by Maggie Jaimeson
Rachel Cullen grew up in Scotland with a fiddle in her hand from the age of four. She couldn't imagine life as anything but a musician. When her husband brought her to America she was immediately embraced by the Celtic and Bluegrass communities. But after her divorce, Rachel's life is a mess.
A year of trying to prove to herself that she's woman enough for any man, and then a vicious rape while on tour with the band, leaves Rachel reeling. When she meets Noel Kershaw, an English teacher who is poetry in motion, she is definitely attracted. But he has a young child and he's suffering from his own divorce. The last thing Rachel needs in life is more baggage.
First, Rachel must reconcile who she is, what she wants, and how to get there. Maybe then she'll know how to be a part of the family she's always wanted.
Read an Excerpt:
Claire crawled onto a stool on the other side of the island and smiled. Neither of them talked for several minutes as they listened to the water in the pot heat.
“When I grow up, I’m going to play with Sweetwater Canyon all the time.”
“Are you sure you want to hang out with all us old folks?”
“You’re not all old. Well maybe a little old. But Kat isn’t old.”
Rachel smiled. “That’s true. She’s only seventeen.” And going on twenty-five it seemed sometimes.
“Oh, seventeen? That is old.” Claire put a finger to her lips and furrowed her brow. “How old do I have to be to play in the band all the time?”
“Probably at least eighteen.”
“But, you just said Kat—”
“Kat is different, because her mother plays in the band and can watch her all the time.”
“Well, you can watch me all the time. You can be my mother.”
“Well, can’t you?”
“Can’t she what?” Noel walked in the room and lifted Claire off the chair in a big hug, swinging her around the room. “Can’t she what? She can do anything she wants.”
“See,” Claire leaned forward and looked at Rachel over Noel’s shoulder. “See, even Daddy thinks you can be my mother.”
“Whoa.” Noel set Claire back on the stool. “I’m not sure what I walked in on here.” He sent an accusing glance to Rachel. “You already have a mother, Claire.”
“I know. Not my real mother. My second mother. You know, like my friend, Megan. Her mommy and daddy got divorced and her daddy married a new mommy. So, Megan has two mommies now. See? Rachel can be my second mommy. Okay?”
I loved this book. I have a weakness for fiddle music and young kids who are seeking a mommy in their lives. Obviously, this book has both. Rachel starts out still very angry about her rape. Noel and Claire are the first ones who are able to break through her wall and start to make her feel somewhat normal again. That's not to say that they have an easy road ahead of them. Noel has his own baggage from his ex-wife, that remains a constant threat through the entire novel. The storyline can take numerous directions, and does, which keeps you on your toes.
A small part of Rachel's redemption comes through Kat, a fellow bandmember whose mother also plays in the band. She endures a situation somewhat similar to Rachel's, and turns to her for guidance and support.
Claire is just a beautiful child. I can perfectly picture her and her exuberance. It made my own mama heartstrings pull to read about her. Children are so easy to love.
Readers should be aware that rape is a part of this story, but is handled quite delicately. In the very beginning, the author sends a letter to readers reminding them that all kinds of women can be victims of this crime. No matter who that woman is, no matter what kind of past she has had, rape is never okay. It is her hope that by reading Rachel's story, people will take the side of the victims. And she hopes that victims will receive professional counseling for what they have endured.
This book is the second in the Sweetwater Canyon series. I purchased the first book, Undertones, as soon as I was finished with this one. The next two are due out next year. I want to read more about these women!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Maggie Jaimeson writes romantic women’s fiction and romantic suspense with a near future twist. She describes herself as a wife, a step-mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and an IT administrator. By day she is “geek girl” – helping colleges to keep up with 21st century technology and provide distance learning options for students in rural areas. By night Maggie turns her thoughts to worlds she can control – worlds where bad guys get their comeuppance, women triumph over tragedy, and love can conquer all.
HEALING NOTES is the second book in the Sweetwater Canyon Series of four books. The final two books will be available in 2013.
Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop.
In addition, she will award a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour. You must leave an email address to be entered into any of the drawings. Follow the tour and comment on other posts for more opportunities to win!