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AWARD-WINNING SOUTHERN FICTION
Caroline Sweetwater is writing a love story, but she is certainly not living one. She’s in a relationship that has gone from bad to worse. Desperate to get away from this loveless affair, Caroline jumps at the chance to move to Virginia and live with the grandmother she’s never met.
All she wants is a quiet place where she can write. But what she finds is a house filled with lovable strangers, and a magical antique shop where Peter Pennington, the proprietor, knows exactly what she will need and when she will need it. When a pocket watch goes missing for the second time he warns of the danger ahead, but will Caroline listen and heed his advice?
In an uplifting story that is rich with magic and mystery Crosby’s characters resonate with the warmhearted joy of a pay-it-forward philosophy.
Previously Loved Treasures is the winner of the 2014 Reader’s Favorite Silver Medal Award for Southern Fiction.
A magical Memory House Collection Novel.
Literary Awards for Previously Loved Treasures –
Finalist Royal Palm Literary Award
FPA President’s Book Award
Reader’s Favorite for Southern Fiction
Praise for Previously Loved Treasures –
Reviewed By Suzanne Cowles for Readers’ Favorite
Previously Loved Treasures by Bette Lee Crosby is a heartwarming fiction story, book two of the Serendipity Series, about protagonist Ida Sweetwater, a recent widow. Left alone with little money and forced to come up with creative ways to finance the professional services of a private investigator, she uses odd jobs and socking away pennies from her daily chores to fund the dream of finding her estranged son who walked out years ago. She slowly fills a big empty house with paying boarders, one of which is her shifty brother-in-law. In getting to know the tenants and tending to their needs with true southern hospitality, she discovers that she has a granddaughter. The promise of a new relationship quickly replaces her hope of ever finding her son. The two form a close bond as Ida teaches Caroline how to cook and encourages her to finish writing her novel. Amid the hubbub at the house, Ida befriends a thrift-store owner who is a peculiar fellow. The gentleman solves problems she does not know she has, then tragedy strikes leaving Caroline all alone to run the house.
Betty Lee Crosby uses her skill with colloquial phrases and mannerisms to describe a world reminiscent of depression era times, when a dollar went a very long way. In Previously Loved Treasures, Crosby alternates third person chapters with various characters’ personal thoughts as a creative device. This makes it easy to get to know and love the diverse characters. Dispensed throughout are plenty of feel-good moments, small moral triumphs and personal victories, all the while leading to a happy conclusion.Read an excerpt of Previously Loved Treasures Discussion Questions for Previously Loved Treasures
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Ida’s jaw dropped open – Friday Fiction
Ida’s jaw dropped open. “Five dollars?”
He pushed the glasses back onto his nose a second time and nodded.
“Five dollars is not fair-priced,” she said indignantly. “I may not be wealthy, but I’m certainly not looking for charity!”
“And I’m not giving any,” Peter replied. “You’ve got to understand, when people sell previously loved treasures it’s not about the money. It’s about finding the right home for something they’ve spent years loving.”
The dubious look remained on Ida’s face. “Okay, so you charge me five dollars, and I give the bed a good home. Then what? You charge two hundred for delivery?”
“Free?” Ida thought back on how Big Jim always said, You get what you pay for , and she searched her mind for what the catch might be but could not find one. Again she clarified the terms. “So this is a one-time payment of five dollars, and you deliver the bed free?”
Peter nodded. “That’s the deal, Missus Sweetwater.”
“How’d you know my name?”
“I make it my business to know the names of people in town.”
Ida could feel a ball of suspicion pushing against her chest, but she was torn between heeding such a warning and wanting the bed. After several more questions, she followed Peter Pennington inside the store, pulled five dollars from her purse, and paid cash for the bed. As she turned to leave, the funny-looking little man said, “I think you might also need a picture for that room.”
“Yes.” He reached beneath the counter and pulled out a framed photograph of a young man. “This one.”
“Ha. Seems your ‘read the need’ is no longer working. I have no need of a picture like that.”
“Oh, but you do,” Pennington assured her. “You just don’t know it yet.”
Ida laughed so hard her belly bounced. “Well, when I figure out what I need it for, I’ll be back,” she said and left the store still chuckling.
On the way home Ida again found herself singing along with the radio. Peter P. Pennington was indeed a strange little man, but despite the suspicions picking at her she liked him. And the rosewood bed was every bit as beautiful as the burgundy sofa she had let go.