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By Philip Dale Smith

Your may remember that old ad for the piano course, “They laughed when I sat down at the piano… but when I began to play… .”

Well, I don’t think anyone laughed when my daughter, Lisa Kay Hauser, and I began writing Turn Back Time, but I doubt anyone expected that first novel to win the coveted “Benjamin Franklin Award for Popular Fiction.” That was a surprise (make that shock?) and a delight to us, too—an honor from professionals in the book industry. One of the Ben Franklin Award judges even proclaimed it, “One of the best books I’ve ever read.”

By then, though, many folks who simply love a good, heart-touching novel had let us and others know that our story of family life in Kentucky in the 1930s was touching a responsive chord in readers.

For example, Iowa’s beloved JoAnna Lund, frequently seen on PBS and QVC, guest on innumerable radio and TV shows, creator of the “Healthy Exchanges Newsletter,” author of Healthy Exchanges Cookbooks, A String of Pearls, etc., picked up a copy of the book in New Orleans. She excitedly notified the thousands upon thousands of readers of her newsletter about her find:

“Do you enjoy historical romantic novels? Especially ones you could share with your daughter, granddaughter or mother? If so…get Turn Back Time by Lisa Kay Hauser and Philip Dale Smith… They combined storytelling skills and lyrical style to produce a warm, gripping and inspirational book. … I started reading it on the plane and literally couldn’t stop! I read on the plane, I read in the car coming home from the airport, and I read in my bed until I got to the last word on the last page and then I didn’t want it to end…. Trust me, this is a book you’ll share and share and share.

JoAnna Lund, The Healthy Exchanges Newsletter

What makes Turn Back Time a book you’ll treasure and want others to read? Paramount are interesting, true-to-life people, a setting that is real, and a gripping, heart-warming plot. These likely grew out of Turn Back Time’s based-on-real-life background.

A question that ignited the fire in a novelist-to-be:

Years ago Lisa asked me, “Daddy, did Pa really shoot up the pool room at Beech Creek?”

“Yep. Sure did.”


The conversation that followed was part of the genesis of the novel about the “bad news bachelor with the short fuse and fast fists” and the young widow he fell deeply in love with. Let me tell you a little more of the story behind the story. Be sure your audio is on and listen:

(Note: As you continue to read this article, you may, at any time click [READ], to read online (PDF Format- download pdf viewer here), or print out, without charge, a generous portion of the book. Or you may click [ORDER] to put the book in your Family Store shopping cart as either an e-book—in any of four formats—or as a hardcover order.)

Here’s a synopsis of the novel:

Hattie Crowe’s close, extended family gave her a secure world characterized by gentleness, joy, and love of God and neighbor. Now the horrors of the Great Depression and her husband’s death threaten her future and that of her three-year-old daughter and unborn child. She compounds the challenges when, against all reason, she hires as handyman an out-of-work miner, Smith Delaney. He’s widely known for his wanderlust, hair-trigger temper, and fast fists.

Through the hardships of the era, through birth and death, tragedy and triumph, a young mother seeks to hold on to her faith and family: and a lonely man seeks a family and love.

“This romance, set in a Depression-era mining town, is about family…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.”

(Be sure to see near the bottom of this report our all-time favorite reader response—an almost-octogenarian’s reaction to Turn Back Time!)

Do you have an eye for a good story? You know that an intriguing plot and interesting, real, and believable characters are key ingredients. In Turn Back Time you have these.

“In the tradition of ‘The Waltons,’ this book weaves an engaging story of family love and devotion. The gentle romance between the hero and heroine is blended well between the pictures of real life in a struggling Kentucky mining town.”
Darlene Mindrup, author of Spring’s Memory, A Valentine for Prudence, etc., Barbour Publishing

“This graceful, charming account of Hattie Crowe and her family is told in an easy-to-read style that quickly drew me into the center of the family's joys and sorrows. I very much appreciate the pure and simple qualities so aptly blended into the story. It's the best book I've read in years!”   Loretta Sorensen, freelance writer, Yankton, SD

(You may click to [READ], without cost, a generous portion of the book, or click [ORDER] to put the book in your Family Bookstore shopping cart.)

