A Vision of Lucy (Rocky Creek Romance Series #3)

( 26 )

Overview

Trouble follows Lucy wherever she goes. So does a vision of second chances . . . and love.

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. Her deepest hope is that her father will see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, whose paintings still hang on their walls.

But disaster follows Lucy on every photo assignment: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an ...

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A Vision of Lucy (Rocky Creek Romance Series #3)

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Overview

Trouble follows Lucy wherever she goes. So does a vision of second chances . . . and love.

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. Her deepest hope is that her father will see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, whose paintings still hang on their walls.

But disaster follows Lucy on every photo assignment: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

When Lucy meets David Wolf—a rugged, reclusive man who lives on the outskirts of town—she thinks she can catch the attention of the town with his photograph. She doesn't count on her feelings stirring whenever she's near him.

Two things happen next that forever change the course of Lucy's life. But will these events draw her closer to God or push her further away? And how will David accept this new vision of Lucy?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595548115
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Series: Rocky Creek Romance Series , #3
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 785,410
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Brownley is a New York Times best-selling author and has penned more than twenty-five historical and contemporary novels. A Lady Like Sarah was a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist. Twitter: @margaretbrownly Facebook: MargaretBrownleyAuthor

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Read an Excerpt

A Vision OF LUCY

A ROCKY CREEK ROMANCE
By Margaret Brownley

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Margaret Brownley
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-982-2


Chapter One

Never climb higher to take a photograph than you can afford to fall. – Miss Gertrude Hasslebrink, 1878

Rocky Creek, Texas 1882

Drat!" Another skirt ruined. Lucy Fairbanks straddled a branch of the sprawling sycamore tree and arranged her torn skirt as modestly as possible. Everything she owned, except for her Sunday-go-to-meeting best, was either patched or hopelessly tattered. At least she hadn't ruined her stockings, having left them at the base of the tree along with her high-button shoes.

"Pa's gonna have a fit," her brother called from the ground below. Thumbs tucked into his red suspenders, sixteen-year-old Caleb Fairbanks stared from beneath a straw hat.

"Pa's not going to have a fit," she called back.

"Will too!"

"He can't have a fit unless he knows what I'm doing." She shot him a warning glance. They shared chestnut hair and clear blue eyes, a gift inherited from their mother. Their stubborn chins came from their father's side.

"And you, young man, are not going to tell him," she said sternly. Four years his senior, she still felt protective of him, though lately he'd protected her more than the other way around. "Quit wasting my time and pull on the rope."

To her relief Caleb did what he was told without argument. His feet firmly planted, he took hold of the rope with both hands and leaned back. Lucy's prized camera rose slowly from the ground until it dangled precariously in midair.

"Don't let it drop," she called anxiously.

She grabbed hold of the bulky black leather box and sighed with relief. "I have it!" Working quickly, she pulled the extra rope from around her waist and secured the camera. "There. That should do it."

Caleb wrinkled his nose. "I still don't understand why you have to take photographs from a tree."

"I told you," she said patiently. "Mr. Barnes promised me a job at the newspaper if I capture a picture of the wild white mustang."

She'd badgered the bullheaded editor of the Rocky Creek Gazette for months before he'd reluctantly agreed to print her photographs in the newspaper. At last he'd given in, though he showed no enthusiasm. Obviously, he hoped she'd fail and go away.

"Pa says there's no such thing as the white mustang," Caleb said.

Pa was probably right, but the myth of a white horse once ran rampant among the Indians. They claimed it was the reincarnation of a beautiful woman massacred years earlier in an Indian raid. The Indians had since been moved out of Texas to Indian Territory but the legend remained.

For the sake of her job, she prayed the animal really did exist. Some people claimed to have spotted it in the nearby meadow, which is why she chose this particular spot. "No wild horse is going to make an appearance with you around. Now scat."

"When should I come back and get you?"

"Just after the sun goes down. And Caleb—not a word to Pa."

Caleb hesitated. "Don't forget, you promised you'd talk to Doc Myers."

"I haven't forgotten," she said, dreading the thought of, yet again, going against her father's wishes, this time on her brother's behalf. All she seemed to do lately was defy her father's wishes.

Since her brother made no motion to leave, she made an impatient gesture. "Go on, be gone with you. If you don't hurry, you'll be late for work, and you know how Papa feels about tardiness."

Caleb's face grew somber as it tended to do whenever anyone mentioned his job at his father's store. A surge of sympathy rushed through her. Caleb wanted to be a doctor in the worst possible way, but Papa was dead-set against it.

"I'll talk to Doc Myers, Caleb. I told you I would. Now scat!"

"Promise?"

"Promise."

Caleb sauntered back to the wagon a short distance away and, out of habit, checked the mule's leg. Moses had originally been owned by the pastor, who couldn't bear to see him put down when he became lame. Instead he gave the mule to Caleb, who nursed it back to health. The animal had served the family faithfully ever since.

