Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Caretaker's Son by Yvonne Leyman

Back Cover Blurb:

Symon Sinclair grew up in the caretaker's cottage.Now a successful writer in New York, he's returned home to Savannah to thank his mentor, Miss B, for all her support. But it's her niece Annabelle who greets him at the door. Symon remembers the little rich girl who never gave him a moment's notice. Now she's a beauty who has more depth than he'd ever imagined. As they spend time together, Symon begins to question his attitude toward life—and Annabelle.

Former beauty queen Annabelle Yarwood had her life all planned out—until she came face-to-face with the caretaker's son. Suddenly those plans seem stifling. Just as Annabelle begins letting Symon into her heart, she discovers he's been keeping a secret about his life in New York. Has their love story ended before it's even begun?

To Read an Excerpt, go here:

Chapter One

A whimper sounded from the back floorboard.

Symon Sinclair shot a glance over his shoulder. “Pipe down now.” He returned his attention to steering his black sports car along the streets lined with live oaks, dripping with garlands of Spanish moss. “This is what I came here for.”

Hearing the compliant sigh, he continued to reminisce, loud enough for the dictating machine to record his thoughts. Soon however, his mind moved from childhood to the facts of his surroundings—a city laid out in squares. He was driving along the streets of one of the largest historic districts in the nation, passing churches, mansions, monuments, well-known landmarks and perfectly manicured landscapes.

 It came close to being devastated, like Atlanta during the Civil War when General Sherman burned, looted and destroyed. Maybe this city had been too beautiful even for Sherman, who spared it.

The little snatches he knew of Savannah’s history intrigued him. He’d need to do research for his project, even though he’d grown up here. Not here, really. He’d been on the outside, looking in. He switched off the recorder he’d dictated into while driving from New York to an overnight stop at a bookstore manager’s apartment in Raleigh, and this morning on to Savannah, Georgia. The higher the sun rose in the sky and the closer he got to his exact destination, the more excited and apprehensive he became.

He hadn’t seen Miss B in four years. He’d come back two years ago but that had been to pour his dad’s cremated ashes into the creek. He hadn’t tried to see Miss B then. She probably hadn’t known he was on the property since he went to a part of the creek where he wouldn’t be visible from the house. Then he’d high-tailed it back to New York—on a jet plane.

Turning onto the property he rolled down the windows for the expected assault of springtime aroma of growing, blooming foliage. His eyes couldn’t believe the sight of the lush green lawn that looked more like a shag rug instead of a velvet carpet.

His dad would never have allowed that. He had believed in and taught Symon the secret of prevention. Do the job before it’s needed, he’d say, or you end up with twice the trouble. His dad had been talking about weeds and vines and plants.

 Symon felt a smile form. Miss B had applied that secret to him and his fertile mind. No telling what her instruction and nurture had prevented in his life.

He drove past the caretaker’s cottage down at the left of the antebellum mansion on the right with its porch on which he’d learned of his story-telling ability.

Continuing up the long drive, his glance lifted to the branches of the huge oaks laden with Spanish moss forming a canopy overhead. He needed to tell Miss B what he thought of her. When the lessons really got through to him.

When he learned which part of his life was the lie and which was the truth. Like when he was a child, the truth was always the hardest. But he had to face it or end up a pile of alcoholic ashes floating down a creek to fulfill the adage out of sight out of mind. And at age twenty-nine, this seemed the time to give it serious thought.

With hardly a glance at the house, he resisted the urge to stop, race up to the front porch and lean against the tall white column and prop a foot on the top step. Oblivious to any changes that might have occurred through the years, he parked in a clearing near the back patio, under an oak bearded with the white fringe of moss. Seeing his traveling mate eager to be released from the confines of the restrictive back seat, Symon exited the car and opened the door for Mudd to squeeze out from behind the driver’s seat.

His companion hesitated, displaying the same kind of misgiving in his eyes that Symon felt.

“Come on, boy. Everything’s all right.” The dog apparently believed him and jumped down. He sauntered away with the slight limp of his left back leg that might never heal.

Symon slammed the car door and strode down the yard, wondering if his eyes deceived him. He could not have forgotten the location of what should be in front of him, halfway between the brick patio and the wooded area.

