The Gilded Age: What is it really?

The Gilded Age: What is it really?

It’s release month for Counterfeit Love and I thought it might be fun to share some of my behind-the-scenes research of the Hidden Hearts of the Gilded Age series. I’ll also be running a giveaway all month long with each Counterfeit Love / Secret Service post for your chance to win one of three prizes. Read through this post to the bottom to discover the details.


What is the Gilded Age?

When most people think of the Gilded Age, they generally think of the lavishly rich, fancy ball gowns and dinners, and New York. However the Gilded Age is so much more complex than that, and that’s why I love to write during this era.

The Gilde Age is actually a term coined by the ever sarcastic and famous satirical writer, Mark Twain, in a book he collaborated with Charles Dudley Warner on called The Gilded Age. The term Gilded Age was meant as a jab at the gross materialism and political corruption of his time. While everything was glittering, beautiful, and elegant on the surface, the moment one scratched at it, they’d discover gross corruption at the core. On a caricature level, the late 19th century was a period of massive immigration, socio-economic turmoil, rapacious Robber Barons, unscrupulous speculators, corporate buccaneers, shady business practices, scandal-plagued politics, and vulgar displays of materialism and wealth. This is one of the reasons why I love this era. It is so complex and intricate that I just never want to leave studying it.

While most people expect stories of the wealthy and elite when seeing “Gilded Age,” I love to take a look at it from the experiences of the varied classes and their experiences. There was a dark underbelly to the Gilded Age, and I love to explore it. However, I do like to see it from the perspective of the rich as well. It is like examing two very different worlds, and I find it incredibly fascinating.

A Period of Transition

During the 1870s, society as a whole was transitioning from largely agrarian to industrial–in part due to the repercussions of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, and in part due to the massive innovations brought on by the Industrial Revolution. Many farmers and immigrants shifted to big cities to work in the factories that provided steady work and steady pay. The way businesses operated transformed and cooperations emerged with a focus on gaining the most profit possible at the cost of others. Labor unrest was a constant issue during the Gilded Age as corporations were treated as people rather than businesses, an especially terrible slap in the face to now freed slaves who were people but had only been considered property.

This was a period where Robber Barons emerged–people who because rich through often ruthless and unscrupulous business practices. Of course, not everyone who became rich met that definition, but this was largely the view of society outside the ranks of the upper-class society. These corporations had huge influences on politics, and often politicians were portrayed as merely being the puppets of those corporations. The period from 1870 to 1900 was marked by increased poverty, rising inequality, and bubbling discontent beneath the gilded filigree of society.

Big Picture Events and Issues

Image by jimo663 from Pixabay

While the “Wild West” will live on in infamy, it was during this period that the western frontier actually began to close. The open ranges were closed in by barbed wire fences. Millions of acres of land were snatched up and populated. Native Americans were confined to reservations and then pushed farther west onto new reservations. Treaties were made to the disadvantage of the people and another Trial of Tears occurred. In fact, part of my family’s heritage cannot be traced back any further than this time because of how much was lost in this tragedy.

Technology and communication exploded during the Gilded Age. Telephones, electricity, machines, even the mass-circulation of newspapers and magazines, redefined aspects of the United States in unprecedented ways. With technology came more leisure time for new sports and entertainment to be developed. Transporation grew exponentially, opening up the country to easy travel and new migration patterns. Over these years, horse-led transportation diminished as trains, automobiles, electric trolleys, and others were developed.

Mass immigration poured millions of people into country giving rise to anti-immigrant reactions. Limitations on immigration from certain places started to appear, and the grouping of immigrants arriving shifted to larger numbers of Hungarian, Italian, Polish, and Russian peoples. Often these unskilled workers sought out cities where they could work at factories, often for horrifically low pay.

I talked a little bit about big business already, but this period is when the modern American economy emerged. Our economy became more globalized, dependent on products from around the world to supply the materials needed. Small businesses were consolidated and bought out. It was a dynamic time of wealth and poverty.