"That a boy," Caleb said, patting the mule's rump.

He scrambled up the side of the wagon and hopped into the seat. Fairbanks General Merchandise was written on the wooden sides. Whooping at the top of his lungs, he grabbed the reins and drove off, making enough noise to raise the dead, and probably scaring away every living creature within miles.

Lucy watched her brother with a fond smile, then immediately went to work setting up her camera. That annoying Mr. Barnes and his wild mustang. Next he'd have her chasing after ghosts. Of course, she wouldn't mind chasing after the rumored "Rocky Creek wild man," who was as elusive as a ghost, if he really existed. Anything would be better than spending long hours trying to get a photograph of a stallion that might be nothing more than a fanciful legend.

Sighing, she released the brass lock of her camera and carefully pulled out the folding lens. The maroon-colored bellows stretched out a full fifteen inches, and she secured the extended part to the branch as well. Once she was satisfied that her precious camera was safe, she reached into the satchel attached to another branch for a dry gelatin plate. Though such plates were expensive, they saved her from having to worry about them drying out before they were developed. They also saved her the hassle of having to cart along her darkroom tent and chemicals.

She inserted the dry plate into the camera, then pulled a black cloth from her pocket and draped it over the back of the camera to prevent light from reaching the focusing screen. Squinting through the viewfinder, she made a few adjustments with a turn of a knob.

From her perch, she could clearly see the meadow, a favorite grazing spot for wild horses, deer, and elk. Behind her, the Rocky Creek River wound its way through the valley, its fast-moving waters tumbling over a series of small waterfalls as it elbowed its way to the river below.

What if her father was right and no such white stallion existed? If she didn't find the mustang, her career as a newspaper photographer was doomed before it began. Unless, of course, she found something even more impressive to photograph—like the so-called Rocky Creek wild man.

"Just you wait, Mr. Jacoby Barnes," she muttered. "My photographs are going to make your newspaper the most popular one in all of Texas."

Contemplating success, she surveyed the far horizon. May was her favorite time of year. The meadow looked like an artist's palette, and red, yellow, and blue wildflowers filled the air with sweet perfume. Sweeter still was the high, thin sound of a warbler's song.

A cloud of dust in the distance caught her attention. Moving a leafy branch aside, she could just make out the silhouettes of three horsemen racing toward her.

The horsemen drew nearer. Strangers, by the looks of them. Instead of passing on the road below, they cut across the meadow and disappeared into the nearby woods. Definitely strangers.

Sighing, she leaned back against the trunk of the tree, grateful for the thick green foliage that protected her from the warm sun. As usual, she'd forgotten her hat. She hated anything confining. Hair piled on top of her head in the haphazard way that she favored, she impatiently brushed a wayward tendril away from her face.

She waited. A blue jay flew into an upper branch and protested her presence with a harsh jeering jaay, jaay before taking to the skies. A bushy-tailed squirrel started up the trunk of the tree, spotted her, then ran back down and vanished in the brush. A bee buzzed in her ear.

A rumbling sound alerted her. Peering through the branches, she realized it was the Wells Fargo stagecoach, two days late as usual.

Sighing, she wiggled into a more comfortable position and restlessly swung her bare legs. No wild stallion would make an appearance as long as the stage was in the area. She had no choice but to sit and wait.

The rumbling of the stage grew louder, as did the impatient shouts of the driver urging his team of six horses up the slight incline. To while away the boredom, she decided to take a photograph of the stage as it passed below.

She adjusted the camera so that it pointed to the road and peered into the viewfinder. The image, though dim, was clear on the frosted glass. No black cloth was needed. She moved the lever to adjust the shutter speed to high.

Fingering the leather bulb in hand, she waited. The bulb, attached to a rubber tube, allowed her to take photographs without jarring the camera. Steady, steady

Startled by voices, she pulled away from the camera and blinked. The stagecoach had stopped directly below her and the driver disembarked, hands over his head.

It was then that she noticed the three horsemen she had seen earlier, their faces now hidden beneath bright-colored kerchiefs. She had been so focused on the stage she failed to notice their presence until now. The sun glinted against the barrel of a gun and she gasped. Covering her mouth with her hand, she watched the drama unfold below.

The stagecoach was being robbed. Shock soon turned to delight. She couldn't believe her good fortune. A wonderful photographic opportunity had practically fallen into her lap—or more accurately, at her feet. Just wait until Jacoby Barnes hears about this!

The gunman came into view below her, yelling, "Get the box!" He was no doubt referring to the green wooden Wells Fargo money box strapped next to the driver's seat.

Praying the bandits would not notice her high-button shoes strewn at the base of the tree, she peered through her viewfinder.

The lens was focused on the driver, but if she moved it to the right, just so ... with her heart pounding from excitement, she leaned forward and readjusted the camera, tightening the rope that held it.

