Not by Sight A Novel - By Kathy Herman


I love Arkansas! After moving to the rolling hills of East Texas from the front range of Colorado, I discovered that any time I missed the mountains, I could travel to nearby Arkansas to satisfy that longing. I chose the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas to provide the backdrop for this new series and many of the images I describe in the story. However, Sure Foot Mountain, Angel View Lodge, Raleigh County, and the town of Foggy Ridge exist only in my imagination.

During the writing of this book, I drew from several resource people, each of whom shared generously from his or her storehouse of knowledge and experience. I did my best to integrate the facts as I understood them. If accuracy was compromised in any way, it was unintentional and strictly of my own doing.

I owe a special word of thanks to Retired Commander Carl H. Deeley of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for helping me to understand when and how Miranda rights should be read; how SIM cards, bloodhounds, and helicopters are used to track criminals and victims; and how a command post is operated. Carl, you gave me such great information that, at times, I felt almost embedded with your officers! You’re a joy to work with!

A big thank-you also to Paul David Houston, former assistant district attorney, for giving me clear direction regarding specific criminal charges in a rather complicated plot, and for helping me to understand Arkansas law regarding birth and death records that have not been filed. Paul, your prompt replies to my many questions is not something I take for granted. Thank you never seems like enough, but it is heartfelt.

A special word of thanks to Carolyn Walker, an ardent advocate for families and children who works with the Texas Foster Family Association, for offering helpful input based on her many years of experience with child protective services. Carolyn, thanks for answering a multitude of questions and enabling me to feel comfortable with my handling of this important element of the story.

I’m immensely grateful to my faithful prayer warriors: my sister Pat Phillips; dear friends Mark and Donna Skorheim and Susan Mouser; and my online prayer team: Chuck Allenbrand, Pearl and Don Anderson, Judith Depontes, Jackie Jeffries, Susie Killough, Joanne Lambert, Adrienne McCabe, Deidre Pool, Kim Prothro, Kelly Smith, Leslie Strader, Carolyn Walker, Sondra Watson, and Judi Wieghat; my friends at LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas, and LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee; my church family at Bethel Bible Church; and my reader friends on Facebook. I cannot possibly express to you how much I value your prayers.

To the retailers and suppliers who sell my books, the church and public libraries that make them available; and the many readers who have encouraged me with personal testimonies about how God has used my words to challenge and inspire them. He uses you to fuel the passion that keeps me creative.

To my agent, Joel Kneedler, at Alive Communications for being such an anchor. Thanks that I never have to wonder if you’re looking out for my best interests.

To Cris Doornbos, Dan Rich, Don Pape, and the amazing staff at David C Cook Publishers for allowing me to partner with you in “transforming lives together.” I’m so pleased and proud that I’ll be writing another two trilogies under your umbrella!

And to my editor, Diane Noble, ever-flexible encourager extraordinaire, for affirming, suggesting, instructing, and inspiring. This go-round was a challenge that pulled our hearts and minds together, page after page. Thank you for your gentle and seemingly endless patience! Your suggested enhancements to this story proved immeasurable.

And to my husband, Paul, my partner and soul mate, for understanding so well the commitment it takes to write one series after another while juggling overlapping edits and deadlines. Thanks for never complaining that we share our home with such a demanding boarder. Were it not for your support, I could never write professionally.

And to the God of all comfort, who collects our tears and uses them to water our seeds of faith, use the words poured out on these pages to remind us of Your goodness and faithfulness.


“We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Jimmy Dale Oldham had never killed anything bigger than a June bug. Hunting was supposed to come as natural as breathing to every Arkansas boy. Not him. At least if he could hit his mark, the kill would be quick and clean and the animal wouldn’t suffer. That might be the best