He stopped in his tracks. Where was the cherry tree?

The feeling was like looking at his dream becoming a glazed-over stump, dying. Being kicked in the gully and dirt thrown in on top of him. Or being knocked down and spit on.

 If that didn’t beat all…

“Who cut down the cherry tree?”

“I think it’s a well-known fact George Washington did it.”

That didn’t sound like Miss B. Symon turned quickly having no idea anyone was around.

That didn’t look like Miss B either.

  Standing about three feet from him on the wide green lawn made for croquet was the prettiest just-ripe Georgia peach he’d seen in a long time, if ever.

Not only did her soft southern drawl indicate it, but the way she complimented her mid-thigh white shorts and red tank top. Her dark brown hair, golden-touched by the sun, was bound into a thick tress that fell over one shoulder down along the strap of her top. Her lifted chin and steady gaze made him feel like she’d caught him with his foot stuck in a picket fence.

That reminded him of Miss B, along with the unusual color of what his dad said were amethyst eyes. He’d thought that was a cuss word until years later he learned it was a color—still wasn’t sure he could spell it--somewhere between blue, purple, or violet. He thought hers might be a wee bit lighter than Miss B’s. And not at all as inhibiting, despite her effort.

She was sweet tea and apple pie all rolled up into one, standing there in the warm sunny humid afternoon that was worth a little sweat.

 But Southern girls didn’t sweat. They just got dewy. That’s what he learned from Miss B a long time ago. Such thoughts had lain dormant for awhile. Now they were pushing and shoving to get out.

Amethyst eyes kept gazing at him, waiting for him to comment on George Washington, he reckoned. In New York, he’d suppose, but being back in Georgia made him reckon.

Forcing his mind from the Georgia peach to the cherry tree stump wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but his livelihood depended upon it. He held out his hand to the stump. “This ruins everything.”

“Well it’s gone, mister. And I think that might be a good idea for you too, unless you have a reason for being here.”

To buy her books, go here:

Author Bio: 
Yvonne is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 3,000,000 books in print,
who founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, is now director of the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat. She mentors for the Christian Writers Guild. She earned a Master’s Degree in English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level. Her latest releases include eight ebooks for Barbour’s Truly Yours line, A Knight to Remember (Heartsong), Let it Snow (Harlequin/Heartsong, February 2013), and a Harlequin/Heartsong series set in Savannah GA (The Caretaker’s Son, Lessons in Love, The Pirate and the Priest, April, August, & November 2013). Her 50th novel was Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the Titanic (Abingdon – March 2012)

To connect with Yvonne, go here:

Yvonne is giving away a copy of The Caretaker's Son. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.  To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


Anonymous said...

3 million is a big number. WOW! I would love to win this book but only if I can get it in Print. I don't do e-books. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

cjajsmommy said...

Well that was a fun excerpt to read! I'd like to win this book. djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

ann said...

Thats alot of books . This one sounds like a good read for me . thanks

apple blossom said...

thanks for chance to win this love inspired book

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Erin said...

This book sounds really good! I was wanting to read more just after reading the back cover blurb! I will be adding this to my to-read-list and will most definitely be looking into this author's other books. Thanks for introducing me to a new author!

emstclair {at} gmail {dot} com

Patricia Bradley said...

The excerpt was a little too good. I went ahead and bought it, so don't enter me in the contest. Great interview!

Cindi A said...

I loved the exert from the book. It really made me want to read more. I hope to be the winner. Ü


Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a wonderful story. I look forward to reading it.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Joy Hannabass said...

Wonderful review, thanks for the posts ladies!!

sm said...

I like the story of your book, THE CARETAKER'S SON, where he returns home to find a young lady who he knew as a child. Now, she looks good to him. a good story. sharon, ca

Merry said...

I enjoyed the peek at The Caretaker's Son, please include me in the drawing. Thanks!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Cheri Swalwell said...

Thanks for this opportunity.


In Him,

Cheri :)

Teela said...

whet my appetite for The Caretaker's Son, thanks, Yvonne (I see your name in other places spelled Lyvonne...which one??) Thanks, and I hope to win your book, teelayoung at hotmail dot com

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