A twig snapped and one of the robbers looked up. She quickly pulled back and lost her balance. Arms and legs flailing, she fell through the air, letting loose an ear-piercing scream. She landed on the stagecoach roof with a thud, sprawled facedown.

The startled horses whinnied and the stage took off, taking her with it and leaving the startled gunmen, passengers, and driver in the dust.

Chapter Two

Never say "shoot" when you mean "photograph," especially when talking to a trigger-happy gunslinger. — Miss Gertrude Hasslebrink, 1878

Stuck amidst a bewildering confusion of baggage, Lucy held on for dear life. A large canvas bag had cushioned her fall and probably saved her from a broken bone or two.

The wine-red stage bopped and rattled along the narrow dirt road, the horses gaining speed with every stride. The coach swayed from side to side, its leather-thong springs tested to the limits. The scenery was little more than a blur as the stage raced by.

"Stop!" she yelled. "Whoa!" Her yelling did no good. The horses continued to run along the river's edge at breakneck speed.

"Help!" she cried, but no one was around to save her. Her only chance was to reach the driver's seat and grab the reins.

Flopping about on the roof of the stage like a rag doll, she grasped the rope holding the baggage in place. The rope dug into her flesh but still she held on. Inhaling, she forced herself to calm down.

"I c-can do-do-do this," she bit out between teeth-rattling jolts. She had to do it.

Taking a deep breath to brace herself, she tightened her grip. Hand over hand she slowly pulled herself forward. She reached for the guardrail but the stage hit a bump, throwing her backward.

"Ohhh!"

Gasping for air, she waited for the coach to stop fishtailing before clawing her way back. It took several tries before she could finally grab the brass rail.

Fighting to hold on, she lifted a bare foot and heaved her body over the top, landing in the driver's box. She banged her elbow and tears sprang to her eyes. Her slight frame bounced up and down like water on a hot skillet. Grimacing against the pain, she pulled herself upright and searched frantically for the reins.

The leather straps had fallen between the horses and now dragged on the ground beneath the flying hooves. The horses' flanks glistened with sweat, but they showed no sign of stopping. With a cry of dismay she fell back in the seat.

The coach careened dangerously around a sharp curve, thrusting her to one side. At the last possible second, it righted itself and followed the road along the river's edge. Surely it would only be a matter of seconds before the stage went off the road and plunged into the water.

Trembling with fear, she forced herself to think. She had to do something fast, but what? Her only hope was to climb over the front boot and lower herself down to the yoke between the horses to gather up the reins. Not a good idea. It was the only way. Yes. No. Ohhh.

A shiver of panic threatened her resolve. Heart pounding, her throat felt raw. Her hair pulled loose from its last hairpin and whipped around her head. Dust stung her eyes.

"You c-c-c-can do this," she stammered in an effort to calm herself. She blinked rapidly to clear her blurred vision, then searched for a foothold. Momentarily frozen by fear, she closed her eyes and said a silent prayer.

Lord, help me. It wasn't the first time she'd faced almost certain death while trying to capture the perfect photograph, but if God saved her one more time, she promised to mend her ways.

Her hands sweaty, she waited for the stage to round a curve and straighten. She then turned her back to the horses and prepared against her better judgment to lower herself over the front of the stage.

A loud popping sound whizzed through the air. Craning to look over the roof of the swerving coach, she stared in horror at the three gunmen close behind. Another popping sound and she dove to the floorboards. Pain shot through her shoulder where she hit it but that was the least of her worries.

Those fool men were shooting at her!

"Stop the stage!" someone shouted.

She peered over the side, her knuckles white from holding on. Wasn't that what she'd been trying to do?

One of the horsemen hurtled past her. His gelding neck and neck with the runaway horses, he managed to leap onto the lead animal. After much shouting and cursing, he finally brought the stage to an uneasy halt.

Lucy's relief lasted only as long as it took for the highwayman to slide off the lead horse and walk back to the stage.

"Stand with your hands up." His voice was slightly muffled by the red kerchief that covered half his face, but there was no mistaking his menacing tone. He was dressed in black from his wide-brimmed hat to his dust-covered boots. A black leather holster trimmed in silver hung from his waist.

With a nervous glance at the gun he brandished, Lucy did what she was told.

His dark glittering eyes narrowed above the kerchief. "Why were you spying on us?"

"I ... I wasn't spying on you, sir," she stammered. "I was only trying to—"

Before she could explain, the other two horsemen galloped up and the leader sent the short, heavy man after his horse.

She eyed the man with the gun and gulped.

"Come on down," he said. When she showed no sign of moving, he nodded to the other man. "Help her down."

"I don't need anyone's help," she said primly. Lifting her skirt above her ankles, she lowered herself to the ground and brushed herself off. Shaken from her spine-tingling ride, she lashed out at the bandit.

