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Slow Path to Peace: A Mature-Age Christian Romance (A Sunburned Land Series Book 2) (ebook edition)

Slow Path to Peace: A Mature-Age Christian Romance (A Sunburned Land Series Book 2) (ebook edition)

Heartwarming Mature-Age Christian Romance

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Over 800 five star reviews

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Married at last, life is bliss for Frank and Maggie, until storm clouds gather over Goddard Downs
Frank and Maggie are enjoying married life, but all is not well on the home front.
The whole family’s livelihood comes under threat when the government declares a ban on live cattle exports.
How will they survive? Will they lose everything they’ve worked so hard for?
Serena used to be young and beautiful. Now, her face is scarred for life.
Will there ever come a time when she can look in the mirror and not be repulsed by her horrid, charred skin?
Will she ever see herself as God sees her? As a precious, much-loved daughter of the King?
David is riddled with guilt. He thought that caring for Serena would assuage that guilt. It didn’t. Maybe fighting a raging fire will help.
Unless he dies in the process.
But what does it matter now that Serena has rejected him?
Maggie longs to help her daughter find peace, but can she balance her new marriage to Frank at the same time?
Slow Path to Peace is Book Two in the Sunburned Land Series, a mature-age Christian romance set in the beautiful, rugged and remote Kimberley area of northern Australia. Continue Frank and Maggie’s heartwarming love story today.


Married at last, life is bliss for Frank and Maggie, until storm clouds gather over Goddard Downs

Frank and Maggie's married life is disrupted as a government ban on live cattle exports threatens their livelihood. Meanwhile, Serena struggles with severe facial scars, questioning her self-worth and rejecting David, who battles guilt and recklessly seeks redemption in firefighting. As Maggie tries to support Serena, she must also navigate her new marriage.

