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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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Y is for Your
There was a connection, Caroline was certain of it. She’d felt it in a number of odd ways. Not things you could touch your hand to but a feeling of familiarity, like a place she’d once been to or someone she’d known in passing. Perhaps he’d been a distant cousin or youthful sweetheart. Caroline knew nothing about him, save this single thing: his picture was intended for her grandma, and now it was intended for her. Peter Pennington had said as much, and Peter was never wrong.
He’d been right about the desk, and he’d been right about the watch. Only the picture was still unexplained.
When she pulled the wastebasket from under the desk, Caroline already knew what she’d do. She’d take the picture back to Peter and ask him to reframe it. She thought back to the happiness on his face when he’d given her the gift. Surely he’d be willing to find a new frame. Caroline chuckled as she carefully lifted the larger pieces of broken glass and dropped them into the wastebasket. She knew chances were Peter could produce the exact same frame, right down to the tiny chip on the right-hand corner. How he did it, she couldn’t say, but it was mysterious and wonderful at the same time.
Caroline didn’t see the large brown envelope until she lifted the piece of cardboard backing the picture. She picked up the envelope and turned it over in her hands.
It was a perfectly plain brown envelope. No markings, no name, no return address . Nothing. Thinking back Caroline remembered Peter’s words: This was intended for your grandma, and now you’re the one who should have it. Slowly and tentatively she lifted the flap and slid out the contents.
U.S. Railroad bond certificates. Ten of them. Each one with a face value of one hundred thousand dollars.
“Good grief!” Caroline exclaimed. If she had found a fifty-dollar bill she’d have been happy. If she’d found a one hundred-dollar bill, she would have been ecstatic, but a million dollars’ worth of bonds was too unbelievable.
“There’s got to be a mistake,” she mumbled. Opening the envelope she looked inside again. Nothing. It was empty. There was no note, no explanation. The envelope contained nothing but the bonds.