Politics too played a significant role during this time. The 1880s and 1890s especially were years of turbulence. Political conflicts were constant with corporations having an influencing hand in many areas. Farmers and laborers fought for fair representation and support against those corporations who they felt took advantage of them. You also have the beginnings of suffragist and civil rights movements.

Why I Write Gilded Age

As you can see, there is just SOOOO much conflict and depth that can be mined from this time period. I love looking at all the different perspectives and challenges that were faced by the people. So while you might think of all that glitters when you see the words Gilded Age, know that it is so much more than that, and I hope to bring some of those aspects and struggles to life in my stories.

A Second Gilded Age

Something I found interesting in my research is that the term Gilded Age has been applied to our current era by many different sources. There are parallels, but not completely. I just thought it fascinating, and if you’d like to read a succinct article on some of that, you can visit the History Channel’s article about it here.


Your chance to comment: What sort of things do you think of when you hear “Gilded Age” in relation to a fiction story?


Enter the Rafflecopter below to be entered to win one of three prizes: (Grand prize) – A signed copy of Counterfeit Love with a book sleeve made by my Momma, a toe bag with story-related prizes inside, (2nd prize) – A signed copy of Counterfeit Love with a book sleeve made by my Momma, socks, and a bookmark, (3rd prize) A signed copy of Counterfeit Love with a book sleeve made by my Momma and a bookish zipper bag. Entries run from March 1st to March 31st, 11:59pm EST. *Open to those legally able to enter, U.S. residents only for the physical prizes, international winners will be given a prize of equal value to whichever level they win.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Month-Long Giveaway & Which Counterfeit Love character are you?

Month-Long Giveaway & Which Counterfeit Love character are you?

It’s release month, and I thougth what better way to celebrate than to do a month-long giveaway with great prizes. This giveaway is being shared through multiple blogs and social media platforms, so you may see it floating around all month. Share away and let’s see how many people we can get involved.


The Giveaway Details:

FREE FOR EVERYONE: Anyone who wants to, can download a copy of my short story, Banking on Love, by signing up to join my newsletter at https://BookHip.com/RGLTQF.  I send out monthly newsletters that you can always unsubscribe to, but this group is the first people to know of publishing details like cover reveals, sales, newsletter subscriber only opportunities.

BOOK LAUNCH GIVEAWAY: This giveaway is going on across multiple sites.

THREE WINNERS

Grand Prize – Counterfeit Love Book Box – a signed print copy of Counterfeit Love, homemade book sleeve, and an “Always Booked” tote filled with surprises related to the story to be opened as you read and reach the matching post it notes.

Runner Up – Winner’s choice of a signed print copy of Counterfeit Love or e-book, a homemade booksleeve, a pair of bookish socks, and an “I Love Big Books” bookmark.

2nd Runner Up – Winner’s choice of a signed print copy of Counterfeit Love or e-book, a homemade booksleeve, and a “Read More Books” zipper bag with paper bookmarks

Fine Print: Physical prizes only available to those living in the contiguous United States who are legally eligible to win. Non-contiguous U.S. and International winners will get an unsigned copy of the book through Book Depository if available and the author will mail a signed bookplate and bookmark. If the grand-prize winner is outside the continuous U.S., they will also get a $15 Amazon gift card.

Drawing runs from 12:01 a.m. March 1st to 11:59 p.m. (EST) March 31st. The winner will be randomly picked via Rafflecopter on April 1st. 

The winner will be emailed during the first week of April and will have 7 days to respond before a new winner is drawn. Please add crystalcaudillwrites@gmail.com to your contacts list to ensure you receive your email. 


Enter Here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


A just for fun quiz: Which Counterfeit Love character are you?

Everyone likes a quiz right? Well, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the release of Counterfeit Love with a quiz. So take the quiz below and then comment on which character YOU are. And then check out below for the details on a month l


Comment with who YOU got. I’m curious to see who we get the most of.


It’s your last chance to preorder!! Don’t forget to message me or fill out the Google form at Bit.ly/PreorderBonuses to get all the goodies below! Those go away on March 14th at midnight.