"You should be ashamed of yourselves," she stormed. A strand of hair fell over her eyes, and she brushed it aside with an impatient flick of the wrist. Her knees threatened to buckle beneath her but she had no intention of dying until she gave the outlaws a piece of her mind.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from A Vision OF LUCY by Margaret Brownley Copyright © 2011 by Margaret Brownley. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(7)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

    Great book - Read all three books in the Rocky Creek Romance series

    Book one is: A Lady Like Sarah
    Book two is: A Suitor For Jenny
    Book Three is: A Vision Of Lucy

    All three are good. If you start with the first book, you will know who some of the people are in each following book.
    I also read the first book of her new series. It is "Dawn Comes Early" If you enjoyed reading the first series. You will like "The Brides Of Last Chance Ranch" series.
    Cute, sweet, funny. I love to read this type of book. I gave this five stars because it is not filled with sex, murders and just plain filth.
    I am looking forward to the second book in the Brides Of Last Chance Ranch coming out in January 2013.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 29, 2012

    Loved it!

    Cute book. Loved Lucy and her mishaps. Sweet storyline.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    most readers will identify with one of the characters and go through the story with reckless abandon!

    Reviewed by Karen P. for Readers Favorite

    "A Vision of Lucy" by Margaret Brownley is the third and last book of the 'Rocky Creek Series'. Not having read the first two books, I can advise the reader that this book stands well by itself as a delightful read.

    Lucy Fairbanks longs for validation from her father as a budding artist. Lucy's deceased mother was an artist and Lucy hopes to convince her father that her photography work at the Rocky Creek newspaper is every bit as valid an expression of art as were her mother's paintings. But, disaster seems to follow Lucy's attempts to become the featured photographer she imagines herself to be. And then, additional complications set in when David Wolf happens upon the scene. David is imagined by the townsfolk to be a wild man. He is a halfbreed and a man feared by the community at large. Lucy has other observations about David and the feelings related to her observations eventually bring her into close contact with the man. The closer Lucy becomes to David, the more confused her feelings are toward the handsome and complex man. Lucy wonders how she can harbor such intense feelings toward a man and still remain true to God in her beliefs.

    Brownley has written an easy and delightful story which will tease the feelings of the reader with tension, sadness, expectation and hope. In the end, Lucy must decide who she must please and her direction can then be established. With the abundant character development in this story, most readers will identify with one of the characters and go through the story with reckless abandon!

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  • Posted September 13, 2011

    Wonderful book! <3

    Okay, I loved this book. It was truly a pleasure to read A Vision for Lucy. I am a photography lover, so I was almost instantly hooked by the main character's passion of the wonderful hobby. It was a very unique plot- a young woman and photographer in the late 1800s who meets negativity about her journey to be a professional. She was an extremely determined woman who set out with a main goal- to get a photographer's position at a local town newspaper. The only thing she had to do was to get a picture of a man the townspeople thought was "wild"... Lucy tells David she needs a photograph of him, after she meets him face to face and actually learns what his name is. At first, he doesn't want to give it to her, but soon after they depart, they begin a series of events that draws them closer to each other. I enjoyed every single part of this book! Thank you so much for this five star book!

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a definite must read!

    A Vision of Lucy
    By: Margaret Brownley

    I received this e-book free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for a book review. A Vision of Lucy is a humorous, fun-filled story about Lucy who loves to take pictures. She can't understand why her father won't accept her photography as art. She wants a job at the local paper, but when she is hired, she quits after she finds out some disturbing news. She meets David Wolf-and after hearing why he has come to town-nothing will ever be the same again. Sometimes change is a good thing. God works in changes and things happening to bring about His good.

    When David was a child he was dropped off at the orphanage. He decided to run away at the age of 10. What happened after that, affected everyone involved for years to come. David must learn to forgive the boys who made him the man he is today. Lucy must learn to trust God with her future-with David and her photography. Lucy helps David figure out who he is and track down who tried to kill him when he was 10.The whole community is affected by the discovery of what happened so many years ago. See how a town comes together to stand behind someone, even if they are part Indian and part white man. David has to overcome barriers he has placed in his life because of what he thinks others will do and how they will treat him. He is surprised people will accept him as he is. A Vision of Lucy is about forgiveness and figuring out what God wants to do with your life.

    This is an awesome book, and you will enjoy the forgiving and loving spirit that is shown in this story. Lucy and David's story is a story relevant even in today's times. We go through something and we don't realize the affect it has on other people around us; we only think of ourselves. This book will open our eyes to the repercussions of our actions and how people around us could be affected. Margaret Brownley does an excellent job with this book. I highly recommend this book, and any others she has written. Her characters are fully developed, and the storyline touches your heart. You are connected to the characters and you can't put the book down until you have finished it. This book is a definite must read!

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I LOVE LUCY!!!