Librarians are delighted with the book, as you will be. They know good books and want them on the shelves for their patrons. One librarian said…

“Turn Back Time. … immediately involved me as a reader and made this 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

“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.

“Looking for a model for today’s families? The love, family ties, and faith that carry Hattie and friends through turbulent times deserve imitation. The Hauser/Smith writing team has created characters so real that I found myself thinking of them as friends and family. I can’t wait for a sequel!” Linda Sandlin, librarian & teacher, Sheridan, WY   

Kids need role models! Books can help. Linda Sandlin’s question, “Looking for a model…?” touches a vital point: Kids need role models! I discuss books as a place where children can find role models in an article in the premier edition in The Family Minute™ Ezine. When talking to kids in schools, I sense that many don’t have good real-life role models. But if they’ve read widely I can point out storybook characters who faced the problems they face—and made right decisions.

If you read Turn Back Time with your family, you’ll have many opportunities to discuss life values. And you’ll be able to make comments such as, “Do you remember what Dulcie did when…” and relate to your child's life the story of the little girl in the book.

Thousands of book club members love Turn Back Time. You will too!. Crossings Book Club published a special edition for their members, sold out and had to reprint—twice! And we immediately got an upsurge in the already growing clamor of calls, emails and letters for “more of the story of Hattie and Smith.” Sunshine & Shadow was the result—but that’s another story!

Ready to grab one of the opportunities to check out Turn Back Time?
You have several choices:

1. Read the first six chapters online—without charge. [READ] (Download Free PDF Viewer)

2. Print out –FREE!- the first six chapters as a .pdf file.

With either of those choices, let me recommend that you pick a time when you can “kick back” and enjoy the story—but be ready to…

3. Just click [ORDER] to get the complete novel: e-book, hardcover, or both.

What does it cost? For the hardcover edition the suggested retail price at your nearby bookstore is $20.95. The e-book, in any of four popular formats, is yours for just $12.50—more than 40% off! Would you also like to order a hardcover copy to give as a gift—or add to your library? You can do so for only $14.95 plus shipping and handling! That’s a savings of another $6. Look what that means! For only $6.50 more than the bookstore price, you can have BOTH the e-book to enjoy right now and a hardcopy of this award-winning novel!And that’s not all…

Why are we selling this package so inexpensively?

The books we make available contribute to all three. But because e-books, once set up, don’t cost much, we can give you an inexpensive way to get acquainted with this heartwarming series. And we hope that through the books and other materials you'll sense that we are real people who truly care about families and children. All our materials have a full 60 day, no questions asked, guarantee.

So, place your [ORDER], download the e-book, pour a cup of coffee, and get into Turn Back Time — but here’s a WARNING!:

You may have the same reaction as Cindy Pavey, a homeschooling mother from Billings, MT: “The book held me spellbound! I started reading it at 11 p.m. The next thing I knew, David, my husband, stumbled in to interrupt my reading and call me to bed at 4:30 the next morning! The plot is well woven, the characters intriguing, the story moving and exciting.”

Then there's our “All time favorite” reader’s response is from Ruth, a dear lady in California:

“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 have loaned the book 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, 2004}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.

As soon as we got Ruth’s letter, we fired off a copy of Turn Back Time’s sequel, Sunshine & Shadow. We wanted to be sure she got in that visit with Hattie and her family in Muhlenberg County, KY. We want you to make that trip, too. So, to get your ticket in the form of your own copy of Turn Back Time, click [ORDER] and choose the format you want: E-book, hardcover, or both. And be sure to get your bonus gift.*

Lisa and I certainly hope reading our historical fiction will bring you the warm glow of a fine story well told—and that you’ll be back for more. –PDS

Kids count! Families count! Little things can make a positive difference. Reading together is one of them. Click [ORDER] to get:

Turn Back Time, Ebook (4 Popular formats- .pdf, .prc, .lit, .pdb) [Or hardcover edition, or both]

It's yours for only $12.50! [ORDER]
Order any digital format (.pdf, .prc, .lit, .pdb)

© 2004 Philip Dale Smith