Sharlene MacLaren
Christian author

Series Title: River of Hope

*Setting: Wabash, Indiana
*Period: 1920s

Livvie’s Song: Widowed woman with two small children struggles to operate the family restaurant single-handedly until a drifter with nothing but a knapsack and a harmonica in his pocket comes to town and offers to lend a hand in exchange for living in the small quarters above the restaurant.

Ellie’s Haven: Young woman on the run from her brutal stepfather after witnessing a heinous crime makes a rash decision to marry a widower with four young children, hoping the name change and secluded location will lend protection from her past. 

Sofie’s Secret: Scandal surrounds a woman in her early 20s when it becomes obvious she is pregnant—and unmarried.  What people do not know is that their gruff, law enforcing sheriff's son raped her—and the sheriff will stop at nothing to protect his son's name.  When the new doctor gets involved, trouble escalates in the form of thievery, arson, and death threats. 


Book 1: Livvie’s Song – July 5, 2011 

Book 2: Ellie’s Hope – April, 2012

Book 3: Sofie’s Heart – December, 2012

 Livvie’s Song, Book One

*Setting: Downtown Wabash, INDIANA

*Year: 1926



Widowed woman, Olivia Beckman, struggles to operate the family restaurant, Livvie’s Kitchen, single-handedly while raising her two sons, ages eight and six.  When her cook announces his leave-taking, she is desperate to find a replacement.  Paradoxically, a bearded drifter with nothing but a knapsack slung over his shoulder and a harmonica in his pocket, and claiming to have kitchen experience, arrives in Wabash.  With little to go on but her present cook’s sixth sense that the drifter is someone she can trust, she blindly hires him in exchange for the small living quarters above her restaurant.


Will Taylor is an ex-con who just completed a 10-year prison term.  A “baby” Christian with very little money and even less in the way of possessions, he leaves Welfare Island State Penitentiary in New York City in hopes of making a brand new start in life, providentially landing himself in the city of Wabash, Indiana.  There, he discovers a woman in need of a new cook for her eating establishment, and since he worked the last several years in the prison kitchen acting as cook’s assistant, he has plenty of experience.  However, to preserve his reputation, he must keep his past a secret from everyone—including his lovely boss, Olivia Beckman. 


Onto the scene, though, come his former partners in crime, men who threaten to reveal his secret unless he confesses to where he hid the gems they stole ten years ago.


Livvie’s Song is a story of hope, healing, love, and redemption.  Woven throughout are threads of God’s grace and mercy.  It is rife with tender emotions and a spattering of humor and goodwill along with flashes of mystery, unhealthy obsession, and suspense.   

Ellie's Haven, Book Two

A courageous young woman seeking refuge...

Ellie Booth was never the type to run away. But she'd witnessed her stepfather commit a heartless crime, and, knowing he'll stop at nothing to keep her quiet, she has no choice but to flee. Soon, she finds herself in Wabash, Indiana, scrambling for a cover identity to evade her stepfather. For lack of a better option, she answers an ad for a wife/housekeeper/nanny, praying that her lack of experience won't be obvious. 

A widowed father with no domestic skills to speak of...

Gage Cooper is reaching the end of his rope. With four children between the ages of three and ten, he needs a reliable nanny, yet each one he's hired has thrown up her hands and deserted her post. When an attractive, spirited young woman applies for the "job," he knows he should pray about the matter, but his desperation for help propels him headlong into a marriage of convenience.

A trial by fire of their wedding vows...

Ellie immediately falls in love with the Cooper children, and, not long after, with their father. Soon, the "marriage of convenience" becomes less of a business arrangement as husband and wife yield to an attraction neither one had expected. When secrets of the past and dangers of the present arise in their lives, their marriage is put to the test, and God alone knows what will become of their union.



***More information to follow about the remaining book in the River of Hope series, but, don’t worry, it won’t fail to deliver equal amounts of love, conflict, mystery, and intrigue!

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