“Dream Beyond Tomorrow” Series by Starr Ayers (Emma Stories)

Starr Ayers is a multiple award-winning author and writer, a third-generation artist, Jesus follower, incurable night owl, java junkie, rainbow chaser, and avid iPhone photographer who’s always on the lookout for the presence of wonder. She resides with her husband, Michael, in North Carolina, and they have two daughters and a son-in-love. She is active in her church and has led a women’s Bible study in her community since 2003.

For the Love of Emma

A rose-covered grave, seventy-nine letters, and a scribbled note unearth buried emotions and the timeless beauty of first love.

When Caroline Myers discovers a box of letters in her deceased mother’s trunk, she’s captivated by the romance that unfolds between her mother, Emma Rose Walsh, a nineteen-year-old waitress, and Noah Anderson, a handsome young soldier.

Determined to read between the lines, Caroline and her sister, Kate, set out on a search that leads them to the North Carolina foothills and the padlocked gate of the Anderson family cemetery. Will the one who holds the key keep them from unearthing long-buried secrets and fulfilling a request their mother tucked inside the box sixty-four years earlier? Will they find closure—or encounter a surprising revelation that plunges them deeper into the past?

For the Love of Emma is based on a true story from the author’s family.

My thoughts: If you found love letters, from a young soldier who did not become your father, among your mother’s keepsakes after her death, what would you do? Read and ponder them, of course. That’s what really happened to the author and her sister. The contemporary story about the sisters trying to find the young soldier is woven with imaginings of what things were like between Emma and her soldier in1938. A fascinating story, especially at the end where the author reveals what’s true and what she created for this novel.

Emma’s Quest

As the dark clouds of war escalate in Europe, Emma leaves her North Carolina home and the soldier whose heart has never stopped longing for hers. However, when Andrew Brown, the charming Scotsman who’d won her affection, fails to meet her train in Chicago, Emma questions her hasty decision. Hundreds of miles now separate her from all that’s familiar and the people she loves.

Has she misread Drew? Did her rush to heal her past prompt her to dismiss warning bells and ignore common sense?

My thoughts: What a compelling story, especially since it’s based on a family mystery. Tucker’s rock-solid friendship is absolutely endearing.

I was taken with the Recording Scotland Collection and The Pilgrim Trust which is mentioned in Emma’s Quest. In all of the research and reading I’ve done about WWII, this was new and delightful information for me.

The losses of the Brown family touched me as well, as my Grandma Leora lost three sons during WWII and was widowed within a three-year period.

The Return” is an 11-minute podcast related to the Emma books.

Here is Starr Ayers’ website.


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