    Lucy is a delightful girl who finds herself in so many mishaps, all because she's out to take the perfect photo! Mind you, there weren't too many women photographers back then and she is determined to make a profession out of it. At the beginning of each chapter Margaret has included humorous quotes from Miss Gertrude Hasslebrink, like this one: "While posing for a photograph, spinsters should avoid looking desperate or deprived. A serene smile will show circumstances are by choice and not for lack of beauty or character." Although I'm pretty sure they weren't intended to be funny back in the day, they certainly are entertaining and I couldn't help but read them aloud to my husband, who chuckled many times! The history taught in this book is phenomenal. Margaret is a great teacher and writer. I feel like my life has been enriched by the knowledge I have gained in reading about the beginning days of photography! Now Lucy, being the adventurous young woman she is, needs someone who is going to be a bit more serious in nature. In comes David Wolf who has a troubled past and is out to find and take back something that was stolen from him as a young boy. He's convinced that Lucy is beyond his reach because of his...well, you just need to read the book! Once again, Margaret has pulled together charming characters and firmly planted me right smack dab in the middle of their lives! Using humor, suspense, and serious spiritual concepts she has woven a beautiful story of forgiveness. There are a lot of characters to get to know, but Margaret flawlessly portrays them to such an extent that I felt as if I was right there, involved personally in their lives, and watching each one come to terms with past sin, present forgiveness, and future redemption. A Vision of Lucy is the third book in the A Rocky Creek Romance series. Thank you, Margaret for my ARC!

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    Fantastic Read

    Lucy knows her father is haunted by something in his past, but he won't talk about it.

    Ms. Brownley does an excellent job of "setting the stage" for her story. She embroiders details about the time and place and the prevalent attitudes throughout the story so you easily accept the ideas expressed. Set in the 1800's, women had no status and half-breeds were scorned. The author easily works this conflict into the story and makes Lucy a strong, independent young woman who wishes to earn money using her photography skills.

    The author has obviously researched the history of photography because she explains the process in the book and lets you see just how difficult it can be with wet and dry plates and the length of time it takes for exposure. There is also a danger of fire when using a "flash".

    Lucy is a very vibrant character that you will enjoy reading about. She's forever getting in trouble. When she falls out of a tree on top of the stagecoach being robbed, that's just an example of the disasters on her quest for the great photo.

    Ms. Brownley injects humor and sadness into her story. There is a Christian theme but it's subtle. Her main male character is David, who is a half-breed. When he and Lucy fall in love, they have another battle to fight. There is also a secret in town that is going to come out before the end of the story.

    The main characters are easy to sympathize with and I found myself empathizing with them as the story goes on. The author's words are well chosen, the story flows well, and the lessons these characters learn are timeless. Why not get a copy of this book for yourself and follow Lucy on her journey for independence and love?

    Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    This book was a very nice surprise

    A Vision of Lucy was the first book I've read in Christian Fiction. I received a review request from the publisher and quickly accepted the book. It first caught my eye because Lucy wants to be a photographer and it takes place in the 1800's.

    Lucy is a young woman that has been raising her father and brother since her mother died. She has aspirations to be a photographer but no one will take her seriously. She is convinced that if she can get that one great shot, the local newspaper will hire her to work there. She never dreamed that her passion would almost cost a man his life.

    David Wolf is a man on a mission. He is angry with the world because he doesn't fit in with the white man or the Indians. He has been shunned all his life due to his Indian blood. When he was younger he was almost killed by four teenage boys out causing trouble. He has never forgiven them and wants them to suffer as he has all these years.

    I love Lucy's character. She is continually getting into trouble and it seems like David is always there to rescue her. She reminds me of Janet Evanovich's main character, Stephanie Plum. It seems like anything that can go wrong for Lucy does, even when she is trying to help someone. She has a good heart and believes that people are inherently good but she is also a little naive about the world around her since she has never left her small town.

    David is a complex character that is jaded and feels like everyone holds his Indian blood against him. He was put in a boat and left to die when he was a little boy, an incident that has fueled his hatred all these years. He just wants people to see him for who he is, a smart and talented man, but he has to start seeing himself differently before anyone else will.

    I really like David and Lucy together. He is truly the yin to her yang and they complement each other well. Lucy will be able to help him overcome his anger and resentment while learning forgiveness. At the same time, David is there to show her the ways of the world. He encourages her to continue with her photography. He loves her just the way she is and she doesn't care about his mixed blood.

    The town is a typical town in the old west and full of interesting characters, including the typical nosy neighbors and budding politician. The secondary characters are so much fun and add that additional level of depth to the story. The tidbits at the beginning of each chapter are also fun to read. I enjoyed learning about how old school photography was processed; it makes me appreciate my digital camera that much more.

    I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book because I really wasn't sure what to expect from a Christian fiction book. The author's message of love and forgiveness is intricately woven into the story without the reader felling like they are attending a worship service.

    Overall I really enjoyed A Vision of Lucy and give it 4 Flaming Hearts.

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  • Posted July 13, 2011

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    funny and romantic...

