NOTE: I’m currently in the revision and editing stages for each of these books. For updates on publishing status, please join my email list.
Book 1: Beyond the Valley
Readers are drawn to powerful parallels in Lydia’s journey of finding God’s truth and purpose—despite her isolated upbringing.
Is the stranger beyond the forest’s edge the answer to Lydia’s prayers or the reason Mama has hidden her from the world since birth?
In 1904, the only life Lydia has ever known is the one her mother created for the two of them within a small mountain valley in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Other people only exist in stories Mama says God tells her to ensure they remain content in The Valley. Lydia looks forward to the stories that bring excitement to their dull valley life. She longs for a life of adventure—a life that involves more people—even if they bring the suffering and pain Mama explains are not part of God’s plan for their life.
Mama manages to keep Lydia a secret from the world while keeping the world a secret from Lydia for nearly seventeen years. Many signs point to the need for her to tell the truth, but before Mama can explain to Lydia what truly lies beyond the forest’s edge, Lydia discovers part of the truth on her own.
One evening, while Mama is gone delivering offerings on the mountain, Lydia comes face to face with a young man who introduces himself as Dylan Prescot. He explains that his family lives in the mining town of French Corral on the other side of the mountain.
Shocked to discover Lydia knows nothing of the outside world, Dylan promises to find the truth behind her isolated life, but only if she keeps their meeting a secret from Mama—for their protection.
As Lydia hides her own secret, she finds herself torn between loyalty to a mother she loves dearly; a God she no longer understands; and a world full of people, places and passions she never dreamed possible. She believes the truth will give her the freedom to move on. But will she learn to love God and accept His calling on her life before the world captivates her heart and soul?
The Conception of No Eye Has Seen: Beyond the Valley
No Eye Has Seen: Beyond the Valley became a twinkle in my eye while I lived in Penn Valley, CA back in 1990. It began as a creative writing prompt in a high school class, where I wrote the first four chapters. Little did I know, the story line would grow and mature as I did over the next twenty years. The protagonist, Lydia, would represent my own persona and journey of growth from girl to woman.
As Lydia discovers who she is apart from the only life she ever knew, she also discovers that every experience and every lie has shaped her for the new life of truth she must embrace. In a similar way, I have learned to let go of the ties of past generations. The ties had somewhat defined the choices I made when I was younger. Those ties had become lies in my mind, lies that would not allow me to experience my life to the fullest. In fact, I nearly destroyed every blessing in my life for believing a lie. Only when I recognized the truth was much larger than my feelings or current circumstances, could I truly embrace my purpose and passion for life.
Lydia takes a similar journey.
This is a story of much more than self-discovery, well-crafted prose, romance and historical fiction. ~ Christina Ivazes, Youth Mentor and Writer
This book is beautifully written. It has a plot that keeps pulling you along. ~ Terry Houchin, Author
Lydia lives in a half-real, half-fantasy world of her mother’s invention, hidden in a tranquil valley. Horses run off and disappear beyond its boundaries. Shadowy figures visit. Increasingly, Lydia suspects the existence of a more populated world beyond, but no one comes to clue her in or take her there until tragedy strikes. Intriguing from the first page, this historical novel takes the reader on an unforgettable journey of romance and discovery. I thoroughly enjoyed every chapter. ~ Dana Sudboro, member of Inspire Christian Writers, Author, and Professor at Epic Bible College
We get to discover faith, love, and family through her eyes. It’s as bumpy a ride for her as it can be for us. I especially enjoy Lydia’s faltering attempts to describe San Francisco. The period comes through in vivid detail, but King is at her best when showing us the small moments when faith and love are born, challenged, and strengthened. ~ Ricky Charlet, member of Inspire Christian Writers
Book 2: Below the Valley
Dylan and Lydia Prescot are overwhelmed by work and the unexpected challenges of running a sheep ranch in 1906 Penn Valley, California. Then, the sudden death of a close friend and the arrival of the ruggedly handsome and mysterious farmhand, Pete, awake naive Lydia’s curiosities and desires to explore life apart from the farm.
When the couple journeys to San Francisco to reignite their marriage and seek answers about Lydia’s heritage, they are at opposite ends of the city when an earthquake causes devastating destruction and fires.
Overcoming emotional and physical obstacles, Dylan presses on to search for Lydia. Meanwhile, Lydia is injured and alone and questioning God’s part in the city that’s crashing down around her.
Fear and uncertainty attempt to destroy Dylan and Lydia like the fires devouring the city. Then God provides hope through an unlikely source — giving them steadfast faith that they will find each other again.
Critique Group Responses
…the tension is built throughout…a breakthrough for the whole family rising above the “things that are seen” to “the things that are unseen.”
…fabulously romantic. Great scene setting and word-painting.
…I’m still floating along like a leaf on this river of misunderstanding hoping for the moment that light starts to shine. Superb storytelling.
…you feel for Dylan and his inner turmoil. Between his mom, the town gossip, Pete and Lydia’s distant manners, where does he stand?