Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beyond This Moment

Tamera Alexander is one of my favorite authors. When I open one of her books, I am immediately transported into its pages, and it is always with reluctance that I turn the final page. But her books are so much more than just stories - they have messages that linger long after the last word.

Beyond This Moment is the second book in her Timber Ridge series. Used and betrayed by her fiance, Professor of Languages Dr. Molly Whitcomb has been strongly encouraged (okay, she was threatened!) by her boss to leave her university position and move to the Colorado Territory to become Timber Ridge's school teacher. Her heart-stopping and memorable arrival foreshadows the threads by which she senses her life is dangling. She soon discovers that a spur-of-the-moment decision in her attempt to cover a past mistake sin only makes her life more complicated, and she finds herself longing for what might have been. In a town fraught with prejudice, judgmental attitudes, and double standards, will she ever find peace, forgiveness, or love? Or will the joy she longs for always be just Beyond This Moment?


Lives are made up of tiny steps. Some are chosen for us; some we choose.
All hold the power to change who we become—but only if we let them.

When Dr. Molly Whitcomb, Professor of Romance Languages, steps off the train in Colorado Territory, she makes a choice—one that goes against everything she stands for. Yet it’s the only choice that offers her a chance to regain a fraction of all she’s lost.

Sheriff James McPherson’s instincts about people rarely miss the mark. He senses Professor Whitcomb is hiding something. He just doesn’t know what. When James learns Molly’s secret, his own reputation is undermined. But when Molly Whitcomb’s reinvented life begins to unravel, it threatens his job, the stability of Timber Ridge, and what he always knew to be true about himself.

Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of Rekindled, Revealed and Remembered, the critically acclaimed Fountain Creek Chronicles historical series with Bethany House Publishers. Tamera's deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose have earned her devoted readers—and multiple industry awards. These awards include the 2008 Christy Award for Best Romance, the 2007 RITA® for Best Inspirational Romance, the 2007 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, 2007 Bookseller’s Best Award, and Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction for 2006, among others.

Tamera’s June 2008 release, From a Distance, is part of a second historical trilogy (Timber Ridge Reflections) with Bethany House and is a 2009 Christy Awards finalist for Best Historical Romance. This three-part series focuses on “women firsts,” women who were first in their fields and who helped pave the way for their modern-day contemporaries. It's a story close to Tamera's heart that captures the essence of what it means to give God your dreams and then hold on for the journey ahead!

Tamera's recent release, The Inheritance, debuted on the April 2009 CBA Bestseller List and is the first historical for the WOMEN OF FAITH fiction line (Thomas Nelson). The Inheritance, a stand alone novel, is set in Colorado 1877. Beyond This Moment, the second Timber Ridge Reflections novel is also now available. And in the fall, Within My Heart, the last book in the Timber Ridge Reflections series, will release. Tamera is currently working on a brand new six-book series that debuts in 2010.

After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in a small town just south of Nashville with a rich history dating back to 1799. There they enjoy life with their two college-age children, and Jack, a precious—and precocious—silky terrier.


I loved this book. As are all of Tamera's books, it was a great story with many layers and I could hardly put it down. But more than that, woven into the book were several great messages. Such as, we can't fix our mistakes sins by covering them up. And while adults are sidetracked by differences, children often focus on commonalities and reap the sweet benefits of friendship far sooner. And sometimes we are so focused on ourselves that we risk throwing away the gifts God has placed right in front of us. And most of all, the message that God is ever longing to forgive and His hand is on us, even when we stumble. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the book is a quote from a circuit preacher, which we would all do well to remember today:

God never leans over the balcony of heaven and gasps.

What comfort there is in that truth!

Tamera Alexander, like so many Christian authors, has a goal beyond entertainment in her books. As she says on her website,
For me, the greatest thrill of these writing journeys is when Christ reveals Himself in some new way, and I take a step closer to Him. And my deepest desire is that readers of my books will do that as well—take steps closer to Him as they read. Real hope is found only in Him. The world searches for hope in so many other empty, dead-end places. Life will often be hard. Disappointments will come. We won’t always be happy, nor should that be our goal in this life. But authentic hope—hope that will last—can only be found in Jesus Christ. After all, it’s all about Him.

Tamera also has a blog that I enjoy reading regularly.

Happy Reading, both now and Beyond This Moment!


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2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I like the quotation, too. Our pastor says, "God is not surprised by anything, and He is confident. He is so, confident, in fact, that He is SITTING on His throne. He is not pacing and wringing His hands. So be at peace." It helps me.

Skoots1moM said...

STEADFAST...what a wonderful word...I strive for it and fall off the mark each time.
love Tamera's words...will have to add her to my list.

Beverlydru said...

I haven't read any of her books but will do so now. Great review.