Endorser Spotlight: Grace Hitchcock

Endorser Spotlight: Grace Hitchcock

One of the most nerve-racking parts of being an author is sending your book out into the world for the first time, knowing you can no longer change a single word of your book. Thankfully, the first people to read my novel outside of my critique partners and the Kregel team are endorsers. I am so honored and encouraged by the ladies who read my book and then wrote up beautiful endorsements. For the next few months, I’m going to feature one endorser every couple of weeks. So settle in, hear what they have to say about Counterfeit Love, and then learn about who they are, the books they’ve written, and how you can connect with them. Maybe you will be blessed to discover a new author.

At the end, I’d be blessed if you would leave an encouraging note for this author who has encouraged me so much!


I am pleased to introduce you to . . .

Grace Hitchcock

Historical Romance Author

 

Grace Hitchcock is the author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in Baton Rouge with her husband, Dakota, son and daughter. Connect with her online at GraceHitchcock.com.

Connect with Grace:

What she had to say about Counterfeit Love:

“A thrilling romance, a gallant Secret Service operative, and a courageous heroine—Crystal Caudill’s Counterfeit Love is an exceptional tale of tragic loss, healing, and redeeming love.” 

—Grace Hitchcock, author of My Dear Miss Dupré and Her Darling Mr. Day

I am so in love with all the different descriptions Counterfeit Love gets in these endorsements. I think Grace encapsulated it perfectly with her words too. I am so blessed and honored. Thank you, Grace!  (And I’m shamelessly putting the link to Counterfeit Love here if you would like to learn more or preorder it.)

Grace’s Books

Grace has written several novels and novellas that you NEED to check out. You can purchase them from any major retailer, but here is the link to her Amazon Author Profile where you can grab any of the titles you like.

My Dear Miss Dupré My Dear Miss Dupré

The goal was simple, find a husband so she could be queen of her father’s sugar empire. Thirty suitors, six months of courting…was that enough time for her to fall in love?

Willow Dupré never thought she would have to marry, but with her father’s unexpected retirement from running the prosperous Dupré sugar refinery, plans changed. The shareholders are unwilling to allow a female to take over the company without a man at her side, so her parents devise a plan — find Willow a spokesman king in order for her to become queen of the empire.

Willow is presented with thirty potential suitors from the families of New York society’s elite group called the Four Hundred. She has six months to court the group and is expected to eliminate men each month to narrow her beaus until she chooses one to marry, ending the competition with a wedding. Willow reluctantly agrees, knowing she must do what is best for the business. She doesn’t expect to find anything other than a proxy . . . until she meets Cullen Dempsey, and she must discover for herself if his motives are pure.

 

Her Darling Mr. Day

New Orleans’ most eligible bachelor insists he’s not on the market. . . . He couldn’t be more wrong.

Jilted in front of all New York, Theodore Day decides to lose himself in his family’s luxury riverboat business in New Orleans and compete against his brother to become the next company head. The brother with the most sales by summer’s end will win the position. Thanks to Theodore’s fame as a suitor in Willow Dupré’s outlandish competition to find a husband, he has become very desirable royalty in southern society and thus has an advantage.

It took Flora Wingfield’s best work to convince her family to summer in New Orleans, but with Teddy Day a bachelor once again, she’s leaving nothing to chance. Desperate to stand out from all the clamoring belles, Flora attempts a bold move that goes completely awry, only to find it’s her interior design skills that finally catch his notice.

But when Flora learns her father has matchmaking schemes of his own, Teddy will have to decide where his happiness truly lies and what he is willing to sacrifice for it.

 

The White City (True Colors) Kindle EditionThe White City

 When Winnifred Wylde attends the Chicago World’s Fair, she witnesses a man kidnapping a woman in green. She believes that he might be behind the mysterious disappearances surrounding the White City and attempts to convince her father, Inspector Wylde, to investigate. He dismisses her claims as just another exaggeration conceived by her overactive imagination. After much convincing, he reluctantly gives Winnie permission to attempt to prove him wrong, but only if she takes her pistol and one of his men for protection. With the help of Jude Thorpe, a handsome detective acting as her bodyguard, Winnifred goes undercover as the secretary to the man in question, who uses the alias H. H. Holmes.  

