Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating with an education degree in 1971, she taught second grade for two years, then accepted an invitation to travel internationally for a year with a singing ensemble. In 1975, she married her childhood sweetheart. Together they raised two lovely, wonderful daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying their own families. Retired in 2003 after thirty-one years of teaching, "Shar" loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family-her grandchildren, in particular!Shar launched her writing career in 2006 with the contemporary romance Through Every Storm, a Whitaker House release that was named a finalist for Book of the Year by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Following that was her acclaimed Little Hickman Creek series, consisting of Loving Liza Jane (Road to Romance Reviewer's Choice Award); Sarah, My Beloved (third place, Inspirational Readers' Choice Award 2008); and Courting Emma (third place, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award 2009). Shar's next series, the popular Daughters of Jacob Kane, comprises Hannah Grace (second place, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award 2010), Maggie Rose, and Abbie Ann (third place, Inspirational Reader's Choice Award 2011). Sofia's Secret concludes her latest series, River of Hope, which also comprises Livvie's Song and Ellie's Haven.Shar has done numerous countrywide book signings, television and radio appearances, and interviews. She loves to speak for women's organizations, libraries, church groups, women's retreats, and banquets. She is involved in Apples of Gold, a mentoring program for young wives and mothers, and is active in her church, as well as two weekly Bible studies. She and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan, with their beautiful white collie, Peyton.
Sofia's Secretby Sharlene MacLaren
Scandal surrounds Sofia Rogers, a woman in her early twenties, when it becomes obvious she is pregnant and unmarried. Yet nobody knows the real story. And Sofia isn?t about to share it; she would rather bear the shame than face the threat of consequences. When Eli Trent, the new doctor in town, gets involved, the trouble escalates in the form of thievery, arson, and death threats. Nevertheless, Eli is determined to break down the wall of silence behind which Sofia hides her deep, dark secret. He is out to convince her she is not alone and to make her realize that trusting him?and her heavenly Father is the only thing that makes sense.
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Sofia Rogers has endured much hardship in her life. She raises her younger brother and shies away from people in town. Due to what happened to her she doesn't trust men or others. Her life is one of fear even after Dr. Eli Trent comes on the scene. Eli wants to protect her and her brother, Andy. A series of events, near disasters, etc. and then the sheriff is killed. Sofia's secret is then revealed and she is amazed at how the town people respond to her. They rally around her and help her. Dr. Eli Trent backs off to get to know Sofia better. She then thinks he has lost interest. Loved his romantic proposal. A story of God's grace, forgiveness and protection. God's plan revealed to Eli. Uplifting and reward in one's walk with God.
This is the third book in this series, and I've enjoyed my return visit with these sweet people. Although it would be great to read all of the books, and I recommend that you do, it is not necessary to in order to enjoy this one. I enjoyed this journey with Sofia and her brother Andy, and of course, Dr Eli Trent. Loved how Sofia reacted and tried to keep her head up, especially with the gossip that followed her. She is pregnant, and won't tell anyone what or how it happened. She is trying to protect her brother, who has been in her care since their parents were killed in a train accident. Enjoy how the faith of these people bring joy to desperate situations. We travel along through floods, acts of violence, and mental instability. You hope things will turn out ok, but in the back of your mind you wonder the whole time. The book is a fast page turning read...once you start you can't stop!! I received this book through First Wild Card Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
This story was not what I expected. It was better! Not having read the previous books in this series, I was afraid I might be lost and not know what was going on, but that was not the case. I thought I would casually read a few pages/chapters over the course of several days (it's a hefty sized book at 432 pages) but I was so taken by surprise at the depth and subject matter, that I read it in less than two days. The characters' spiritual battles are real, their decisions weighty and costly, and the humor that is interspersed in just the right places is tremendously enjoyable. Sharlene is a master story teller and this one is big! I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes getting thoroughly immersed in a meaty story but be prepared to let the laundry pile up and dishes go unwashed because if you're not already a fan of Sharlene MacLaren, you will be! Whitaker House graciously supplied my review copy. I was not required to write a positive review, just my honest opinion of the book, which I have done.
Sharlene MacLaren in her new book, “Sofia’s Secret” Book Three in the River Of Hope series published by Whitaker House takes us into the life of Sofia Rogers. From the back cover: An independent young woman shouldering a heavy burden… Ever since her parents died in a tragic train wreck, Sofia Rogers has worked a job, managed a household, and brought up her little brother, Andy–and all on her own, because she prizes her independence. But that is not to say it’s been an easy road. As if she didn’t have enough burdens to bear, through circumstances beyond her control, Sofia gets pregnant–and becomes an overnight pariah. Worse than the whispers and stares of others is the bewilderment she feels, knowing she may not be able to provide for her baby. An ambitious young doctor with lofty aspirations… Dr. Elijah Trent moved to Wabash to take over the medical practice of his grandfather, “Doc” Trent, as he is affectionately called by the locals. Moved by a sense of compassion, Eli maintains a hectic schedule, striving to meet all his patient’s needs. Just when he feels as if he has bitten off more than he can chew, he meets Sofia Rogers–and his world is turned upside down by this enchanting yet perplexing young woman, who rejects any apparent acts of charity. A troubling secret that demands discovery… Even more frustrating, Sofie refuses to participate in an investigation that might bring her attacker to justice and thereby restore her reputation. Never one to mind his own business, Eli gets involved, anyway–and a world of trouble ensues, from arson to death treats. Nevertheless, Eli is determined to break down the wall of silence behind which Sofie hides her deep, dark secret, and to make her realize that trusting him–and her heavenly Father–is the only thing that make sense. Honestly I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to read “Sofia’s Secret”. I guess I thought it was just going to be a typical romance drama. Well was I wrong! ” Who knew so much could happen in a little town like Wabash, Indiana? Sofie is raped but she won’t tell anyone who the attacker is. When Dr. Eli gets involved the death threats and fire bombings begin. Add in that Sofie is trying to raise her younger brother by herself as their parents died in a train accident. And then on top of that there is the romance–not just any kind of romance but a real, gentle romance that only springs from God. Ms. MacLaren does an outstanding job with all the characters and it is a sad thing when we get to the end of the book and we have to say goodbye to them. Doubly sad because this is the last book in this series. However the good news is there is sure to be more from the pen of this outstanding author, Sharlene MacLaren. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Whitaker House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”