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Love's Distant Dream: A Christian Romance (Beneath the Southern Cross: The Dawn of a Sunburned Land Series Book 3)

Love's Distant Dream: A Christian Romance (Beneath the Southern Cross: The Dawn of a Sunburned Land Series Book 3)

A HEARTWARMING CHRISTIAN ROMANCE

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SYNOPSIS

In the untamed heart of Australia's rugged outback, a tale of enduring love, relentless hardship, and the unbreakable human spirit unfolds, deeply rooted in faith. "Love’s Distant Dream" charts the extraordinary journey of Clara and Harry Goddard, two souls bound by a love as vast and wild as the land they strive to tame, and their unwavering trust in God's plan for them.

Their story begins with a desperate search, a reunion that sets them on a path fraught with challenges. As they join a gruelling cattle drive across the vast Australian outback, Clara and Harry must prove their mettle not only to the wary crew but to each other, all while keeping their faith in the forefront. Amidst the dust and heat of late summer, their journey transforms from a quest for belonging to a pilgrimage of the heart, where every hardship is met with prayer and every joy is seen as a blessing.

But the Goddard saga is more than a battle against the elements; it is a fight for their very souls, a testament to their faith amidst trials. From the joys of new life to the depths of grief, from building a homestead to facing the spectre of war, every triumph and tragedy brings them closer to understanding what it means to be a family under God.<br>As the world teeters on the brink of change, Clara and Harry's legacy, built on the bedrock of their faith, is put to the ultimate test. Will their love and trust in God endure the ravages of time and history? "Love’s Distant Dream" is a sweeping epic that captures the essence of human resilience, the power of connection, and the indomitable spirit of adventure, all woven together by the threads of faith.

Love's Distant Dream’ is Book Three in the ‘Beneath the Southern Cross: The Dawn of a Sunburned Land Series’, a heartwarming historical Christian romance set in Australia.

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Read on June 18 2024

From dust to destiny - an epic journey of love, loss, and legacy...

In the rugged expanse of the Australian outback, Clara and Harry Goddard embark on a journey that will test their resilience, faith, and love. Amid the harsh realities of pioneering life, they face trials that challenge their deepest beliefs and force them to reckon with what it truly means to trust in each other and God. From the perils of a cattle drive to the joys and sorrows that mark their growing family, their story is a testament to the power of faith to guide, the strength of love to heal, and the spirit of the land that shapes their destiny.

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Beneath the Southern Cross: The Dawn of a Sunburned Land Series

Chapter One - Look Inside

Chapter One

A flicker of hope, as fragile and precious as a newborn calf’s first breath, ignited in Harry’s chest at the dust cloud on the horizon. He reined in his bay gelding atop a small incline. “Clara! Look!”
Pulling her mare up alongside him, she lifted a hand to shield her eyes, her gaze following the direction of his outstretched arm.
But then her shoulders slumped. “It’s a herd of brumbies, not Josiah’s cattle.” A weariness that spoke of more than just physical exhaustion tinged her voice.
Harry’s hand, roughened by the trials of their journey, combed through his sweat-dampened hair as his gaze scanned the horizon once more. Where could they be? It’d only been two days since he and Clara had left the dust-choked streets of Dubbo. After reporting their friend Walt’s murder, they’d followed the trail Josiah and his team had set off on three days before that, but they’d disappeared. How could a thousand head of cattle disappear?
“We’ll find them.” Clara squeezed his hand, her touch almost as comforting as her confidence. “God will lead us to them.”
Harry’s heart clenched, the clog of despair thick in his throat. “But what if He doesn’t? Maybe we should turn back.”
“No!” She wheeled her mare around and faced him squarely. “We’ve endured too much to give up now.”
“But we’ve lost the trail. They could be anywhere after that storm.”
“We should make camp, rise at first light, and start afresh. Our future lies with Josiah. I feel it inside me, Harry. You do too. You’re just frustrated.” Clara’s face, though marred by sweat and dust, held the fiery determination he’d come to love during their brief marriage.
She was right. He swallowed hard to fend off his frustration. He did feel it. Something had surged inside him when he and Clara accepted Josiah’s offer to join him. As if the northbound cattle drive was their destiny.
But with each passing day, that destiny was slipping away like sand through clenched fingers.
He filled his lungs, but the weight in his chest remained. “You’re right. We’ll make camp and rise at first light. Perhaps tomorrow we’ll have success.” His voice barely rose above the whisper of the wind that swept across the barren land, carrying with it the scent of eucalyptus and the silent mysteries of the night ahead.
Spurring their horses forward, they headed to a swathe of acacias, Clara’s face lighting as they dismounted under the scant shade. “A waterhole, Harry! God hasn’t forsaken us. A gift from last night’s rain.”
He gritted his teeth as he led his horse to the water. “Yes, but it wiped out any trace of the herd.”
“We’ll find them. Don’t be so despondent.”
“But it’s like finding a needle in a haystack out here.”
While the horses drank, she slipped her arm through his and rested her head on his shoulder. “We’ll find them. Don’t give up hope.”
The sun dipped below the horizon, painting the sky in hues of fire and gold. Relishing its beauty and hers, he pulled her close and pressed his lips to the top of her head. “I won’t, but it’ll take a miracle to find them.”
***
After a simple meal of damper and ham, Clara wandered down to the waterhole while Harry tended to the horses. She knelt on its bank, transfixed by the emerging stars reflected in the still water.
On impulse, she shed her garments and slipped into its coolness. What bliss! She submerged herself fully, allowing the water to wash away the grit of the day.
Leaning back to savour the soothing weightlessness, she rested a hand on her stomach and imagined for a fleeting moment it swollen with child. A bittersweet ache twinged her chest. She and Harry had dreamed of raising a family together in this wild land, but it remained only a distant hope, not safe or practical yet. Though she’d left behind the lavish comforts of Sydney society for this harsh life in the outback, she yearned for the simple joy of nursing her own babe.
With a sigh, she stroked her flat belly. One day, Lord, one day.
The snap of a twig pulled her from her reverie, and her heart thudded. Surely it was Harry—for who else could it be? But the moonlit surrounds did not reveal her husband.
The bush rustled again. She sank lower in the water, heart racing now, eyes searching the darkness. These remote watering holes attracted all manner of beasts. Kangaroos. Dingoes. Lizards. Snakes. She peered into the underbrush, ready to flee. But a whimper broke the silence, and a pup emerged. With its fur matted and a scrape marring its snout, it looked lost and alone. And the epitome of cuteness.
Clara’s fear and heart melted. She stepped out of the water and, with soft clicks, called to the pup. “Come here, little one. I won’t hurt you.”
The pup hesitated, but with a tentative tail wag, approached.
She stroked its soft fur. “What are you doing out here all alone?”
The pup gnawed on her finger, its yellowy eyes soulful and trusting. And something shifted inside her.
How could she leave this helpless creature to fend for itself? Surely it would die. She and Harry could look after it, at least until it grew.
After quickly dressing, she scooped up the pup and hurried back to the campfire. “Harry! Look what I found.”
His brow creased as he pushed to his feet. “What have you got there?”
Beaming, she held out the pup.
He ruffled its neck, but his frown deepened. “Where did you find it?”
“At the waterhole.”
“No parents?” His body stiffening, his gaze searched the darkness.
“I think it’s been abandoned.” She nuzzled its fuzzy head. “Can we take it with us?”
“How can we take a pup with us? Especially a dingo pup.”
“We can’t leave it.” She cradled it in her arms, its warm body kindling a longing.
Moments passed, the only sound the crackling of the fire. Then the firm line of his jaw softened, and he exhaled a heavy breath. “Okay. But if she’s any trouble, we have to leave her. Agreed?”
With laughter bubbling over, she threw an arm around his neck and kissed his cheek. “Absolutely. You don’t know how much this means to me.”
He shook his head and chuckled. “How could I say no to two beautiful girls?”
Clara blinked. “Wait. How do you know it’s a girl?”
He rolled his eyes, and his gaze dipped to the pup. “The way you’re holding her confirms she’s not a boy.”
“Oh.”
He rubbed the pup’s neck and the slightest smile curved his lips. “I guess we should call you something.” He lifted his gaze to Clara. “Any ideas?”
She considered the pup’s soulful eyes and smiled. “Hope. Let’s call her Hope.”

