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by Angela Correll
New York City flight attendant Annie Taylor is grounded, putting a halt to weekends in Rome and her jet-setting lifestyle. Soon her noncommittal boyfriend’s true nature is revealed, and to top it all off, she loses her apartment. With nowhere else to go, Annie leaves the city for the family farm in Kentucky, a place she’s avoided for years. She finds a shotgun wielding grandmother, a farm in disrepair, and a suspicious stranger renting the old stone house.
The country quiet haunts Annie with reminders of a past that can’t be changed. She tries persuading her grandmother to sell the farm, but is met with stubborn refusal? Yet in the midst of her crashing life, Annie sees a glimmer of hope for a second chance. Jake Wilder is contemplating jumping off the corporate ladder to follow his passion for sustainable farming. He’s almost ready to propose to Camille, a girl who wants more, not less. Annie believes Jake is about to make a terrible mistake, but does she have the right to tell him?
As the summer heats up, so do Annie’s unexpected feelings for Jake and her interest in the land. When a sudden phone call comes from New York, Annie is forced to choose between coming to terms with her past or leaving it all behind.
Distributor: Ingram Publisher Services
Pub Date : 10/01/2013
Price : $16.95 USD / $17.95 CAD
ISBN: 978 1 938467 56 1
Trim : 6×9
Format : Trade Paper
Pages : 290
BISAC Code Category:
KEY SELLING POINTS
1. Covers the growing popularity of sustainable agriculture.
2. Author is highly connected in the Kentucky local food movement, owns a restaurant and a shop specializing in goat-milk products
3. Cross-over marketing to secular and Christian audiences.
4. Includes study guide for book clubs.
5. Resonates with current economic times.
Women’s fiction readers • Christian fiction readers • Southern literature readers
Local and organic food enthusiasts • Sustainable farming advocates
Angela Correll is a seventh generation Kentuckian. She has written over fifty columns for local newspapers about life, family, and farming and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Kentucky in Library Science. She owns a shop on Main Street in Stanford, KY, selling handcrafted goat milk soap and other local products. Angela and her husband Jess are partners in the Bluebird, a farm to table restaurant, promoting food produced in a humane, sustainable and natural way. She combines her passion for hospitality and historic preservation by renovating historic homes into guesthouses. She lives on a farm with her husband, Jess, and an assortment of cattle, horses, goats and chickens. This is her first novel.
Annie couldn’t wait to get home. Up from the subway station and into a downpour, she wrestled a book out of the black leather handbag and used it to cover her head. The book made a poor umbrella, but with her other hand dragging luggage, it was the best she could do. Maybe getting soaked would at least wash the red stain off her khaki skirt.
Good rain, good rain. It was something her grandfather used to say years ago on the farm. Annie could see him in her mind, standing at the window of the farmhouse, a contented smile on his face and pipe smoke curling around his white head. But that was when rain was vital to food and income. Now it was a messy inconvenience.
The weather delayed their landing in New York and added to an already difficult flight. The crew had celebrated her birthday the night before, and she’d had too much wine. A dull headache lingered into the first few hours and then there was the businessman from New Jersey who could not be pleased. As soon as she brought him a newspaper, he wanted a drink. Then he wanted another newspaper and on and on it went. A bossy teenager flying alone complained about the music selection, all the while going through three headsets to find the one with the best sound. What was a teenager doing in first class anyway? And what happened to the iPods that seemed to sprout on every teenager’s body like an appendage at thirteen?
The apartment building in sight, Annie ran the last few yards, her feet bitterly complaining in the high heels. Under the stoop, she unlocked the door and stumbled over the threshold with her luggage.
The air was thick with the rich scent of curry. She hoped it was coming from the Agarwals and not from her apartment. Stuart had said her hair smelled like the Kashmir Indian Restaurant when they’d gone out last week.
Nearly to the door, her luggage caught on the grate in the floor, jerking her backward. When she reached down to dislodge the wheel, her purse fell, scattering phone, hairbrush and lipstick across the floor.
Snatching up the errant items, Annie nearly stuffed her phone back into her bag before seeing a text from Stuart.
“Running late today…meet me at the apartment?”
She rubbed her temple, working it to release the tension. The last thing she wanted to do was go back out in the rain and ride the subway uptown.
“Annie, you are home!” Prema smiled, her warm dark eyes alight with excitement when Annie finally struggled through the door. “Oh, what happened to your skirt?”
“Tomato juice. We had a little turbulence and a passenger who had too many drinks. It could have been worse.”
