Alluring in the pastoral possibility of enriching other people’s lives and perhaps attaining the charming idea of living happily ever after


The Golden Hearts Club

Cinda K. Swalley

Paperback, 978-1736067710. 347 pgs

January 20, 2021

Acts of kindness cost nothing but the giver’s time and the desire to bring a smile, lighten a heart, or banish loneliness. Katie and Megan Summers are in their early twenties and have grown up in Ohio as both sisters and best friends. Before they settle into the next chapters of their lives, they head off on a cross-country road trip in a car packed to the brim with camping gear and spontaneous visions of grand adventures. Katie is the dreamer, and Megan likes to grab life by the horns. Come what may, the sisters know they will have a fabulous time.


The road trip starts off at a fast clip to Florida to see the white sandy beaches and then to a festival in New Orleans. After a quick stop in Galveston, Texas, the girls head to California as their next big destination; however, they make an unexpected extended stop in Arizona after Katie becomes ill. They meet Rose, a lonely Native American woman with a richly beautiful and heartbreaking past, who helps Megan nurse Katie back to health. The girls form a connection with Rose that will never be broken. Once in California, the sisters impetuously trespass on a ranch to get a closer look at some beautiful horses. What happens next will change their lives forever.


Cinda Swalley’s debut novel is perfect for any reader looking for a refreshing story replete with wonder, love, and the generous ambition to be patient and friendly toward people along the way. Katie and Megan have had an idyllic childhood, and this road trip unfolds as an extension of their blessed, almost too-good-to-be-true life. In a world where the norm is to mistrust strangers, Katie and Megan safely navigate their way across the country, but at almost the halfway mark, the tale takes a dramatic turn, setting the girls on a path that neither would have ever imagined. Swalley artfully delivers a story about the long-reaching and everlasting value of showing basic respect for others. At the horse ranch in California, the author presents two sides of life’s coin: one of love and decency and the other of hate and greed, creating the much-needed tension, antagonism, and uncertainty that are a bit sparse during the first half of the book.


Filled with graceful writing and an easy pace, The Golden Hearts Club is an enticing fiction about becoming automatic members of the Golden Hearts Club by simply displaying kindness and hoping it will permeate more lives, which can sometimes be a challenge but is never impossible. Swalley has developed several compelling characters that offer a glimpse into the notion that people are connected in so many ways and that consideration and love can heal wounds, hearts, and lives and even open a few doors to new horizons. In fact, The Golden Hearts Club often takes on a fairy-tale quality that, while not always realistic or believable, is alluring in the pastoral possibility of enriching other people’s lives and perhaps attaining the charming idea of living happily ever after.

“Sometimes we need to open our eyes wider to see the light, and open our hearts fully to encourage love and hope.”



Cinda lives in The Woodlands, Texas which she says is the best little-big-town in Texas. Cinda plans to promote worldwide kindness to businesses and community organizations by offering Golden Heart contests and awards to encourage people to embrace the opportunity to offer kindness toward others to help make the world a kinder place. Learn more on her website