Main Tropes

  • Christian Romance
  • Heartwarming
  • Forbidden Love
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What Readers Say....

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "Another generation of Goddard ‘s forge their way into the Australian landscape. Two lives, so very different but destined to be together. On their path they befriend an unlikely old man, and he has a lasting impact on their lives. The ending is not really a cliffhanger but we are not clear where the young couple will go, how they will find their way, and if either will reunite with those they left behind. I could not put this book down, it captures your attention from the first words and holds you until alas it ends leaving you hungry for the more." Cthreatt

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "In this book you will read about a young man wanting to move to the city, a rich girl who is controlled by her parents and a lonely old man who is willing to help. Harry and Clara are complete opposites. Can these two people be happy with being more than friends? Walt is a loner who is fighting to protect himself from his enemy. When Harry and Clara show us on his property all of their lives will change. The author will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next." Debbie J

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "Juliette Duncan has penned a most touching read in Love’s Rebellious Spirit. It will grip and captivate you as you come to know and travel aside Harry and Clara. A rebellious spirit and strong faith sees them faced with the unknown as they embark on a treacherous journey, complete with near death experiences as well as unexpected blessings." Jana

  • Book 1: Love's Unwavering Hope

    A young woman forging a new life, an unscrupulous wealthy suitor, and a farmer fighting for her heart...

    Eliza Reynolds and her brother Thomas struggle to survive on their Australian farm after losing their parents. Amid hardships, Eliza finds hope in Jamie Goddard, a farmer with dreams and a kind heart, contrasting with Mr. Bartholomew, a wealthy suitor offering security but lacking affection. A devastating fire challenges their resilience, forcing Eliza to choose between safety with Bartholomew or a passionate love with Jamie. Set in 19th century Australia, this story explores hope, faith, love, and the human spirit against the backdrop of a rugged landscape.

    Get this book on Amazon 
  • Book 2: Love's Rebellious Spirit

    She’s abandoned her life of privilege. He’s young and rash, but determined to provide for his headstrong bride...

    Harry Goddard moves from his farm to Sydney, becoming a tram conductor. He meets Clara Wilson, who yearns for freedom from her privileged yet constrained life. Their forbidden romance leads to an elopement and a challenging life in the outback. Together, they face isolation and hardship, questioning their love and faith's endurance. A chance encounter with a cattle drive offers a glimmer of hope. Their story in colonial Australia is a testament to resilience, sacrifice, and the strength of love and faith.

    Get this book now 
  • Book 3: Love's Distant Dream

    From dust to destiny: an epic journey of love, loss, and legacy...

    In the rugged expanse of the Australian outback, Clara and Harry Goddard embark on a journey that will test their resilience, faith, and love. Amid the harsh realities of pioneering life, they face trials that challenge their deepest beliefs and force them to reckon with what it truly means to trust in each other and God. From the perils of a cattle drive to the joys and sorrows that mark their growing family, their story is a testament to the power of faith to guide, the strength of love to heal, and the spirit of the land that shapes their destiny.

    Pre-order and read on June 18