Chapter One - Look Inside

Frank drove back to Goddard Downs on cloud nine. Maggie was wearing his ring. They were going to be married. They’d talked late into the night after leaving the hotel. Sitting on a bench at East Point, they’d committed their relationship once more to God, and had agreed they would announce their engagement to both families as soon as possible. They’d told Bethany and Graham that morning before he left, and they were ecstatic with the news. They’d also told Jeremy and Emma, and Maggie had said it was time he met Serena and David, regardless of how Serena felt.
He’d been a little anxious on the way there. Maggie had warned him that Serena was still her grumpy self, but he’d found her anything but. Perhaps it was her upbringing that caused her to be polite to strangers, because that’s what he was to her. A stranger. A stranger who happened to be marrying her mother. That in itself could have caused her to be wary, but to him she seemed a polite, well-adjusted young woman. Despite her obvious physical injuries and burns, she was an interesting person. Both she and David offered their congratulations and said they would survive without Maggie. Frank knew Maggie would be both pleased and saddened by that sentiment. Pleased she was free to move away but saddened because she wasn’t needed. He of all people could understand how that felt.
They would announce their engagement to his family when she came to visit the following week. They thought that was best rather than making the announcement in any other way.
He couldn’t wait for her to be back at Goddard Downs. Although they hadn’t finalised any details yet, he was hopeful she might agree to move into the cabin until they married.
The drive home seemed shorter somehow, and before he knew it, he was pulling off the main road and driving along the track that led to the homestead. Although he’d only been gone a week, he wondered what awaited him. Would Julian have spent more quality time with Caleb as he’d encouraged him to do? Before he left, he’d suggested they work on a project of some kind together. Julian needed to bond with his son or else he risked losing him. Frank had been quite blunt about that. And were Nathan and Olivia further along with their plans to move? He assumed so. The three months would pass quickly and there was a lot to organise. A job for Nathan for a start, and a place to live.
He pulled up in front of the homestead and climbed out of the truck and stretched. He’d driven well into the night and had only stopped for a short break before hitting the dirt road which had turned to mud now that the rains had arrived. He’d put the seat down in the truck and caught a few hours. He was probably too old to be doing that, but at least he was home in time for breakfast.
As he grabbed his bag from the cab, Isobel raced out of the house and launched herself at him. “Grandpa! You’re home. I’ve missed you.”
Frank gave her a hug and smiled. “And I’ve missed you, little Issie. What have you been up to?”
“Not a lot. Mummy and Daddy have been doing a lot of talking.”
“Have they just?”
She nodded.
Frank wondered if they were rethinking their decision to move to Darwin.
As they walked in together, the tantalising aroma of bacon and eggs wafted through the house and he realised how hungry he was. He hadn’t eaten since grabbing a quick dinner at Timber Creek the night before. “Something smells good,” he said.
“Aunt Nellie’s breakfast,” Isobel said.
“I hope there’s some left.”
“I think there is. Everybody’s in the kitchen.”
She nodded again. “They’re very serious.”
It was most unusual for everybody to still be in the kitchen at this time of day. Something must have happened. He quickened his pace.
Issie was right. When he entered, the whole family was there and they all looked up at him. The way they glanced at each other made him think he’d caught them by surprise and immediately put him on guard. “What’s going on?” he asked.
“You’d better sit down, Dad,” Julian said.
“That bad, huh?” He removed his hat and slid onto a chair. Not his chair. Julian sat in that one. “What’s up?”
“You haven’t heard the news?” Julian asked.
Frank shook his head. He’d been listening to the playlist Maggie had made for him. “What have I missed?”
Olivia leaned forward. “It’s not good, Dad. The government has banned live cattle exports for the foreseeable future.”
He felt the blood drain from his face. The licensing issues were now irrelevant. This ban sounded the death knell for the station. “When does it come into force?”
“Immediately,” Julian replied.
Frank sighed. “I figured something was up, but I hadn’t expected this. So that means our last shipment won’t go?”
Julian shook his head. “That’s right. We’re up the proverbial creek. I told you we should have looked at other options.”
“Nathan’s come up with one,” Janella said quietly.
All eyes turned first to her and then to him.
“What are you thinking?” Frank asked.
Nathan shifted in his seat, his expression cautious but hopeful. “I know you’re not keen on opening the station to tourism, but what if we offer a cattle driving experience, the old fashioned way?”
Frank narrowed his eyes. “You mean, sleeping out? In swags?”
Nathan nodded.
“We wouldn’t have to build anything?” Frank asked.
Nathan shook his head. “No. We’d only need horses and swags. People would pay a fortune for an experience like that.”
“Enough to get us out of this pickle?”
“Not on its own. But it would help.”
“What do the rest of you think?” Frank cast his gaze around the table.
“I think it could work,” Janella said.
Julian shrugged. “Maybe. Although I think we should still develop the station into a complete tourist destination.”
“I’m not putting you down, son, but we don’t have the funds to do that, and I’m not keen on borrowing.”
Julian folded his arms. “I guess that’s that, then.”
“For now, at least.”
“I think the cattle driving experience option is a good one,” Olivia said.
Frank turned to Joshua, who was leaning back in his chair, looking disinterested. “Josh?”
His youngest son shrugged. “I’ll go with whatever you all decide. It doesn’t bother me.”
“It should. This is your home and livelihood, too.”
“Not for long. Sean and I are planning on going on the rodeo circuit full-time.”
Frank leaned forward, his forehead creasing. “And when were you going to tell me that?”
Frank blew out a breath and raked a hand across his hair. “You know your sister and Nathan are leaving, too?”
“Yeah. I know.”
“And you don’t think you should be staying to help out?”
“I need to do my own thing, Dad. Sorry. I may as well leave you to talk about this without me here.”
“If that’s how you feel, maybe you should. Although we could sure do with the help.”
“We’re better off without him if he doesn’t want to be here,” Julian said, pinning Joshua with narrowed eyes.
“It won’t be forever. I need to get it out of my system, that’s all.”
Nathan exchanged a glance with Olivia and then leaned forward. “We’ve been talking, Frank, and we’re prepared to stay and help for as long as needed. There’ll be a lot of promotion and advertising to do, and a new business plan will need to be drawn up. Livvie can do that.” He squeezed his wife’s hand and smiled.
Frank was rendered speechless. “I…I don’t know what to say. You were so set on leaving…”
“I know. But we won’t leave you in the lurch. You’re going to need help.” Nathan flashed an accusatory glance in Joshua’s direction. “It would be wrong of us to leave now when you’ve done so much for us.”
Joshua leaned back and crossed his arms. “Well, that leaves me between a rock and a hard place, doesn’t it?”
“Sure does, son,” Frank said.
“Well, I guess I could delay it for a while. As long as you’re happy to have Seano around for a bit longer.”
A general groan travelled around the table before Frank said, “He’d be very welcome. We won’t turn anybody away if they’re happy to pull their weight.”
“So, it’s settled, then? Is that what we’re doing?” Julian asked. Frank was unsure of his son’s tone. It almost sounded like he was put out because the decision was happening around him and not by him, but he could have been wrong.
“We’ve been praying about this for some time, don’t forget,” Frank replied. “This is the first and only suggestion that everyone seems happy with, so I’m thinking it might be what we should do. Draw up the plans, Liv, and let’s take a look at them.”
“Onto it, Dad. I’ll need to get some ideas from you all, but it shouldn’t take long. I’ll modify one I did earlier when we were looking at other things.”
“Always on the ball, Liv.” Frank chuckled. Maybe he wasn’t about to lose his family, or the station, after all. “I think we should commit this to the Lord. Proverbs sixteen three tells us to commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. It’s important we don’t forget that.” He looked at Julian. “How do you feel about leading us, seeing how you’re sitting in my chair?”
His son’s eyes widened, but he agreed. He cleared his throat before extending his hands and closing his eyes.
Frank smiled to himself as his son led the family in prayer for the first time. It would have been hard if Maggie hadn’t agreed to marry him, but now that she had, everything was different, and hearing his son ask God for guidance and assurance that this was the right path to take gave him confidence that the station would be in good hands. Not that he was planning on leaving, especially now that the government’s decision had forced their hand. He was just stepping back, that’s all. Somehow, it felt right.

Main Tropes

  • Mature-age/seasoned Christian Romance
  • Heartwarming
  • Inspiring
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What Readers Say About A Sunburned Land Series....

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "I read this 6-book-set in a few days. Ms. Duncan is one of a few Christian authors that I prefer. She is skilled at creating characters that are realistic and have the strengths and weaknesses of normal people. I laugh with them and cry with them and rejoice with their triumphs. If you're new to juliette Duncan's books - I think you'll love them as much as I do." DRP1649

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "I absolutely loved this series. I hated for it to end. The characters were all so believable and the storyline drew me in. I felt a part of the Goddard family. You just felt you knew the main characters, like you were part of the family. You walked through their joys and their sorrows, triumphs and defeats. I really hated to see it end. Juliette Duncan is an amazing author who draws you into each book she writes. She is my new favorote author." Janice V

  • ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    "I absolutely loved this series . I hated for it to end. The characters were all so believable and the storyline drew me in. I felt a part of the Goddard family. Juliette Duncan is my new favorite author." I love all your books, butespecially loved the Sunburned Land series!!!! Barbara W

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"I have a problem with Ms. Duncan's books - once I start one I don't want to put it down until I have read it all, sometimes I'll read most of the night." DRP