Friends! Between now and the next three weeks leading up to Christmas, I’ll be giving you some Christmas gift ideas for your friends and family. Hey, if YOU are interested, drop some serious hints…These ideas are all lovely and are guaranteed to bless the recipient.
First up, I’m thrilled to report Angela Correll has a new novel out which just released November 22nd. Granted is the third and final novel in the May Hollow trilogy. Sad for us May Hollow fans, but hang with me for news on that little issue…hope’s around the corner…
I told Angela I’d have bought Granted on the spot solely from the cover! (Yes, I’m guilty of judging a book by its’ cover.) Note the wedding dress….Yes, love is in the air.
Critics have compared Angela’s writing to Jan Karon’s. I love her writing because her story is set in Kentucky with visits to my hometown of Lexington, including some of my favorite restaurants. Faith, food, fellowship, and farming play a large role in the story as well.
Additionally, you’ll adore Granted’s characters. Annie, Jake, and Beulah are my favorites, but you’ll have to decide who yours are as there are plenty more to choose from. They jump off the pages to meet you and you find yourself lured into their story.
Their simple lifestyle is terribly appealing, inspiring downtime and not activities to decorate your calendar. Angela says she hopes her readers’ takeaway is “inspiration to enrich intergenerational community whether it’s a neighborhood in Manhattan or a rural area in Alabama.”.
Christian fiction can sometimes be sappy, as in way unrealistic, but I give my hats’ off to Angela as she does not tie every situation up into a tidy little knot. She keeps you guessing, throwing a few curve balls along with some characters who’ll make you want to teach them a lesson or two!
Angela shares the lesson from a messy relationship is for us to make peace with it. (This is a painful part of the story.) Here’s a favorite quote regarding this particular mess:
“She recalled her favorite verse, the one she struggled with the most: ‘Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.’ She did cast her anxiety on him, but many times she picked it right back up again. That was what she had done all month. Lord help me in my unbelief, she prayed, because unbelief was the very root of it.” (This is from 1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
Not only is there a wedding in store for the reader, a trip to Italy in the Tuscany region is also included with scenery Angela so beautifully paints. I’m ready to hop a plane there as I write. Actually, I’m dreaming of hopping a plane there!
Nancy Sleeth’s endorsement illustrates Angela’s creativity:
Several people have asked me if it’s necessary to have read the first two books prior to Granted. I say, “No, but they’re both so good, you won’t want to miss the characters’ transformations, story line, etc.”
Life as Angela and her husband, Jess, experience fills Granted’s pages…If you live in Kentucky, I’ve got the perfect road trip for you either for the day, or for an overnight.
Drive to Stanford and grab a bite at the Bluebird Café. (www.bluebirdnatural.com) The café only serves food from local vendors and farmers, farm-to-table style.
Following your meal, you can walk across the street to mill around Angela’s shop, Kentucky Soaps and Such (www.kentuckysoapsandsuch.com ). Warning: In addition to a wide variety of gifts including her goat’s milk cream (“Summer rain” is my favorite scent, but you may choose your own.), there’s a bookstore within the store loaded with excellent selections. Last time I was there with friends, we needed multiple shopping bags.
But, if you want a true escape, try one of Angela’s Wilderness Road homes and spend the night. (new.wildernessroadguest.com )
One of many favorite parts of her novel includes “porch time”—just sitting on the porch either reading or chatting with neighbors. John and I stayed in one of the Wilderness Road homes for a little respite not too long ago. We have pictures of us drinking coffee, sitting on a porch swing, taking in the morning.
Go grab Granted, a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the Christmas season. Grab one for a friend as a Christmas gift. You’ll both be blessed!
‘Til next time!
P.S. I promised to share what’s ahead for Angela. She’s got a couple of projects in the works and when asked if this is the last time we’ll hear from the families on May Hollow Road she said, “There was a story arc I wanted to see through from the beginning and Granted does complete that. There’s room in the future to pick up other story lines from some of the characters, so it may not be the last time we hear from some of the characters, but Granted does round out the story of Annie’s return home.” Stay tuned!