Yummy recipes, book reviews, memories and thoughts on life and writing.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Haunts Haven by Joan Sowards
I was anxious to read Haunts Haven by Joan Sowards, and finally obtained a signed copy of her book. By the first page I knew it would be a fun story. Let me fill you in on a few of the highlights:
Callie Wilford inherits an old adobe inn located in a nearly abandoned town in southern AZ. After teaching school for five years, and after the death of her mother, she’s ready for a change and decides to move there from Phoenix in order to fix the place up and open her own bed and breakfast.
On her first day at the inn, Callie meets a handsome and mysterious neighbor—James Cassady. He’s the friendly sort who always shows up to make sure she’s ok. It doesn’t take Callie very long to feel an unusual chemistry between them and reconsider her guarded feelings toward men in general.
When everyone in town has a story to tell about the inn—and its ghost, Callie begins feeling a bit jealous that the spirit doesn’t show himself to her. Although Callie puts on a brave front about her newly acquired haunted home, she’s grateful for the regular companionship of James, and another new friend, Lizzie, who is staying temporarily with Callie.
Callie’s friend, Adam comes to town to help, and Callie also meets another Cassady named Clay. For a moment the reader wonders just which nice guy she’ll end up with.
The reader knows right away who the ghost is, and that’s part of the fun of this book—we know who the ghost is, but Callie doesn’t. When Callie does discover the ghost’s identity, she feels foolish and has a hard time confessing her error to her friends. One of my favorite lines from the book: “Although she hadn’t had to think about it before, mortality had become an important quality in a man.”
Callie’s friendship with the ghost doesn’t make her immune to his expertly chilling haunting skills. And, when Callie discovers there’s a grave in the cellar and decides to have it removed, she also discovers that her resident ghost has a temper. He vows to cause problems if anyone steps near it. Callie will not be bullied, even by a ghost—she wants the remains moved ASAP.
During all the fun with the ghost, there are plenty of plot twists to keep the reader entertained, and there are also plenty of happily-ever-afters among the main characters—including a tender moment at the end when the ghost is finally reunited with his long-deceased wife.