nudging his way through the mass of people.

Watch the Trailer . . .