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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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Sleep was impossible for Ida – Previously Loved Treasures
“Grandma,” Ida muttered every so often, trying on the name for size. It fit perfectly.
Oddly enough she did not hear from Sam Caldwell at all that week, and she also did not receive a bill for his services. Ida simply assumed he was in Cherry Hill tracking down James and his family, which was all well and good with her.
On Sunday evening Sam Caldwell telephoned. “I’ve put together a report on my findings. Would it be okay if I stop by tomorrow morning to go over it with you?”
Ida had waited thirty years, and another day seemed too much to bear. “Did you find James?”
“I’ll give you all the details tomorrow,” Caldwell replied.
“Why can’t you just tell me now?” Ida asked, but instead of giving a reason, Caldwell just said he’d be there at eight the next morning and hung up.
That night sleep was impossible for Ida. She was too hot with the blanket on and too cold with it off. The pillow seemed lumpy, and the ticking of the bedside clock became a troublesome distraction. After listening to the tick, tick, tick for more than an hour, she wrapped the clock in a flannel nightgown and stuffed it into the bottom drawer of the chest.
Even with the clock gone, Ida twisted and turned. There were brief moments when she could imagine Caldwell had found James. Not just James, but his entire family. When that happened the warmth of happiness settled over her but it was always short-lived, for the fear of truth followed close behind. It came, clamped an icy claw around her throat, and screamed in her ear.