Will she be able to uncover the truth behind the disappearances, or will Winnifred become the next victim?

 

 

The Gray Chamber (True Colors) by [Grace Hitchcock]

The Gray Chamber

On Blackwell’s Island, New York, a hospital was built to keep its patients from ever leaving.

With her late father’s fortune under her uncle’s care until her twenty-fifth birthday in the year 1887, Edyth Foster does not feel pressured to marry or to bow to society’s demands. She freely indulges in eccentric hobbies like fencing and riding her velocipede in her cycling costume about the city for all to see. Finding a loophole in the will, though, her uncle whisks Edyth off to the women’s lunatic asylum just weeks before her birthday. Will Edyth prove her sanity before it is too late?

At the asylum she meets another inmate, who upon discovering Edyth’s plight, confesses that she is Nellie Bly, an undercover journalist for The World. Will either woman find a way to escape the terrifying island and reclaim her true self?

 

Check out her novellas on her website or on your favorite retailer’s site.

 


Leave an encouraging note for Grace Hitchcock in the comments. This writing journey is rough, and I’d love to bless her as much as she has blessed me.

Endorser Spotlight: Misty Beller

Endorser Spotlight: Misty Beller

One of the most nerve-racking parts of being an author is sending your book out into the world for the first time, knowing you can no longer change a single word of your book. Thankfully, the first people to read my novel outside of my critique partners and the Kregel team are endorsers. I am so honored and encouraged by the ladies who read my book and then wrote up beautiful endorsements. For the next few months, I’m going to feature one endorser every couple of weeks. So settle in, hear what they have to say about Counterfeit Love, and then learn about who they are, the books they’ve written, and how you can connect with them. Maybe you will be blessed to discover a new author.

At the end, I’d be blessed if you would leave an encouraging note for this author who has encouraged me so much!


I am pleased to introduce you to . . .

Misty Beller

Romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family–both immediate and extended–is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream.

 

What she had to say about Counterfeit Love:

“Crystal Caudill has hit a home run with this action-packed historical romance. If you like characters who come alive, a hero to make you swoon, and edge-of-your-seat intrigue, you’ll love this story. A fantastic debut from an author I’m looking forward to reading again!”

—Misty M. Beller, USA Today bestselling author of the Brides of Laurent series

Y’all, I’m no sports fan, but hitting a homerun makes me all giddy. None of this story would have come together without God’s heavy hand in this book. May He have all the Glory, and YOU have a fun read. Thank you, Misty, for the wonderful endorsement! (And I’m shamelessly putting the link to Counterfeit Love here if you would like to learn more or preorder it.)

 

Misty’s Books

Misty is a prolific writer, so I can’t include ALL of her books. Instead, I’m including only the first book of all the series she has written, and that is STILL a lot. You can purchase them from any major retailer, but here is the link to her Amazon Author Profile where you can grab any of the titles you like.

 

Freedom in the Mountain Wind (Call of the Rockies, Book 1)

The last epic journey before her life changes forever.

Susanna Wilkins will do anything to make her father’s final dream come true, including trek along the path Lewis and Clark explored into the untamed wilds of the Rocky Mountains. Every mile is more crucial now that lung cancer is stealing Pa’s last days faster than she can come to terms with losing him. The journey becomes harder than she ever expected, but paddling upriver through fierce rapids and fighting hungry grizzlies isn’t what terrifies her the most.

Beaver Tail endured more than he can stand from the women in his Blackfoot camp, but the last disaster gave him the final shove he needed to join this band of brothers searching for one of their group who’s gone missing. The last thing he expected was to find a white woman and her sick father stranded at the base of a massive waterfall. His plan is to help them carry their oversize canoe and supplies, then leave them to their strange mission. Yet, the more he learns about the pair, the more he realizes his life is about to be derailed—again.

