by Dawn Kinzer
The Daughters of Riverton Series, Book 3
A Christian Historical Romance
Rebecca Hoyt’s one constant was her dedication to her beloved students. Now, a rebellious child could cost her the job she loves. Without her teaching position, what would she do?
Detective Jesse Rand prides himself in protecting the people who ride the railroads. But, when his own sister and brother-in-law are killed by train robbers, the detective blames himself. Yet, another duty calls—he must venture to Riverton where his niece and nephews were left in the care of their beautiful and stubborn teacher, Rebecca Hoyt. They need to mourn and heal, but Jesse is determined to find his sister’s killers. Rebecca is willing to help care for the children, but she also fears getting too close to them—or their handsome uncle—knowing the day will come when he’ll take them back to Chicago.
Will Jesse and Rebecca find a way to open their hearts and work together? Or will they, along with the children, lose out on love?
Readers will find 20+ questions included for discussion and reflection.
Tell us about the other books in this series and what prompted you to write them.
In the first book of the series, Sarah’s Smile, Rebecca takes on the role of nemesis. In the second book, Hope’s Design, she begins a transformation. Although Rebecca’s Song can be read as a stand-alone, I felt it would be interesting and rewarding for fans of the series to see Rebecca’s character grow and see her own dreams come to fruition after so many struggles.
Sometimes, when we’re in the middle of facing horrific challenges, we may raise our hands to the sky, and sometimes even in anger, question God. Why is he allowing these terrible things to happen to us or to loved ones? Where is he? If he loves us, why isn’t he stepping in and fixing whatever is causing heartache or distress?
Often, it’s in hindsight that we begin to understand why he allowed us to suffer or struggle. Occasionally, we’re left clueless, and that’s frustrating.
But, from what I’ve experienced in my own life … if we can continue to love and trust him, he will give us the strength to fight the battles. In the end, he can create good from bad—new life can spring forth from ashes. Maybe it won’t be what we originally envisioned or wanted—but it might be even better than what we dreamed could be possible.
Who will enjoy this series?
The entire Daughters of Riverton series was originally written for women of all ages, but men have also written and told me how much they enjoyed the stories. Readers who struggle with wondering if God really cares about their struggles, hopes, and dreams will be encouraged by this story.
Tell us a little more about Rebecca and Jesse
She has always had a strong desire for a family of her own, but she’s been told it’s impossible. She’s also placed in a difficult situation with her job, knowing that if she doesn’t come up with a resolution, she’ll be fired. Jesse is caught between the demands of his career and taking care of family responsibilities while also trying to deal with grief.
Regardless of whether we’ve faced the same problems Rebecca and Jesse have in this novel, most of us at one time or another have probably questioned God’s presence—or his love for us—when life has been a bit unkind.
Sample from Chapter 1
Willie Grayson! Don’t you dare throw another punch!”
How could one child be more difficult to handle in the short time he’d been in Riverton than all her other students combined? Rebecca Hoyt lifted her skirt, almost tripping in her haste to descend the schoolhouse steps. Her feet skimmed the short span of worn grass between the last step and the bare ground where two boys wrestled, turning laughter-filled play under clear, blue skies into a dismal ruckus. Dust rose like puffs of brown smoke around them as children yelled encouragement to Albert Kingston.
Rebecca broke through their circle, grabbed Willie’s shoulders, and pulled him off Albert before he had a chance to raise his fist and deliver another blow to the younger boy. “What has gotten into you?”
The boy shrugged free from her grasp and narrowed his eyes as he glared at her. “He said I was out—that I didn’t touch base!”
“Well, you didn’t!” Albert sat up and wiped his face, leaving a dark smudge of dirt across his cheek. Bright red blood dribbled from his nose. “Don’t you know how to play baseball?
A buggy carrying Marie Kingston pulled up to the school. “Albert, are you all right?” She scrambled down, toting a silver lunch pail. “What happened?” She pulled a handkerchief from a pocket in her skirt and wiped her son’s face. “Let me take a look at you.”
The boy gave an embarrassed nod toward his friends and scowled. “Ma, leave me alone!”
His mother held Albert’s face between her hands and forced him to look at her. “Listen, young man,” she said firmly. “What gave you the idea you should fight bullies twice your size?”
“Aw, Ma. He started it.” Albert pulled his mother’s hands from his cheeks. “You mad ’cause I defended myself?”
“I’m not angry with you. A boy has every right to protect himself.” Mrs. Kingston glanced at Rebecca. By her tone and the fire in her eyes, the boy’s mother was struggling to keep composure.
This was not going to bode well in Rebecca’s favor. Thirteen-year-old Willie had been a problem since entering her classroom four weeks earlier.
The rest of her students now stood huddled together, watching the outcome of the fight. “There’s nothing more to see, and recess is almost over.” Rebecca gestured toward the area of the schoolyard where swings and seesaws sat empty. “So, move on—unless you all want to head back into class now.” The children dispersed as fast as rabbits fleeing a pack of wolves, but Rebecca stepped in front of Willie before he had a chance to escape.
About the Author
Dawn Kinzer is a freelance editor and author, and her own work has been published in various devotionals and magazines. She also co-hosts and writes for the Seriously Write blog, which is devoted to encouraging and equipping Christian writers. Sarah’s Smile is the first book in her historical romance series The Daughters of Riverton, Hope’s Design is the second, and Rebecca’s Song completes the trilogy.
A mother and grandmother, Dawn lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Favorite things include dark chocolate, good wine, strong coffee, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theatre.