Book Spotlight: Song of Springhill ~Only $2.99



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Could you fall in love despite the great risk of losing the one you cherish most?

Synopsis

Hoping for a fresh start, Hannah Wright moves to Springhill, the hometown of the father she never knew because he died in their volatile coal mines before she was born. She tracks down her aunt, Abigail Percy, and is immediately welcomed to move in with the whole Percy clan. This includes her Uncle Ray, a coal miner, and their four lively children. Suddenly, she’s surrounded by more family than she’s ever had in her life.

The day after she arrives, the mine explodes, trapping many underground, including Uncle Ray. Little did Hannah know when she set off on this new adventure how much her family was going to need her. When the Percys face a sudden lack of provision, Hannah knows she must get a job to help them. But the only industry in town that pays enough is coal mining–and the mine company doesn’t hire women.

Hannah secretly masquerades as a man and gets hired as Mel, a distant cousin of her father’s. Keeping up her charade is challenging in this tight-knit, 1950s town, where everybody knows one another. Hannah is placed on the team of Josh Winslow, a handsome bachelor who noticed her the moment she stepped into town. It doesn’t take long for Josh to see through Hannah’s disguise as Mel, but she convinces him there’s no other way for her to help take care of her family. Understanding the pressure she’s under, he agrees to not blow Hannah’s cover–for now.

Though Hannah seems to keep Josh at arm’s length, he’s determined to chip away at her defenses and win her heart. She resists, afraid to love someone who could die at any moment in an accident underground. Long-time miners start to sense that “the big one” is coming. Calling it a “Bump” does little to calm Hannah’s fear of the impending underground earthquake, a disaster that could come any day. Will Josh and Hannah be among the next miners caught in a catastrophic disaster? Does Hannah stand to lose everything she’s worked so hard to rebuild?

Sample

October 30, 1956

Hannah peeked out of the guestroom. Rhythmic snores droned from the master bedroom, like they were in stereo sync. They wouldn’t wake for hours. Maybe even noon. But today, she wouldn’t be here at noon. Adrenaline surged through her thin frame. Her legs trembled.

This had to work. This was not time for one of her miscalculations or poor judgment calls. She’d been accused of that a lot lately. Whether it was true or not.

She clutched two suitcases, then took one last look around her room.

So much she was leaving behind. Clothing, shoes, cheap jewelry. Most of it chosen for her anyway. She had packed what mattered; she was sure of it. One last glance at the closet. There was that garment bag. A knowing settled over her, as warm as the midday sun. She would never wear what was inside that bag. It was not coming with her.

Memories flooded as she ducked into the shadowed hallway. She held her breath. Too long, she’d endured the bitter here. Wave upon wave, it had pounded her shores, overwhelming the sweet. Now, with each creak of the floorboards beneath her feet, her spirits lifted.

As she neared the front door, she couldn’t bring herself to look into the living room. The shiny, black grand piano she’d dusted every single day before she’d played for the past three years would stay behind. She’d find a way to buy one of her own someday; she was sure of that. Even if she had to find twenty extra music students to pay for it.

Outside, the gravel crunched beneath her feet. At the car door, the key shook in her hand. It clattered against every part of the metal except the hole. She used her other hand to steady it, till it finally went in.

Gently, she put the suitcases into the backseat, the same two she’d used since she was a teenager. All she’d keep of her life’s belongings fit inside a pair of cubes. But she had what she needed, including the journal.

His journal.

The only treasure she had of his, tucked inside the pocket of one of the suitcases. All of it, in her daddy’s handwriting. She’d read it so many times that she had most of his entries—his prayers—memorized.

A thud resounded. Hannah whipped around toward the cottage. Had someone heard her? She didn’t spot anyone, and the front door remained closed.

It was time to test her 1947 blue Studebaker Champion to see if she still had enough champ left in her to make the trip. The Champ was hardly new when Hannah bought her. Winters and salt laden roads had eaten away parts of the frame since, yet she had a hum to her—some may call it a rattle—that soothed Hannah like the lullaby her mama used to sing. It was familiar and always there. But not a sound she wanted lighting up the neighborhood when trying to escape unnoticed. The Champ was her first big possession, paid for with what little money she’d managed to tuck away from those music lessons she’d given.

Those kiddos were the only people she’d miss from this city. The way Eli cheered when he finally got the C sharp minor chord right on the guitar. Or the way Joy beamed when her right hand could play a different rhythm than her left on the piano. Now, that was a special talent. Not everyone had it. Hannah knew well how to blaze across the keys in different rhythms; it came so naturally to her. But the same did not characterize her life; it always seemed out of sync, especially with her desires.

An ache knotted Hannah’s throat. She couldn’t say goodbye to those kids. She’d had to keep far too many secrets these days. Telling them about this—planning for this exact moment—she couldn’t do it.

Headlights turned the street corner, startling her. She ducked down behind the car in the driveway, hoping whichever neighbor was coming home at this hour didn’t see her. The vehicle passed with a whir. She waited a couple more seconds, released her breath, then slid onto the driver’s seat.

She steeled herself against tossing up a prayer as she pulled the door closed. No, it wasn’t needed; this was up to her alone. She could do this. And she wasn’t sure anyone would listen anyway. She had prayed enough for intervention in the past.

That her mother wouldn’t die, for starters.

But it would be fine. All she had to do now was push on that gas and fix her eyes on her destination.

Her neck throbbed. As she glanced in the rearview, the purple bruises were still visible. Why didn’t she grab her collared sweater? Well, maybe because she hated that dark pink and white garment. It made her look like a wrapped up piece of ribbon candy.

And this would be the last time someone would leave a mark.

Hannah turned the key in the ignition. The Champ sparked to life. Just like that engine, she had the power within her to run, the power to not be a victim any longer. How had she forgotten that for the past three years? It was all a blur. But with the Champ’s racket, it was time to get out of here. She pressed on the gas, knowing she’d never see that little yellow cottage again. An unfamiliar feeling, the corners of her mouth turned up.

Her stomach fluttered; she’d waited her entire life. Now, it was time to return to the place her father used to call home until twenty-seven years ago.

Until his death, a smattering of hours before her birth.

A place called Springhill. (Read more at: http://purplepenworks.com/2014/08/26/song-of-springhill-sample-chapter/ )