About the Book
Book: Forks in the Road
Author: Tamera Lynn Kraft
Genre: Christian Western
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Orphans, Outlaws, and Redemption in the Old West!
(Looking for a prairie romance? Don’t look here!)
A classic Western tale of Joshua and Jonathan Jackson, brothers orphaned during the Civil War. They needed someone to give them a chance, but the war-torn countryside and people had little to spare.
After the war, the teen brothers headed West to find their fortunes and escape their past. Instead, they found a hard land and nobody willing to lend a hand. At every fork in the road, fear, grief, or pain prompted them to choose the wrong path.
By the time they were grown men, they had traveled so far into trouble, there was no way out except prison or death. They had one chance for redemption. Would they take it?
If you’ve read LOST IN THE STORM, you met Jed Jackson – this is the story of what happened to Jed and his brothers.
Click HERE to get your copy!
About the Author
Award winning author Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. Alice’s Notions, Red Sky Over America, Lost in the Storm, Resurrection of Hope, and Soldier’s Heart are among her published works.
Tamera been married for 40 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and three grandchildren. She has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist and has written children’s church curriculum. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
More from Tamera
I have always loved westerns. As a child, I remember watching shows on television like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Maverick, Big Valley, Alias Smith and Jones, and many others. I also loved the great western movies such as High Noon, The Quaker and the Bad Man, Three Godfathers, and Stagecoach. My favorite were the stories with an element of redemption in them. There is no better redemptive story than a man’s man out on the trail realizing he needs God.
Three Godfathers with John Wayne is my favorite movie. I first watched it when I came home from the hospital after giving birth to my first child. John Wayne plays an outlaw who, with his two friends, robs a bank and escapes into the desert. The outlaws happen on a wagon where a woman is giving birth. She dies shortly after. They have a choice. Either they risk their lives and freedom saving the child, or they leave the child to die and get away with the loot. I highly recommend it.
When I decided to write Forks in the Road, I wanted to capture that redemptive spirit in many western novels. Joshua and Jonathan are brothers who were orphaned at the ages of 10 and 12 when Quantrill’s raiders ravaged Lawrence, Kansas. They headed west to make it on their own, but at every fork in the road, they made wrong choices. They grew up and became outlaws, but they never became hardened or callous toward others. Even so, God had a plan of redemption for them. Would they take it?
An evocative, tragic, and ultimately triumphant character study, Tamera Lynn Kraft’s “Forks in the Road” relates the story of Joshua and Jonathan Jackson, brothers of Jedidiah Jackson, a Union soldier from the author’s “Lost in the Storm: Ladies of Oberlin Book 2.” At the beginning of the story, they are 12 and 10, young boys with a loving family who are baptized and accept the Lord into their hearts mere days before tragedy turns their lives upside down and leads them to forsake the straight and narrow. Set partly during the Civil War, there is a double aspect of loss and of marching through the flames, and with it the danger of either being consumed or of emerging. This is symbolically underscored by the presence of a monarch butterfly multiple times throughout the narrative; in my mind, it took on some aspects of the phoenix.
As Joshua (JJ) and Jonathan (Kid) attempt to navigate through their grief and make a way for themselves, time and again they are let down and forsaken by Christians. Hence it comes as no surprise that a loss of faith is a major theme, and at the same time it is a call to action for all Christians to truly embody the spirit of Christ by loving each other. As Kraft so sorrowfully demonstrates, once embarked upon, the slippery slope of sin is very difficult to rise from. A compromise here, a little lie there, and suddenly the enemy holds sway. “Forks in the Road” depicts how easily one can fall away, and my heart went out to these brothers as they experienced one hardship and tribulation after another, with seemingly no end in sight. Unbeknownst to them, their older brother Jedidiah lives, and, symbolic of the Good Shepherd who willingly leaves the ninety-nine to search for the one that is lost, so does Jed embark on a journey to save his brothers from the wrong path they have chosen and from themselves, declaring, “It might take a miracle to find them, but he served a God who did miracles.”
Time lapses emphasize how quickly and subtly circumstances can change and habits can form. While there are multiple time jumps as Joshua and Jonathan grow up, Kraft handles them well, and they are not jarring but rather fit well into the narrative. With a resounding message of hope and an appeal for truly living as Christ followers in actions as well as in words, “Forks in the Road” leads each of us to consider which way we will take in our own lives.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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