I’m excited to share the first novel in the Arcadia Valley Romance multi-author series! If you’ve read Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley, you’ll recall Spring’s Blessings, where a librarian’s desire for a simple garden is complicated when a large white rabbit, a motherless child, and a mysterious neighbor encroach on her carefully laid plans.
Poor Charlotte! She tried so hard to grow her very first garden after moving to Arcadia Valley, but the most important thing she grew were friends and relationships. Oh, and romance with Nico Delis, the widowed father of a precocious little girl.
Now we come to Summer’s Glory. Here’s the official scoop:
After his mother passes away, master carpenter Silas Black returns to Arcadia Valley to help his sister run their small farm. He was the town’s bad boy as a teen and it wasn’t just an image. But although his juvenile delinquent years are behind him, there’s one woman who can’t accept that he’s really changed. As Silas finds himself falling for Violet Tam, is there any hope that she can forgive him and open her heart to the man he is now?
We met Violet briefly in Spring’s Blessings. She’s a teacher and a potter, but neither of those are the focus of her own story. It’s summer vacation, and her mom has recently opened Fire and Brimstone, Arcadia Valley’s newest restaurant serving artisan pizza. Mom hired Violet’s childhood nemesis, now a master carpenter, to build a unique serving counter — and then went AWOL for a couple of weeks to make her year’s supply of pasta sauce with her secret recipe, leaving Violet to run the restaurant and supervise Silas.
Let’s just say that didn’t go over so well, okay? Violet has reasons to mistrust Silas. Being convinced to give him a second chance doesn’t come easily to her.
What will you like about Summer’s Glory?
Well, I hope you’ll love it because it’s part of the Arcadia Valley Romance series. But I’ll be honest, I love Mary Jane Hathaway’s writing anyway — which might be one of the reasons I invited her to participate in this project! Her stories are sweet and lyrical, and her own love of classic literature shines through every one I’ve read, which is most of them. Here’s a little snippet from the first chapter where Violet is talking with her friend Jamie, who figures the grocery store is the place to meet everyone.
“Growing our own food doesn’t mean we don’t interact with the community. I think it’s the opposite, really, especially when we had a booth at the farmers market. We saw everybody. You grew up on a blueberry farm. Don’t you think it brought you closer to everyone in Arcadia Valley?”
“Not really. We saw people during the season, I guess. And the booth at the market was the same way. Lots of people in the summer but for the rest of the year, the grocery store is where you meet everybody,” Jamie said. She straightened up, eyes wide. “I forgot to tell you that I met the cutest guy in the dairy aisle yesterday. He said his name is Silas Black. You know him?”
Violet hesitated one second too long. “Sure, I know him.” She could see it so clearly. When Silas walked into a room, everybody took notice. He was tall, dark and handsome, but it was a certain something, a brooding quality combined with a crackling intensity that made Silas unforgettable. She could imagine how Jamie felt when she first saw him. Silas probably laid on the charm and Jamie was swept off her feet, the way girls always were. Unless you were the kind of girl Silas didn’t think deserved any charm. Then you tried your hardest to stay out of his way.
“Uh oh. I saw that.” Jamie narrowed her eyes. “And don’t pretend you didn’t just hesitate there.”
Mary Jane Hathaway is the pen name of an award-nominated writer who spends the majority of her literary energy on subjects un-related to Jane Austen. A homeschooling mother of six young children who rarely wear shoes, she’s madly in love with a man who has never read Pride and Prejudice. She holds degrees in Religious Studies and Theoretical Linguistics, and has a Jane Austen quote on the back of her van.