    Although the third book in a series (Rocky Creek), this book has its own story and character. The fact that the heroine, Lucy Fairbanks is seemingly hounded by trouble at every turn, gave way to a lot of avenue for effective humor efficiently incorporated with all the other genres mixed into this story: that of drama, a little suspense, action, and lots of romance. The characters are interesting and memorable. They have personalities that I found easy to relate with in the face of issues that has hounded us all at one point in our lives. In addition to the romance, this novel also injects a little educational discourse on the earliest history of photography.

    A good enough read, but it will not make you itching to turn the pages. Enjoyable and light, this is the perfect book to sit down with in the middle of a bleak and cloudy day. Three stars out of five for making me smile.

    I got an ARC of this book from Booksneeze.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

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    Leisurely Read

    I've always love reading Christian fiction. Especially if the theme is loosely tied around romance. They're much more satisfying than normal romance fiction. 'Vision of Lucy' is another one of my favourite Christian fiction. Somehow, I could almost see myself in the protagonist of this story, Lucy. She's such a determined young thing, and would do anything to achieve her goals, and never did succumbs to people's expectations of her as well as peer pressure. She did what she thinks is right, even though it was wrong in the eyes of the society. I liked how adventurous Lucy was portrayed. She's such a memorable character and I definitely would read this book again some time in the future.

    I highly recommends this book to those who enjoy a light hearted read with a hint of humour, romance and adventure. I rate this book 3 stars.

    I received an ARC of this book from Thomas Nelson Publisher and I was not compensated in any ways for writing this review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

    A Vision of Lucy by Margaret Brown

    Hey there? I've gotten a new book sort of recently from booksneeze, and it's really good. Before I get started though, I should probably tell you that I received this book for free from the booksneeze program offered through the thomas nelson publishing company and this review is one hundred percent my own opinion. Anywho, this story is about a fledgling woman photographer. Now, to be quite honest, I've never really looked into the history of photography- particularly American photography. For a while, it seems that photography was quite the frivolous pursuit. This is where Lucy in introduced- a woman with a job at a time when it seemed women did everything BUT have a job. Lucy hopes to convince her dad she's legit, but that's hard to do when disaster seems to follow her everywhere she goes. Determined to become a respectable worker, she begins to take photographs of the town's recluse, sure that capturing him on camera would insure her media attention. But she realizes that this job is harder than it looks as she falls in love with him. A plot twist comes (don't you love those?!) and change Lucy's story. What will happen to Lucy? Will she remain true to her passions and her God, or will everything crumble down? I'm not about to go and tell you now. You need to find out for yourself?

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    A little slow going but worth sticking with it!

    A Vision of Lucy by Margaret Brownley started slowly for me. The third book in the "Rocky Creek Romance" series depicts life in a late 1800's Texas town. However, early on, it was a town I didn't feel incredibly drawn to. I found myself taking more pages than I would like to feel pulled in to the life of Lucy, a female photographer who was seeming to get into more predicaments than humanly possible. (I did not read the first two books in the series, but they are stand alone titles so this was not a factor.)

    However, I am certainly glad I stayed with this one. It took a few more chapters than I would have liked, but Brownley managed to captivate me and before long, I was searching for a few extra minutes to down another chapter or two. (And staying up later than I should at night to get to a good stopping point.)


    I had trouble, early on, buying into the setting and relating to Lucy's life, a single woman dreaming of working as a photographer for the local newspaper. It is this dream, in fact, that leads her to David Wolf. His photograph might just secure her the job she has dreamed of. But that proves more difficult than she originally has planned.


    It is David, in fact, that I as a reader became most interested in. And once his character was permanently implanted, my interest was permanently piqued.

    Brownley does a fantastic job of weaving lessons of forgiveness and compassion and assumptions into a well-written and enticing storyline. While I still think that Lucy's adventures seemed a bit over-the-top on occasion, I found myself cheering for her. Cheering for David. And anxiously awaiting the answer to the mystery of his life, carefully woven throughout the pages of this piece of historical fiction.

    I think this is definitely a book geared toward a feminine audience. However, if you happen to be a female who has a special interest in photography or the pioneer days, this book will be even more of a steal for you.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 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

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Can we do lunch?

