Saturday, February 25

Heart of the Country by Rene Gutteridge and John Ward (Review and Contest Link)

Faith and Luke Carraway have it all. Faith is a beautiful singer turned socialite while Luke is an up-and-coming successful businessman. After taking his inheritance from his father’s stable, lucrative business to invest in a successful hedge fund with the Michov Brothers, he’s on the fast track as a rising young executive, and Faith is settling comfortably into her role as his wife.

When rumors of the Michovs’ involvement in a Ponzi scheme reach Faith, she turns to Luke for confirmation, and he assures her that all is well. But when Luke is arrested, Faith can’t understand why he would lie to her, and she runs home to the farm and the family she turned her back on years ago. Meanwhile, Luke is forced to turn to his own family for help as he desperately tries to untangle himself from his mistakes. Can two prodigals return to families they abandoned, and will those families find the grace to forgive and forget? Will a marriage survive betrayal when there is nowhere else to run but home?

Rene Gutteridge is the author of seventeen novels, including Listen, the Storm series (Tyndale House Publishers) and Never the Bride, the Boo series, and the Occupational Hazards series from WaterBrook Press. She also released My Life as a Doormat and The Ultimate Gift: The Novelization with Thomas Nelson. Rene is also known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting while earning a mass communications degree, graduating magna cum laude from Oklahoma City University and earning the Excellence in Mass Communication Award. She served as the full-time director of drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writers conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City. Visit her Web site at www.renegutteridge.com.

John Ward has spent twenty-five years in the film industry as a screenwriter, director, and actor. He recently wrote, directed, and starred in the feature film I AM. He also wrote, produced, and directed the Liquid DVD series for Thomas Nelson. He currently serves as president of Bayridge Films.


Heart of the Country - Be a Star for a Day Contest from Bay Ridge Films on Vimeo.

STAR-FOR-A-DAY CONTEST!!

Here's a link to a great Heart of the Country contest. If you buy the ebook for $2.99, you will get a code that will allow you to enter the ‘Star for a Day’ contest.

The grand prize winner and a guest will be flown to the set of the Heart of the Country film, stay in the cast hotel, and get the full movie-set experience with all the other cast members. They will have a star trailer, go through wardrobe, makeup, and hair, and have a speaking part in a scene of the movie Heart of the Country! The contest ends March 15, 2012.

Heart of the Country begins with the story of Luke and Faith who have been living a dream life. They had tons of money, a beautiful home, flashy cars, and friends with the same priorities as they had. Their whole world crashed around them when Luke was arrested for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme.

Faith immediately runs from the troubles, to the only place she can go ... back home to the farm where she was raised. She soon realizes that she has never really grieved over the loss of her mother and she has been running ever since.

Luke has always lived in the shadow of his older brother Jake. Determined to make a name for himself, he collects his inheritance early and invests everything in what he felt was a legitimate business. When he is arrested on fraud charges, he is totally shocked and devastated, as he swears he didn't know what was going on.

Luke also turns to his estranged family for help, as his friends have all turned their back on him. Both Luke and Faith have squandered what they felt was their "right", whether faith, family, friends or finances, and life has now come back to them full circle. They need to search their own hearts and find out what is really important, and be willing to make the right choices.

Intertwined in the story are the final moments of the life of Faith's mother, who died in an auto accident many years earlier. It was kind of strange having these flashbacks by someone who wasn't physically part of the current story, but it showed the love and depth of the family roots that made Faith the person that she eventually became.

It isn't very often that I get so emotional when I read a novel, but Heart of a Country had me wiping away tears more than once.  This is an awesome story of faith, forgiveness, and the unconditional love of family.

I give this one a huge thumbs up and can't wait to see the movie.

Disclosure: Ebook received through Net Galley courtesy of Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

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