 

A Warrior’s Heart (Brides of Laurent, Book 1)

Brielle Durand still feels haunted by the massacre that killed her mother a dozen years before. Vowing to never let it happen again, she’s risen to be the key defender for her people’s peace-loving French settlement living in hidden caves in the Canadian Rockies. When a foreigner wanders too near to their secret homes, she has no choice but to disarm and capture him. But now, what to do with this man who looks at her in a strange way and insists he can be trusted?

Hoping to escape past regrets, Evan MacManus ventured into the unknown, assigned to discover if the northern mountains contain an explosive mineral that might help America win the War of 1812. Despite being taken prisoner, Evan is determined to complete his mission. But when that assignment becomes at odds with his growing appreciation of the villagers and Brielle, does he follow through on the promise he’s made to his government or take a risk on the path his heart is leading him down? Either choice will cause harm to someone.

Brielle and Evan must reconcile the warring in their hearts, if they’ve any hope to find the peace the seek.

Hope’s Highest Mountain (Hearts of Montana, Book 1)

Ingrid Chastain readily agreed to accompany her father to deliver vaccines to a mining town in the Montana Territory. She never could have anticipated a terrible accident would leave her alone and badly injured in the wilderness. When rescue comes in the form of a mysterious mountain man who tends her injuries, she’s hesitant to put her trust in this quiet man who seems to have his own wounds.

Micah Bradley left his work as a doctor after unintentionally bringing home the smallpox disease that killed his wife and daughter. But his self-imposed solitude in the wilds of Montana is broken when he finds Ingrid in desperate need of medical attention, and he’s forced to face his regret and call on his doctoring skills once again.

Micah can’t help but admire Ingrid’s tenacious determination despite the severity of her injuries, until he learns the crate she brought contains smallpox vaccines to help quell a nearby outbreak. With Ingrid dead set on trekking through the mountains to deliver the medicine–with or without his help–he has no choice but to accompany her. As they set off through the treacherous, snow-covered Rocky Mountains against all odds, the journey ahead will change their lives more than they could have known.

The Lady and the Mountain Man (The Mountain Series, Book 1)

Leah Townsend, a recently orphaned heiress, flees Richmond after discovering her fiancé’s plot to kill her after their wedding. She needs a safe place to hide, and finds herself accepting a newspaper marriage proposal from a God-fearing young rancher in the Montana Territory. But when Leah arrives at the mountain ranch, she learns her intended husband was killed by a grizzly, leaving behind a bitter older brother and a spunky younger sister.

When Gideon Bryant finds an eastern lady standing in his log cabin, his first thought is to send her back where she came from. He’s lost too many people to the wild elements of these mountains––his parents, his wife, and now his brother. His love for this untamed land lives on, but he’s determined not to open his heart to another person.

But when an accident forces Leah to stay at the ranch for seven more months, can Gideon protect his heart from a love he doesn’t want? Has Leah really escaped the men who seek her life?

 

A Pony Express Romance (Wyoming Mountain Tales, Book 1)

After growing up as an orphan, Josiah English wants nothing more than to have his own ranch and raise Arabian horses. Riding for the Pony Express seems like the ticket to his dream. And when he meets the stationmaster’s beautiful sister, it seems he may be within reach of the happy life he craves.

Mara Reid is thrilled to finally meet the man of her dreams, and the fact that they both want to raise horses in the Sweetwater River valley seems like confirmation straight from God.

But when the Express shuts down and Mara’s family home is in peril, the danger looming over Mara’s life may not be half as destructive as that threatening her heart.

 

The Rancher Takes a Cook (Texas Rancher Trilogy, Book 1)

When their South Carolina home burns to the ground, Anna Stewart’s only choice is to move with her younger brother to the wilds of a Texas ranch. Their prospects are beginning to look better, until the rancher’s son, Jacob O’Brien, shows up with his alarmingly blue eyes to put a kink in Anna’s well-controlled plans.