“Yes, like my flight to Delhi a few weeks ago. A child threw up on me! It was most unpleasant.”
Amused at the understatement, Annie hid her grin since Prema was entirely serious.
“You’re cooking,” Annie said.
“Yes. I invited Jatindre to come for dinner. He sounded so sad, all alone.” The gold hoops in her ears swung as she moved from the living area to the kitchen, the scarf of her purple sari flowing behind her.
“And you’re in traditional dress,” Annie said. “Why do I think this is more than just a ‘welcome to New York?’”
“I am doing as my father asked of me. But this friend of my father’s is newly arrived. I don’t want to shock him with my American style clothing. Can you have dinner with us?”
Annie tossed the book she had used for an umbrella on the side table and picked up her mail. “I’m going out with Stuart, thanks.”
“There will be leftovers, I’m sure.” Prema pointed to the chalkboard hanging next to the door. “Kate and Evie are gone through Tuesday. Whatever is left is yours. I leave tomorrow for Delhi.”
In an apartment of four flight attendants, the chalkboard was the only way to keep up with who was coming or going. Days of the week were listed at the top. To the side each girl’s name was written. An “X” meant you were out that day and night. A small “x” meant you were out part of the day. It helped with planning for social activities.
Four women in a three bedroom apartment had worked out well for the most part, since it was rare for them to all be home at the same time. Annie had the master bedroom, Prema had her own room and the two younger flight attendants Kate and Evie, shared another bedroom. Annie earned the larger bedroom by being in the apartment the longest, as several roommates had come and gone after getting married, or transferring to another city.
Annie tossed the mail on her bed and stripped off her TransAir uniform before stuffing it in the dry cleaning bag that hung from a hook in her closet.
The hot shower enveloped her in warmth, washing off the grime of an overseas flight. Her aching head felt as if a bowl of cotton were stuffed into her sinus passages. Breathing deeply of the moist heat, she could feel the pressure in her head easing and with it, her body relaxed.
She had snapped at two passengers today and that was after biting her lower lip so much it was now as raw as sandpaper. For a couple of weeks she had been on edge, as if a black cloud of foreboding had settled on her. Annie knew it was based in the news reports that kept coming out about the airline’s financial crisis. She had tried to shake it off, but the paralyzing fear of losing her job was at the heart of it.
The water massaged her skin like a thousand small fingers and she tried practicing the deep breathing exercises she had learned in exercise class. After several deep breaths, she felt somewhat more relaxed and pried herself from the water cocoon. Annie wrapped a towel around her body and leaned in close to the mirror. She peered at the lines around her eyes to see if they had gotten deeper since she turned thirty-two. Digging eye cream from one of her toiletry bags, she dabbed a bit in each corner before putting on her make-up then drying her dark, shoulder-length hair.
Dressed and left with some extra time, she sat to read through her mail. Bills, junk mail, a letter from the airline, and a letter from her grandmother.
“Bad news first,” she said to herself and opened the envelope from the airline. It was a letter from the CEO updating the employees on the attempts by another airline to take over the company. Nearly the same as the letter that arrived a month ago: “We are trying to fight the takeover. We want to continue to provide the routes and services we’ve been providing since 1969…please be patient as we work through this with our shareholders…” She threw it in the trash.
They had to work it out. Other airlines had cut services or even cut pay, but they would continue until the company grew healthier. With full passenger loads on most flights, how could they not make it work?
She reached for the envelope from Kentucky.
We sure do miss you around here. Your short visit at Christmas was not enough. Do try to come this spring and stay awhile. We look for a wet spring, which we need after last year’s dry summer.
There is a new single preacher in town. Evelyn met him in the meat section of the Kroger and invited him to eat lunch with us on the Sundays he doesn’t have an invitation from his congregation. Mary Beth White’s divorce is final and she’s been taking lunch with us on Sundays. She was so pitiful after her husband ran off and left her with those two young children. Evelyn thinks she and the new preacher might be a match, but I don’t know if his church will let their preacher marry a divorced woman.
I’m thinking about painting the house, but the Millers moved out of the stone house and I hate to take on a new expense with less money coming in. Maybe if I can find a good renter, I’ll do it.
Jake was promoted again by that big bank up in Cincinatta and Evelyn says he’s getting right serious with a girl from up there.
Joe and Betty Gibson have a new grandbaby. It’s a little girl called Frances Grace. You know people are going for the old fashioned names nowadays, but I’ve yet to hear of someone naming their child Beulah.
P.S. Don’t forget we have a new area code now. We got new addresses five years ago for the EMS. Why they can’t leave well enough alone, I don’t know.