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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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X is for Excitement
“Impossible,” Caroline repeated. Logic warned that it was a mistake. Perhaps Peter didn’t know the bonds were behind the picture. Perhaps they were intended for someone else. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. She could find a million reasons why such a gift wasn’t intended for her but not a single rationale for why it was.
Holding bonds of such great value in her hands did something to Caroline. It sent a shiver of excitement up her spine and ignited the spark of possibility in her mind. Although she was willing herself not to, Caroline began to think of things like buying a new washing machine and replacing Wilbur’s gold pocket watch.
When those thoughts came, she tried to draw back. “Impossible,” she repeated over and over again. The logic of some unknown benefactor giving either Ida or her those bonds was too overwhelming. It was simply not a thing that could be real. In the wee hours of the morning she slid the bonds back into the envelope and decided that tomorrow she would take the picture and the bonds and go back to Previously Loved Treasures. This time Peter Pennington had obviously made a mistake.
Caroline cleaned up the remaining bits of glass, then showered, pulled on a pair of pajamas, and climbed into bed . Given the long day of work, she should have been tired. She should have closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep seconds later. Were it not for that envelope she might have, but now sleep was impossible to come by. Lying in bed she tried to find a reason, a logical, explainable reason to justify her right to the bonds, but there was none. Every scenario she imagined was offset by an even more valid point proving this had to be some kind of crazy mistake.
The argument with herself was one Caroline could neither lose or win. Either was impossible because both sides knew what the other was thinking. If only Wilbur were here, she thought. He’d know what to do.
The night seemed a thousand hours long. When the first ray of dawn creased the sky, Caroline climbed out of bed and got dressed. She gathered the picture, the broken frame, and the bonds and tucked them into a tote bag.
First she would stop by the hospital and check on Wilbur. Then she’d visit the Previously Loved Treasures store.
Peter Pennington would be able to provide an explanation.