Camp Hope ~ Spotlight

Historical Heartbeats welcomes Author Sara L. Foust, spotlighting her new release, Camp Hope. Facing dehydration, starvation, and a convoluted kidnapper, will Amy succeed in recovering her precious foster daughter or get lost in a vast wilderness forever?


AMY DAWSON directs a summer camp for foster children near Briceville, Tennessee. A foster mom for the first time, her responsibilities as mother to a traumatized child bring a whole new set of challenges and joys.

But when Amy’s four-year-old foster daughter is dragged into the mountains of Royal Blue by a former employee, parenting challenges are overshadowed by a new nightmare. The Sheriff’s department fails to procure viable leads, and Amy can’t sit idle. Her childhood friend and first love, JACK EVANS, returns to lend his skills as tracker. Problem is, he also stirs up romantic memories Amy would rather leave buried.

Jack struggles to let go of his past failures and prove his reliability by bringing Mattie home, but fears when he left camp nineteen years ago and failed to keep a promise to Amy he permanently lost her confidence.

As Amy plunges into the wilderness on horseback to search for Mattie, she must decide who she trusts, let go of her childhood traumas, and learn to rely on hope in God. Facing dehydration, starvation, and a convoluted kidnapper, will she succeed in recovering her precious foster daughter or get lost in the vast wilderness forever?


Chapter 1

The long awaited call came in the pre-dawn hours. When the farmhouse sagged and dared not breathe. Amy Dawson dug herself out of a deep sleep to answer. “Hello?”

“This is Diane with Child Protective Services. Would you like to take a placement?”

She bolted upright. This was it. After all the terrifying training classes, the long weeknights worrying about her decision, the moment was finally here. What was she supposed to ask? Amy took a breath to calm her shaking hands. “Can you tell me about the child, please?”

“Mattie is a nonverbal four-year-old. She’ll be coming from another foster placement. They’ve decided they can no longer keep her.”

“In the middle of the night?”

Diane clicked her tongue. “It’s complicated. Would you like to take her?”

Amy took another deep breath. “Why doesn’t she talk?”

“Doctors believe she can speak but chooses not to. Oh, and one more thing. She’s a type I diabetic, so she needs a strict diet and insulin. Are you familiar with the disease?”

Was she ever. Memories like dark photographs flashed in her mind. Injections twice a day, every day, whether her mother was conscious or not. “I’m familiar with it. Anything else I should know?” Could she handle caring for a child with diabetes? The memories that would barrage her?

“There isn’t much information to go on.”

Amy expected that. They’d taught her as much in classes. Especially with a middle-of-the-night placement. What if she couldn’t keep Mattie safe once the summer campers arrived? What if she couldn’t adhere to a strict schedule with the medicine?

“Ms. Dawson?”

None of it mattered really. Not if she listened to what her flying heart was telling her. “How soon can you get here?”

“Great. Give me an hour.” A long pause and Diane shuffled papers. “Maybe longer considering where you live.”

Amy chuckled. “That’s what everyone says. I’ll be ready.”

How her life was about to change. The solitude she’d been fighting to build all these years was about to be penetrated by a sweet child in need of help. Though she was the same age as most of the other people in the Parents as Tender Healers classes, they had been mostly young couples with experience raising children of their own. She knew how to be a good camp counselor. She’d been doing that half her life. What if she failed miserably as an actual parent?

Amy slipped on her fuzzy, blue socks and padded downstairs. The silence so oppressive it nearly scalded her ears. She wanted to shout down the hill and tell Sam the news. But it was too early. A smile slipped onto her face. Wouldn’t her best friend be surprised when she checked in before morning chores?

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Author Sara L. Foust

Author Bio:

Sara is a multi-published, award-winning author who writes Inspirational Romantic Suspense from a mini-farm in East Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and their five homeschooled children. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Tennessee and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her debut novel Callum’s Compasswon second place in Deep River Books’ 2017 Writer’s Contest. She also has a story, “Leap of Faith,” in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Sara finds inspiration in her faith, her family, and the beauty of nature. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, camping, and spending time outdoors with her family. To learn more about her and her work or to become a part of her email friend’s group, please visit

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