When my husband and I visited Salida, Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountains, we decided to take a trip to an old mining ghost town. St. Elmo’s. At almost 10,000 feet, we toured this well-preserved, 1890’s town, once a thriving silver mining settlement.
The remains inspired a modern day romance set in an old mining town. Since I had contracted to write a story set in Idaho, I changed the setting from Colorado to Idaho since the state is known for its many old silver mining communities. The fictional 1890 town of Silver Cliff was born.
When my editor used one of my photos from St. Elmo on the cover, I was thrilled. The girl on the front is Janie Littleton, a historian hired to oversee the authenticity of the buildings renovated by the handsome Luke Chamberlain, owner of the contracted construction company. In the background is a picture I took of an old residence in St. Elmo.
Restoration of the Heart is a new genre for me—romantic suspense, but I loved every minute of writing the story. These second two pictures are ones I also took at St. Elmo’s. The dirt road through the center of town and the old church.
Though a Christian, Luke Chamberlain ignored his values and indulged in his beautiful fiancé’s world of alcohol, parties, and nights at her apartment. After rededicating his life to the Lord, he vows never to fall into the lifestyle again. When the state of Idaho’s Tourism Department offers his construction company the contract to renovate Silver Cliff, an 1890’s silver mining ghost town, he accepts.
Janie Littleton studied history in college because life in the past is simpler than the uncomfortable reality of the present. With her extra pounds, eye glasses, and mousy brown hair, no man would find her attractive. When she’s offered the job of project historian at the restoration of Silver Cliff, she accepts. But as Luke Chamberlain shows an interest in her, she doubts his sincerity. To make matters worse, someone claiming to be the miner who founded Silver Cliff in 1890 intimidates her with frightening midnight visits.
Can Luke convince Janie he’s in love with the godly woman she is? Can Janie hold onto her faith as she’s harassed by frightening appearances of old Ezra Barclay who died a hundred years ago?