Joshua woke with a quiet groan. As his senses woke up one at a time, he cracked his eyelids open. Sure enough, there was a silhouetted form standing at the foot of the bed. From the smell, the person was either from the brothel down the street or had recently left one. He forced himself to breathe evenly and reached for the knife in his thigh holster. With as tough and evil a voice as he could imitate, he spoke, “State your intentions.”
Pinkerton detective, Joshua Brookings, is sent on a job that seems simple on the surface. His fellow detective has been kidnapped and his boss, William Pinkerton senses foul play. Joshua is sent to investigate Edward’s case in hopes of finding the kidnapped detective and helping solve the case that has taken over ten years to investigate. Arriving in Cheyenne, Joshua finds much more than a simple kidnapping. Yet again, he must go undercover, something he made his boss promise never to make him do again. The only Christian in the outlaw group, Joshua falters and almost loses faith in God’s providence. Will he stand on the solid Rock or drown in the sinking sand?
I liked this number of the Hymns of the West series even better than the one preceding, Lily of the Valley. The Solid Rock follows Ruth’s brother Joshua Brookings, one of those brave members of the pioneering detective agency – a Pinkerton detective. I really enjoyed the history in this one, as I hadn’t heard of the Pinkertons before.
I also enjoyed the mystery – Joshua had his work cut out for him in solving a ten-year-long case! Everything connected with it was exciting, especially this epic gun battle. I thought the unpredictable romance was very well done. Besides Joshua, my other favorite character was Priscilla, a woman struggling to overcome her past. The plot was tight and well developed. The descriptions of the settings in this book seemed stronger than in the other novels, which really appeals to me. I felt very connected to the West – a good thing, because the characters did a lot of traveling!
All of Faith Blum’s works contain strong spiritual themes, and this one was no exception. It dug deep. Many of the characters had spiritual growth. In summary – this book contains a lot! Whether you like mystery, Westerns, romance, Christian themes, it has them all.
It all started with a simple question from a beta-reader reading A Mighty Fortress. “What is thesecond book in the series about?” I told him I wasn’t planning to write a series, tried to forget the question and went back to editing AMF. But in the back of my mind, I started coming up with a sequel about the main character in AMF, Joshua and how he could become a Pinkerton detective and help another detective solve a mystery. That particular sequel ended up being the fifth book in the series, but it got me started with the series.
As for the name, after the first book having the same name as a hymn, I thought it would be fun to write all my books in that series with hymn titles as book titles. Since then, I have decided to make hymns my “brand” so to speak and all my books will be named after hymns with those hymns as themes in the books.
2. That’s so interesting, Faith! What are some of your favorite books? Have they inspired your writing in some way?
This is always a tough question. I guess I’d say The Holy Bible by God, Resistance by Jaye L. Knight, Ride the River by Louis L’Amour, The Sackett series by Louis L’Amour, and Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer. They have all inspired my writing in one way or another. The Bible because without God’s guidance, I wouldn’t be writing today. Resistance because Jaye is so good with her inner dialogue and I tried to bring that in a little more with The Solid Rock.
Louis L’Amour has been my favorite Western author for a long time and he’s the one who inspired me to write Westerns, but from a Christian perspective. I didn’t find Karen’s books until after I started writing Westerns, but The Short-Straw Bride was a particular favorite of mine written by her. I don’t think it really inspired my writing, but the way she wove Christianity into her books was helpful to see.
3. Neat! That’s a good range of books. Who’s your favorite character from The Solid Rock? How about the whole Hymns of the West series?
Priscilla Simmons is definitely my favorite character in The Solid Rock. She comes from such a tough background, but still tries to do the right thing, even if it is hard or unpopular. I think Joshua is my favorite character throughout the whole series. He’s a man’s man, courageous, daring, and so much more.
4. Priscilla and Joshua are my favorite characters from The Solid Rock, too! What do you hope people will take from reading The Solid Rock?
I hope readers will see that Christians aren’t perfect and that’s okay as long as they continue to let God guide them.
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March 26Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Tour Introduction
Writing Dreams-Excerpt and Spotlight
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Spotlight
Tee Garner-Excerpt, Spotlight, Interview
March 28George’s Shorts-Spotlight, Review, Interview
Karan Eleni-Excerpt, Spotlight, Review
Rebekah Lyn Books-Excerpt
Zerina Blossom’s Books-Excerpt, Spotlight
Life is a Four-Letter Word-Spotlight
March 29In the Bookcase-Excerpt, Review
Ruth’s Real Life-Excerpt
Kelsey’s Notebook-Review, Interview
With a Joyful Noise-Excerpt, Spotlight
Melanie D. Snitker, Author-Excerpt, Spotlight
March 30Clean Indie Reads-Spotlight
Jaye L. Knight-Excerpt, Spotlight
Stories by Firefly-Excerpt, Spotlight, Interview
Kendra’s Thoughts-Excerpt, Interview
Frances Hoelsma-Excerpt, Spotlight, Interview
March 31Prairie Dust Trail-Review
The Overactive Imagination-Excerpt
Reading in June-Excerpt, Spotlight
Rachel Rossano’s Words-Excerpt, Spotlight
Trust and Obey-Guest Post, Spotlight
April 1Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Tour Wrap-up, giveaway announcement