Security, gentleness, joy, love, and faith were hallmarks of Hattie Stoneworth Crowe's life. Now the horrors of the Great Depression and the death of her husband threaten her future and that of her three-year-old daughter and unborn child. A potentially greater danger looms from an unexpected source.
Smith Delaney, an out-of-work miner known for his wanderlust, hair-trigger temper, fast fists, and love for liquor comes to her looking for work as a handyman. Against all reason, she hires him.
Their story is set in the coal fields of Muhlenberg County, in west-central Kentucky. Through hardships of the times, through birth and death, tragedy and triumph, a young woman seeks to hold on to faith and family; and a lonely man seeks to find family and faith.
"This romance, set in a Depression-era mining town, is about family (the good, the bad, the ugly)...Hattie Stoneworth, widowed at 23 with one child and another on the way, is needy. Her heart needs healing, and her land needs working. Smith Delaney can do both. ... Hattie's stubborn faith and raw emotion is endearing. Her young daughter will charm any reader, and even Smith is more than likeable." -CBA Marketplace
It's unlikely that anyone expected this first novel by the daughter/father team of Lisa Kay Hauser and Philip Dale Smith to win the coveted "Benjamin Franklin Award for Popular Fiction." Yet book industry professionals gave them that honor in 2001. One BFA judge proclaimed it, "One of the best books I've ever read."
Many who simply love a good, heart-warning novel passed the word. Soon this story touched a responsive chord in a broad spectrum of readers.
"Turn Back Time...immediately involved me as a reader and made it a one-night read. ... Hauser and Smith have crafted a fine story....characters are well-drawn and alive....even three-year old Dulcie is a living, breathing person." Anniesse Williams, Director, Muhlenberg County, KY Libraries.
"Why is Turn Back Time a book you'll personally treasure and want others to read? Interesting, true-to-life people, a setting that's real, and a gripping, heart-warming plot. You can't wait to read the next sentence, next paragraph, next chapter, until you reach the end--then you're ready for the sequel, Sunshine & Shadow!" Anonymous
"Ready to fall in love? Read this book and you will! There's warm, gentle Hattie and fiery, but caring, Smith Delaney. There's bubbly four-year-old Dulcie and the brusque, ancient Ma Richards. These are but a few of the memorable people who populate this spellbinding story. When I put the book down, I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I felt like I was part of the family and just had to find out where our adventure would lead." April Dillon, librarian, Canadian, TX.
The authors' favorite reader's response: "I read three or four novels a week and this book stood out in the crowd! Hattie, her family and neighbors are so real.
"I've loaned it to several friends and like me, they felt as though it was their family. There is such a clear message of the good old family values-without being syrupy sweet or preachy.
"My 78th birthday is Feb. 12... so I'm getting pretty far along in my journey of life. Please let me know if the sequel to Turn Back Time is available. I'd sure hate to die before I have the pleasure of visiting with Hattie in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky once again." Ruth, CA
When Sunshine & Shadow was published, Ruth was one of the first to receive a copy. She read it with delight and gave it the same enthusiastic "thumbs up" she gave Turn Back Time.