Stars Shine After Dark takes romance past the wedding and into the conflicts that lie ahead.
Stars Shine After Dark, by Paula Hrbacek is a sweet love story that has faith woven through the plot and used as a means of making decisions. Faith is the compass that guides them through their problems.
Mona is an actress who grew up in Hollywood. She is trying to revamp her image from a child actor to a mature woman. She decides to go to college, and makes friends with her agent’s niece. The niece introduces her to Tim, a football star for UCLA.
They are both stars, both successful. It should be a fairy tale romance, but someone is leaking stories to the press that aren’t true. Mona intends to find out who is leaking the stories, and stop it.
Tim is offered a contract to play professional ball, but before he can sign the contract, his career is ended by a car crash. Mona reacts by being strong, and kicking her own career into high gear. Tim goes into real estate, and hates his job. He is jealous of her success. He thinks about divorce, and comes up with a plan that will let them separate without harming Mona’s image in the eyes of her conservative fans. He still loves her, he just isn’t happy with his life. He discusses his problems with a friend, a woman who also has broken dreams and unfulfilled ambitions. Because of her insights, Tim turns to meditation and examines his heart.
Mona finds her answer by reading the book of Hosea. She realizes that she has lost sight of what is really important to her, and decides to change her relationship with Tim. They may have been going through a dark period, but if they are stars, they will find a way to keep their love shining.
On Higher Ground features angels and divine intervention
The story features three humans and two angels. The angels have been assigned to help the humans find God’s will for their lives. They offer inspiration, good luck, divine intervention, and at times, appear in human form.
“One review of the book didn’t like the angels,” comments the author. “She said that everything I had to say about a “still small voice” should have been attributed to the Holy Spirit, instead. She’s right. It could have been the Holy Spirit, but I had to use angels in order to create a dialogue. Characters speak when they don’t understand or don’t know something. The Holy Spirit doesn’t need to explain anything to the rest of the Trinity, because they already agree with each other. So, instead, I made one angel an apprentice, and one a supervisor, so that they would have something to talk about.”
At the end of each chapter, the angels discuss why God has answered one prayer with a no, and another with a yes. The angels take a look at why bad things happen to nice people. It also discusses why good things happen to not so nice people and why bad things happen to bad people.
The main character is a young adult woman, Melanie Worlds, who has run out of luck; no job, no friends, no future. Desperately wanting to replace the middleclass life she once knew up on “the Hill”, her faith is being tested to the limits. JT, her newest friend, is up to something, but Melanie isn’t sure what it is. And then Brad, her high school crush, comes back to town. She can’t let him know how bad it is, or he’ll lose all respect for her. And, to make matters worse, someone is trying to break into her apartment.
None of her prayers are getting answered, and she feels all alone. But she’s not. Two guardian angels have been assigned to help these three humans. The angels know God’s plan, and it’s going to take everything they’ve got to pull it off. To battle temptation, the angels will need to instill courage; courage to dare, courage to dream, and most of all, courage to love one another.