    Margaret Brownley, can we please do lunch? I know, a strange way to start out a book review, but sometimes after reading a good book, that's how I feel and after reading A Vision for Lucy, and discovering that this author is full of humor and spunk, I just know she'd be a hoot to go to lunch with! I could ask her my plethora of questions about her Historical Christian fiction book, like "Are the cute quotes from a lady photographer of the day at the beginning of each chapter true or invented by her own imagination?" An example: "Never say "shoot" when you mean "photograph" especially when talking to a trigger -happy gunslinger". Or,"What was your inspiration for the spunky photo-taking, jabber a mile a minute when she's nervous heroine Lucy Fairbanks?" I'd ask her these things before the menus even came. Onto the storyline- the setting is the little town of Rocky Creek Texas in 1882, a town where everybody knows your name.except for the new guy in town. A man with a secret and labeled incorrectly by a boy who got caught rummaging through his stuff, as a "wild man" and has the whole town on edge. Lucy, photographer extraordinaire, captures a picture of him for the local newspaper and things get misconstrued and it just gets wilder from there. It turns out this "stranger" is named David Wolf and is tall, dark and handsome and a bit brooding as well. He has reason to be, but I'll let you discover his secrets for yourself between the pages of this book. Of course our spunky and driven photographer Lucy and mysterious and handsome stranger David meet up and together they make quite a pair. There is a secret here and it affects more than just our mysterious David. As the story unfolds, you see the pieces fall into place. I have to say I really enjoyed this book. There were laugh out loud moments and the character of Lucy was a hoot. I became a fan of her instantly, especially with her tendency to babble on when she is nervous. The deep dark secret was revealed in just the right timing , as things came together and the clues were all there, but alas I did fall for the 'red herring" that presented itself , so good job fooling me! Women's suffrage is also woven into the storyline in an interesting way and I enjoyed the historical context woven through this novel. The main character throughout the novel is "searching" for what God has for her and her purpose in life- a common question to us all. The author does a good job in showing the character's journey in that whole process. My only little bit of criticism is that I found the description of the male character to be just a tad "mainstream romantic novelish"- "bulging thighs" for example. That is just my own little observation and it's just my opinion, it just took me out of the story for a minute, so it caught my attention. So, to sum up, this book was a great read, really enjoyed it and I am recommending it to those that love a Great Historical Christian fiction, romantic, mystery with some laugh out loud humor kind of books. I will definitely be reading more of Margaret Brownley in the future and Margaret, if you are ever in the Seattle area, please look me up - lunch is on me. Disclosure- I received a Digital review copy of this book through the Booksneeze program in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sweet Christian Romance

    I found this book to be enjoyable and there are quite a few chuckles. Lucy Fairbanks is a woman before her times. She wants to pursue a career in photography, during a time when woman stayed home and took care of a family. On one of her adventures she meets, or I should say he comes to her rescue, David Wolf.
    You will find yourself almost in tears for the young David Wolf. Poor darling! You also will see the pain and hurt from guilt from other members of Lucy's community.
    You will find it quite funny with the mail order bride coming, along with balloon ride kidnappings.
    I recommend this book to get lost in on a Summer day!

    I was provided with a copy of this book by publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

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    An entertaining historical novel

    Honestly, it took me a little bit to really get into this book. It started out as a typical romance novel- boy meets girl, boy kisses girl, girl is all fluttery at the thought of boy... you know the drill. Happily, as the book continued it became clear that it was about much more than just the romance between the two characters. I really liked the story line that followed David Wolf, the main male character. The mystery about his origins, plus the story of forgiveness and reconciliation really kept my attention. I also enjoyed the historical aspect of this novel, with its discussion of women's rights and the early days of photography. The characters, both main and secondary, were all very well written, and I felt like I was getting to know real people as I went through the pages of this novel

    In the end, I really liked A Vision of Lucy and thought it was a very satisfying read. Now that I've "met" these characters, I'm anxious to go back and read the earlier two books in this series. If you're looking for an entertaining vacation read, and you're a fan of historical novels, definitely consider A Vision of Lucy.

    Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from Booksneeze, so that I could review it for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

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    A fun historical romance!

    4.5 Stars

    There's something for everyone- romance, family secrets, a mystery, great friends, and town gossip. The message is delivered subtly and realistically.

    I loved reading about the photography of the time period. The author has a great knowledge of how photography worked back then. I also loved the advice at the start of each chapter given to both photographers and their subjects. The advice was sometimes humorous in how dated it was, and sometimes still true today!

    I loved both of the leads, Lucy and David. I especially liked the growth that David experienced throughout the book regarding his reaction to the incident that changed his life.

    There were so many characters and so much going on in this town! There was never a dull moment with these folks! I really liked Lucy's younger brother, Caleb, from the start. He was adorable as the teenage future town doctor, so ready to help, but with so much to learn.


    I loved this book right from the start, it was un-put-downable!


    book sent by publisher in exchange for an honest review!

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

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    I Also Recommend:

    A Historical Perspective on Photography and Love

    Klutzy. That's what you'd call Lucy. But, Lucy has a dream; she wants to be a photographer. The problem is that it is 1882, in Rocky Creek, TX, and women as photographers is virtually unheard of. Her father definitely doesn't approve and Lucy sets out to prove to him that she can be an artist with her camera. Then David Wolf enters her life. Some say he is a recluse because of bad things he has done and they fear him, but that isn't the truth. Will Lucy get the picture of the wild horse or her wild man? Or, will Lucy find love and acceptance? Will anyone ever take her hopes and dreams seriously? Come along with Lucy as she takes a journey that could make or break her relationship with her family and God.

    I really enjoyed reading about Lucy's desires and her klutziness. She seemed very real to me. Margaret Brownley writes wonderful stories with vibrant characters and I recommend all of her books to you! Thank you to the Book Sneeze program for my copy of the book. The review is my own.