When danger escalates in the form of a band of cattle thieves with deadly intent, can Anna learn to release control to God’s capable hands…and those of the blue-eyed cowboy who’s stolen her heart?

 

 


Leave an encouraging note for Misty Beller in the comments. This writing journey is rough, and I’d love to bless her as much as she has blessed me.

This Is My Story – Tara Johnson’s Podcast

This Is My Story – Tara Johnson’s Podcast

As I haven’t had time to get a book review written this weekend, and won’t have time until the next weekend, I’m sharing instead about the wonderful Tara Johnson and her podcast, “This is My Story” where I was blessed to be a guest this past week. We covered all sorts of fun and inspirational topics over the course of about 40 minutes, so I hope you’ll get the chance to listen in.

Episode 3: Silver Strands and “Even Ifs” with Crystal Caudill

https://blubrry.com/thisismystorywithtarajohnson/83281318/episode-3-silver-strands-and-even-ifs-with-crystal-caudill/

On today’s show, Tara and Crystal chat about messy families, the power of not being perfect, plastic Christianity and balking heroes of faith. Crystal shares how escaping PE class led her to Christ. The ladies talk about classics, Christian fiction, wild research, and Crystal’s new release Counterfeit Love. Also on this show… Silver strands, Bearing Precious Seed and what God teaches us when we say “even if”.

Links: www.crystalcaudill.com

Bearing Precious Seed- www.bpsmilford.org

Pre-order Crystal’s upcoming novel here: Counterfeit Love: Caudill, Crystal: 9780825447402: Amazon.com: Books

Endorser Spotlight: Amanda Cox

Endorser Spotlight: Amanda Cox

One of the most nerve-racking parts of being an author is sending your book out into the world for the first time, knowing you can no longer change a single word of your book. Thankfully, the first people to read my novel outside of my critique partners and the Kregel team are endorsers. I am so honored and encouraged by the ladies who read my book and then wrote up beautiful endorsements. For the next few months, I’m going to feature one endorser every couple of weeks. So settle in, hear what they have to say about Counterfeit Love, and then learn about who they are, the books they’ve written, and how you can connect with them. Maybe you will be blessed to discover a new author.

At the end, I’d be blessed if you would leave an encouraging note for this author who has encouraged me so much!


I am pleased to introduce you to . . .

Amanda Cox

Poignant Stories of Hope, Healing, and Home

Amanda Cox is a blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, but her first love is communicating through story. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters that connect emotionally with readers.

Connect with her at:

Website: https://amandacoxwrites.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandacoxwrites/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandacoxwrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandacoxwrites/

Blog: https://hopeperch.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20033571.Amanda_Cox

What she had to say about Counterfeit Love:

“Full of intrigue, Counterfeit Love is sure to delight fans of historical romantic suspense. As Caudill immerses readers in the world of counterfeiting rings and the early days of the Secret Service, she weaves a tale that is simultaneously well-researched and action-packed with delightfully flawed characters who will leave readers rooting for their redemption.”

—Amanda Cox, author of The Edge of Belonging and The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery 

There are so many things to love about this endorsement, but well-researched makes me beyond thrilled. I did a LOT of research for this series, and I am so relieved that it came through. Thank you so much for your endorsement, Amanda! (And I’m shamelessly putting the link to Counterfeit Love here if you would like to learn more or preorder it.)

 

Amanda’s Books

Amanda’s books will pull at your heart and take you into deep places you never want to leave. I’m not a contemporary reader, but I love her books. You can purchase them from any major retailer, but here is the link to her Amazon Author Profile where you can grab any of the titles you like.

The Edge of Belonging

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames–she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy’s adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he’s ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth–both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others–takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.

 

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery

Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons–but she’ll certainly never reveal the real one.

1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she’s pregnant with her deceased fiancé’s baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.

This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.

 


Leave an encouraging note for Amanda Cox in the comments. This writing journey is rough, and I’d love to bless her as much as she has blessed me.

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