Monday, July 13, 2009

Snow Melts in Spring by Deborah Vogts

First, I have to say it was Deborah's book trailer that captured my imagination! She found the perfect voice for narration! You should check it out at her Web site.

Here's the back cover copy:

She loves the land.

Mattie Evans grew up in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Although her family has lost their ranch, she still calls this land home. A skilled young veterinarian, she struggles to gain the confidence of the local ranchers. Fortunately, her best friend and staunchest supporter is John McCray, owner of the Lightning M Ranch. They both love the ranch, and can’t imagine living anywhere but in the Flint Hills.

He’s haunted by it.

Gil McCray, John’s estranged son, is a pro football player living in California. The ranch is where his mother died and where every aspect of the tallgrass prairie stirs unwanted memories of his older brother’s fatal accident. Gil decides leaving the ranch is the best solution for his ailing father and his own ailing heart. But he doesn’t count on falling in love.

Falling in love isn’t an option. Or is it?

When Mattie is called in to save a horse injured in a terrible accident, she finds herself unwillingly tossed into the middle of a family conflict. Secret pain, secret passions, and secret agendas play out against the beautiful landscapes as love leads to some unexpected conclusions about forgiveness and renewal.

My review:

Deborah skillfully brings together horse ranching, professional football and veterinary medicine, penning believable characters into an interesting plot. She wasn’t afraid to tackle the complexities of relational themes – father-son, sister-sister and old-flame-new love. I didn't always like her hero, personally, but that's an indication she painted him realistically--I mean, you can't dislike a non-existing person right? He seemed real as I read.

I appreciated Mattie's spirit--to remain on the land she loved, to serve the people of the rural community. I did expect a slightly different story line and solution to her veterinary clinic's troubles in the story, but that would have felt more like a suspense. Deborah incorporated the right balance of interest to keep you reading and wondering if her characters could reconcile.

Congratulations to Deborah on her debut novel, and I wish her all the best in her writing!


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