Down from the Mountain

By Courtney Allen

 

My Review

From the first, I was impressed with the author’s rich descriptions in Down from the Mountain.  Normally I don’t enjoy reading a book that contains so much detail, but the vivid descriptions brought the story to life.  The author researched his subject well and depicted an Appalachian family that was hard-working, fierce, and loyal.  The story is based in Fort Mountain, a town in northern Georgia near the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Narrated by Silas McCarter, who along with his sister Clara, was orphaned at a very young age and taken in by their Uncle Troy and Aunt Bly.  They worked the land on Fort Mountain, scaping out a meager living.

The story is filled with family love, a family feud, murder, and violence.  The community pulls together to help their friend Troy Stanton.  There are racial taboos of the time and unexpected outcomes.  This book has all of this and more. The many diversions of the plot are all pulled neatly together for a satisfying end.

I recommend Down from the Mountain to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Disclaimer
I was given a copy of Down from the Mountain by the author in exchange for my honest review.
I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.

 

Blurb

Down from the Mountain is a historical fiction of a struggling Appalachian family, working and living a hand-to-mouth existence on hard and unforgiving land. In the beginning, Troy Stanton’s young niece, Clara, becomes pregnant, and there is much contention as to the father and how to manage the circumstances. When the pregnant Clara suddenly vanishes, Troy is mired in indecision and finds few answers with no one to turn to. The Stanton’s suspect foul play from someone inside the small town, but Clara’s brother, Silas, discovers the secret and must bury it from the eyes of the community for the truth is never to be told.

From the greatest desires comes the most bitter hatred, and the Stanton’s must stand their ground in order to survive in a world fraught with unjust grievances and black-hearted adversaries. The story is built as Clara embarks on a treacherous journey and brother Silas copes with living on the mountain, ultimately defending his own life, while Troy goes in search of his niece after she mysteriously disappears from their mountain home. Along the way, Clara’s fatherless, unborn child is in peril as Clara undertakes the dangerous road to another life and onto her final destination, one that she never intended arriving at in the first place. Involving matters in the region, the Stanton’s are faced with generational hatreds that refuse to die and negotiating their lives in the highlands of Appalachia becomes increasingly difficult. They are paired with many challenges and dilemmas of moral choices, life decisions, compromising situations, danger, distrust, and honor. Life in the mountains is hard and keeping his family name is first and foremost to Troy Stanton.

This story is an intriguing journey of love and struggle, even murder and death, between the will to move their lives onward and the desire to become a family once again. Turn the cover to find the opening pages compelling, the heart of the book strong, and the ending satisfying yet bittersweet. Down from the Mountain is a tasteful début novel that will fill you with wonder, entice your soul, and leave you wanting more.

Blurb is taken from Goodreads.

About the Author

Courtney Allen lives with his family in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been writing for many years and has written six other novels. Down from the Mountain is his first published book.

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Book Spotlight – Highland Peril

by Amy M. Reade

Synopsis

Trading the urban pace of Edinburgh for a tiny village overlooking a breathtaking blue loch was a great move for budding photographer Sylvie Carmichael and her artist husband, Seamus—until a dangerous crime obscures the view . . .

Sylvie’s bucolic life along the heather-covered moors of the Highlands is a world away from the hectic energy of the city. But then a London buyer is killed after purchasing a long-lost Scottish masterpiece from Seamus’s gallery—and the painting vanishes. As suspicion clouds their new life, and their relationship, Sylvie’s search for answers plunges her into an unsolved mystery dating back to Cromwellian Scotland through World War I and beyond. And as she moves closer to the truth, Sylvie is targeted by a murderer who’s after a treasure within a treasure that could rewrite history . . . and her own future.

Release Date: September 5, 2017
Available for pre-order now! Links to purchase listed below.

About the Author

Amy M. Reade is a cook, chauffeur, household CEO, doctor, laundress, maid, psychiatrist, warden, seer, teacher, and pet whisperer. In other words, a wife, mother, and recovering attorney. But she also writes (how could she not write with that last name?) and is the author of The Malice Series (The House on Candlewick Lane, Highland Peril, and Murder in Thistlecross) and three standalone books, Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of the Hanging Jade. She lives in southern New Jersey but loves to travel. Her favorite places to visit are Scotland and Hawaii and when she can’t travel she loves to read books set in far-flung locations.

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Spare Change By Bette Lee Crosby

Spare Change
Ethan Allen Doyle had a tough life. His mother was so wrapped up in herself, and his father had a mean streak. He had more on his plate than any eleven-year-old should ever have, and then, he witnessed a brutal murder. Fearing for his life, he takes off in search of his grandfather, known only to him by the Christmas cards he received.
Olivia Westerly is settled into her single life when she meets Charlie Doyle, who sweeps her off her feet. Her married life quickly takes a turn to the unexpected, and Olivia was forced into a situation that causes her to re-evaluate her life. Through various events, the most important of which is having the care of Ethan Allen forced upon her, she finds all of her preconceived notions of the kind of person she is, are no longer applicable.
SPARE CHANGE is a murder mystery. The storyline drew me in quickly with its superstitions, mystery, romance, friendship, humor, and its flawed characters that are so realistic that every reader can find them believable. The story moves quickly and is told from several different points of view. It’s about how we deal with life’s challenges and the power of love in changing who we are.
When I first started reading SPARE CHANGE, I thought I wouldn’t like it very much, but once into a few pages, I was captivated by the story, the writing style, the author’s voice, and the characters. I am amazed that so much emotion, mystery, and story is found in just 280 pages. It is a book I heartily recommend to all readers in every genre. I look forward to reading more of Bette Lee Crosby’s work.
According to Amazon, SPARE CHANGE is their number one bestselling historical mystery and the winner of five literary awards.
You can find out more about Bette Lee Crosby on these websites:

 

Her website – Bette Lee Crosby Words, Wit & Wisdom

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Buy SPARE CHANGE and Bette’s other books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, BooksAMillion, or your favorite Indie bookstore.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.