ISBN: 9781629945453 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781631222344 (ebook)
ASIN: B00IX0D2KY (Kindle edition)
Publication date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Mae Randolph has been in a downward spiral since the death of her mother a year ago. Placed in an abusive foster care situation, she took to the streets, and soon landed in more trouble than she experienced sleeping under a bridge. Caught robbing a gas station with her boyfriend Gabe, she accepts a compassionate judge's sentence to a year on the Nebraska farm of the grandmother she didn't know she had: Lila Mae Randolph.
Even though she'll avoid the juvenile detention center, Sophie is none too happy at first, disliking everything from the smell of the chicken coop to the fact that she must do chores and attend church. Eventually, however, she settles into farm life and opens up to the love offered her there. With a dog named Hunner by her side, she explores the pond and plants a garden, and in high school, she meets a new boyfriend named Blake. Along the way, she discovers that Lila harbors her own secrets. Why is Lila silent about the Gerard family when she drives past their farm? What are the mean-spirited church ladies holding against her? Before she leaves the farm, Sophie hopes to discover the answers to these questions.
In the meantime, she excitedly accepts Blake's invitation to the prom, and they attend the long-awaited event. But when he brings her home, they find Lila beaten and bruised on the porch, and when Blake goes to call for help, he fails to come back. The past invades the present in the form of Gabe, who reappears and beats Sophie, leaving her for dead on the porch with her grandmother. Then he retreats into the house in a drunken stupor.
As they console each other through the night, Sophie and Lila share their deepest secrets, and the mysteries of the farm are revealed to Sophie. Unlocking their secrets frees both of them.
Help arrives in the morning, as the past again meets the present. This time it is Lila's past, in the form of her previous love Charles Gerard, whose story Sophie now knows.
Police and paramedics are summoned, and Blake is found injured but alive, but as they learn later, Hunner did not make it through the night. Before Gabe is taken away by the police, Sophie—feeling peaceful and finally free from her past—tells him she forgives him. No longer stuck, she is ready to move forward.
In the ensuing years, Sophie and Blake attend college, marry, and have a daughter, Lilly Mae. Lila and Charles also marry, and he helps her fulfill her lifelong wish to own her own bakery. Eventually, he succumbs to cancer, and Lila soon follows him in death. Sophie and Blake scatter their ashes at the pond, as they had wished.
Afterward, Sophie returns to the farm, where she walks from room to room, reliving their lives together. She finds a note addressed to her from Lila, telling her that while Sophie was searching for healing and peace on the farm, Lila found her own healing and peace. Sophie also discovers the necklace Charles gave Lila for her birthday, along with his love letters, which Lila gives Sophie permission to share with others. Love transformed not only Sophie, but Lila as well...
About the Author
Sue Ann Sellon was born in Nebraska City, Nebraska, nationally recognized as the birthplace of Arbor Day. Writing poetry and short stories came to her naturally as a young girl lying beneath the large oak trees near the Arbor Lodge Mansion. She recalls these memories as some of the best of her childhood. You may still find her there from time to time resting in a cool spot on a blanket with her fingers tapping away on the keys of her laptop.
Married to her husband and best friend, Dr. Paul Sellon, together they share a love and interest in their historical home and a taste for cooking. Sue Ann previously owned her own restaurant, as well as a fashion franchise. Creative by nature, she also loves painting, decorating, and restoring vintage furniture. She refers to herself as an expert in the arena of estate auctions and garage sales. However, she remains loyal to her first love...writing.
Secrets of the Porch, an inspirational romance, is Sue Ann's second novel. Her first novel, Carly's Calling, was released in 2003. Sue Ann hopes to write many more stories that speak to the power of faith and the endurance of the human spirit.
Sue Ann is currently engrossed in two writing projects. Her next novel, Blue Skies, Wheat Fields & God is underway as well as her first stab at writing a comical screenplay titled, "It's Over at 50."