Dealing with the loss
of a dream
Robin Caroll’s new book tells of a young athlete robbed of everything she holds dear
Where do you turn when a dream you’ve cherished in your heart for your entire life is completely shattered? In her new release, Hidden in the Stars (Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press/September 16, 2014/ISBN:9781426773600/$13.99), Robin Caroll introduces us to a young woman who must find the strength to continue living after losing everything she cares about.
At 21 years old, Sophia Montgomery has been working toward the goal of becoming an Olympic gymnast since she was a young girl, but everything changes one night when she is attacked in her mother’s home. Her attacker leaves her with career-ending injuries and the inability to speak. Most tragically, he snuffs out her beloved mother’s life. Reeling from the loss of her mother and her dreams, Sophia has no choice but to accept her estranged grandmother’s invitation to come and live in their family home.
Sophia’s sense of self has always been wrapped up in her goals and aspirations, so now she is left wondering just who she is. “So often we begin to believe our dreams define who we are,” Caroll says. “What we do becomes our identifier. I wanted to portray a character who had worked hard for something all her life, something her mother, who had once held a prestigious role in the Russian ballet, had sacrificed much to help her attain, yet she had it snatched away with no hope of reclaiming it. I think we (myself included) sometimes need to realize we are, first and foremost, a child of God and not a dream or a goal.”
Meanwhile, the killer is still on the loose, and detective Julian Frazier is hard at work trying to crack the case. Julian goes back and forth between being attracted to and frustrated by Sophia, who is young, beautiful and afraid, but who can’t offer much to the case due to the loss of her voice. Caroll admits the injury was written as a thinly veiled metaphor. “When we’re attacked, physically, mentally or spiritually, we often feel we aren’t heard . . . that our cries for help fall on deaf ears.”
Detective Frazier is forced to hide his feelings as mere concern for a trauma victim and turns his laser focus on finding the killer. Little do they know, though, that the key to solving the case might be right in front of them, displayed in Sophia’s mother’s special quilt, made from some of her most exquisite ballet costumes. Who will finally realize the secret Sophia’s unwittingly been hiding in plain sight? When the truth comes to light, will Sophia find her voice again? Or will the murderer — still at large — silence her forever?
Caroll hopes readers of Hidden in the Stars will not only be entertained by this murder mystery, threaded with themes of family ties and sacrifice, but that they will also walk away from the book reminded that what others might mean for evil in our lives, God can use for good.
The premise of the Quilts of Love series is that quilts tell stories of love and loss, hope and faith, tradition and new beginnings. The series focuses on the women who quilted all of these things into their family history. Featuring contemporary and historical romances, as well as Amish fiction, women’s fiction and the occasional light mystery, readers are drawn into the endearing characters and touched by their stories.
A special tradition the Quilts of Love authors have instituted with each release is the donation of a quilt to their chosen charity or individual in need. Robin Caroll will be giving her quilt to the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute. For more than 35 years, CARTI has been bringing the fight to cancer with leading edge technology and compassionate hearts, offering comprehensive cancer treatments to patients throughout Arkansas. As the largest private cancer clinic in Arkansas, CARTI provides a wide range of services that treat more than just cancer, believing very strongly in caring for the patient as a whole – including the physical, emotional and financial well-being of each patient.
CARTI will be accepting the quilt to auction in their annual fundraiser, Festival of Trees. “I chose CARTI because my mother-in-law was under their care during her battle with cancer, and they were such a blessing to my husband’s family during such an emotional time,” Caroll explains. “The appreciation for how CARTI stepped in and oversaw everything and assisted the family will never be forgotten.”
Advance Praise for Hidden in the Stars
“Caroll is one of my favorite authors. She grabs you from the first page and never lets go. Hidden in the Stars is her best novel yet, and the heart-pounding suspense plot kept me guessing all the way through. I'll be recommending this to everyone!”
~ Colleen Coble, author of Seagrass Pier and the Hope Beach series
“Caroll has written an engaging whodunit, with scenes that unfold expertly and keep the action moving and suspense alive. And though the romance plot line is sweetly written, the characters’ faith journeys are also deeply explored. Fans of suspense will be pleased with this light but entertaining read.”
~ Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Robin Caroll is the author of 22 published novels. Her books have been named finalists in contests such as the Carol Awards, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best and Book of the Year. She gives back to the writing community by serving as conference director for American Christian Fiction Writers.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. An avid reader herself, she loves hearing from and chatting with other readers.
When she isn’t writing, Caroll spends time with her husband of more than 20 years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons and their character-filled pets at home in Little Rock, Arkansas.