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  • Posted June 25, 2011

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    I Also Recommend:

    Photography, Romance, Mystery and Adventure Equal A Great Read!

    Margaret Brownley, in her new book, "A Vision Of Lucy" Book Three in her Rocky Creek Romance series published by Thomas Nelson takes us back to 1882 Rocky Creek, Texas.

    Lucy Fairbanks is a young lady who has a passion for photography. Lucy has come to Rocky Creek to be a photographer for the local newspaper. However, life is not easy for Lucy; it seems that every time she sets herself up for a photo shoot something goes wrong. It escalates to the point where Lucy falls out of a tree and into a stage-coach robbery where a handsome stranger saves her life.

    David Wolf is a half-breed with both Native American and Caucasian blood and doesn't feel welcomed or wanted into either world. He has returned to Rocky Creek with secrets from his past that only Lucy will be able to help him heal from. If the two of them can survive her escapades with the camera.

    "A Vision Of Lucy" is an incredible romance that is full of mystery, charm and humor. It deals with topics of women working at a time when they did not even have the right to vote. Other topics include mail-order brides, the suffragette movement, racism/inequality, and politics. All of this is set against a historical backdrop that is fascinating to read. Margaret Brownley has done it again. I am sorry to see this series end but I am looking forward to whatever series she writes next.

    If you missed the interview for "A Lady Like Sarah" Book One in the series and would like to listen to it or interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

    To listen to Christian music 24/7 please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. 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."

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

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    Recipe for romance!

    This is a delightful book that has it all. There is romance, misadventure, a little bit of mystery, some fun and a healthy dose of forgiveness. I love books that have a good mix like this. It reminds me of one of those treasured recipes that's been handed down through the generations ~ it just gets better and better. :o)

    Lucy is independent and knows her mind. She really wants to please and understand her father though. Family is important to her. I have a serious pet peeve. I can't tolerate lies. Lucy has trouble with secrets. This is really important to the story for many reasons. Despite how often she gets in trouble, she's a peacemaker and tries to help smooth things over between her father and brother when they don't see things from the same perspective. She has a plan for her life and it doesn't include any of the men her father wants to set her up with. In fact, it doesn't include any man at all ... that is until she meets a certain wild man.

    David Wolf has plans too. He's determined to settle some old business - quietly - and then get out of town and back to what he's good at - where he's comfortable. He didn't count on Lucy taking his picture and getting everyone riled up. He didn't count on Lucy at all come to think on it. He's handsome, stubborn, talented, and he has a past that hasn't let go.

    I loved the way these two interacted with each other. They had a genuine appreciation for each other and you could feel a real relationship growing but they didn't lack chemistry either. The story had enough interesting historical details without feeling like a lesson and the characters were likable and stayed with me long after I quit reading. This will go on my list for favorites. I want to thank Thomas Nelson for providing an electronic copy for me to review.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

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    Recommended!

    Lucy Fairbanks is a spunky woman whose adventurous spirit and dream of becoming a professional photographer for the local newspaper keeps putting her in dangerous situations. Like her mother, Lucy felt compelled to capture the world around her and preserve moments in time that would never be repeated. The only difference was their choice of expression. - Page 28 Her father doesn't understand her dream of photography and would rather she paint (like her deceased mother did) and get married. She stared at her father in open defiance. "I have plans for my life. Big plans. They do not include marriage." - Page 26 One occasion, when Lucy was in danger, was when she was in a horse chestnut tree trying to capture the mythical wild white mustang on film. She instead witnesses (and interrupts) a stage coach robbery, almost is killed, but is rescued by the 'wild man', David Wolf. David Wolf is a man who is on a mission. He is a half-breed (half-white, half-Indian), and he's had a difficult life because of that. He doesn't know his real name, who is parents are - or if they are even still alive, and he doesn't even know where he belongs. Everywhere he goes he finds people who judge him just because of his blood - until he meets Lucy. I loved how many of the same character from the books 'A Lady Like Sarah' and 'A Suitor For Jenny' were continued in 'A Vision Of Lucy'. What I didn't like, however, was how Old Man Hank Applegate's name was changed in this book to Old Man Appleby. He seemed like the same character from previous books, yet his name was different. Another thing I enjoyed about 'A Vision of Lucy' were the new characters. David Wolf's story was really interesting, as was Lucy's. Some parts of this book were predictable for me and a couple of things I didn't care for all that much, but other than that I really liked 'A Vision of Lucy'. I was somewhat disappointed when I read that this is the final book in the 'Rocky Creek Romance' series. But I'm looking forward to reading Margaret Brownley's next series 'Brides of Last Chance Ranch' which comes out sometime in 2012 (according to her website). I recommend 'A Vision of Lucy' if you enjoy reading romance novels. *I received 'A Vision Of Lucy' for free from the publisher through BookSneeze®.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.*

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