Standing on Stolen Ground has just been released, and I'm so excited. Please read my excerpts and if you like it, follow the link to purchase. This is an important book to me because it's based on stories my mother told me about my family in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. A reader on Goodreads said this about the book:
1934 in the mountains of Virginia is a hard time. It is even harder for two people who come together, for different reasons, during a time of great upheaval in the area.
Lila Bruce has always loved Joe Jennings from afar, but he was her best friends husband and off limits. Finding herself in the impossible situation of being asked to step in as second wife and surrogate mother when Joe's beloved wife dies, the "old maid" in Lila (as she's known throughout the county) agrees to a marriage of convenience that she secretly hopes will one day turn into a real marriage. A marriage where Joe will love her for herself and not for what she can do for him. She's thrilled when the passion between them flares scorching hot from the very beginning but is devastated one night to hear Joe, in the throes of passion, call her by his dead wife's name.
"Joe himself is torn apart inside. His beloved wife is dead, he has a baby to care for and the woman he has married for convenience sake is starting to occupy his thoughts more than he is comfortable with. He feels like he is betraying his wife yet Lila brings out emotions and feelings in him he never felt before.
There is also an intriguing mystery that backdrops the burgeoning romance between Lila and Joe, culminating in a brutal and violent outcome for everyone involved.
This debut novel is gritty and highly emotional and above all - realistic. I like that the author didn't play down Lila's emotions or chalk them up to her being an "old maid" and not knowing any better. I also like the realism depicted in the story. These were hard times, on the cusp of a new era in America's history, and set in a region that even today has a high concentration of poor and downtrodden - Appalachia.
If you're a fan of novels set in the early years of the 20th century, I would definitely recommend this one to you to try."