#TTWIBRAT Guest Post: Limestone, Mystery, and Love by Angela Correll + #giveaway

This guest post is part of this year's Travel the World in Books Readathon which challenges us to read books set in countries other than our own. Today, I have author Angela Correll who combines the love of her hometown in Kentucky, US with that of Italy! Read on and don't forget to join the amazing giveaway! Welcome Angela!

Limestone, Mystery, and Love by Angela Correll, author of Guarded

Photo by Jason McKinley
Guarded opens with former New York City flight attendant Annie Taylor adjusting to farm life. Like so many Kentucky-born youth, she left for the big city as soon as she was of age, only to be drawn back to the Bluegrass ten years down the road, as if some great magnet were buried under the limestone rock.

Photo by Jason McKinley
The theory isn’t too far fetched. Limestone does seem to have certain powers; it’s credited with making the water perfect for the distillation of the finest bourbon in the world, and it nourishes Kentucky’s famed thoroughbred foals, giving them strong bones to race hard and fast.

As Kentucky was settled 250 years ago, the wilderness was cleared and limestone rocks were hauled from fields and dry-laid to make fencerows. At times, the rock was used to make federal-style houses.

It’s just such a house on her grandmother’s farm that now concerns Annie.

After a fire seriously damages the house the summer before (for more on that story read Grounded), Annie’s grandmother, Beulah, is unable to finance its restoration and considers tearing the house down. For all her love of heritage and farm, Beulah is ultimately a frugal realist, and there seems to be no other way out.

Annie connects with the house in a much deeper way, though. It’s where she lived with her mother in the happy days before her mother’s illness. The house was built by her ancestors in pioneer days and has been in her family for generations. After losing so much, it becomes the thing she cannot lose.

As Annie works to save the old stone house, she finds letters from World War II hidden away beneath a floorboard. The letters reveal a strange Italian connection to her family that Annie feels compelled to investigate.

Photo by Jason McKinley

Italy is one of my husband’s and my favorite places to be, other than our farm here in Kentucky. As I think about it, maybe it has to do with the stone. The use of stonework in Italy inspires us to do more with our limestone here in Kentucky. We always come home with a desire to build another rock wall downtown, where our business are located, or add some flagstone steps to our garden. The medieval hilltop villages that feature the use of well placed stone over hundreds of years speak to the great virtue of excellence in work. Do it well the first time and it will endure the ravages of time.

Limestone and mystery--now to love.

Annie’s boyfriend, Jake, is working hard on the farm to implement sustainable farming on the land next door. Winter is coming and there is much to do to prepare the pastures, set up fencing, and put up enough hay to get the animals through the cold weather.

After being childhood friends, then away from each other for ten years, Annie and Jake have only just discovered their growing love for one another. It’s a miracle, too good to be true, Annie thinks. And maybe it is. As she finds herself trying to take a step forward, up comes a new fear from her childhood, pressed down and put away but bubbling up at just the wrong time.

A trip to Italy in the hopes of solving the family mystery serves as a distraction while Annie sorts out her feelings. While she’s gone, a little of Italy comes to Kentucky in the form of an unwelcome houseguest for Beulah, turning her farmhouse upside down.

In the end, Annie must face the age-old question head on--will she let the past ruin her future?

About Guarded by Angela Correll: FORMER NEW YORK CITY flight attendant Annie Taylor is adjusting to farm life when her grandmother considers tearing down the old stone house, unable to finance a restoration after a summer fire.

Annie’s boyfriend, Jake, has severed his corporate life in Cincinnati and is jumping headlong into sustainable farming on the land next door. Their new relationship is wonderful—but can it last? As they take steps forward, her paralyzing fear of abandonment threatens to destroy her trust in Jake.

As Annie works to save the old stone house, she finds letters written during World War II that reveal a family mystery and an Italian connection. Her grandmother is hesitant to uncover the secret, afraid of what it might mean to her family’s name if they discover the truth.

Comments from a nosy neighbor solidify Annie’s fears about herself and when Beulah agrees for Annie to travel to Italy to uncover the truth about her family, Annie is happy for the time away to sort out her feelings. In the meantime, Beulah is left with an unexpected Italian-Catholic houseguest who wreaks havoc with Beulah’s Baptist ways and country routine.

As the family mystery unfolds in Italy, Annie is forced to face her own past. Will she let history sabotage the future?

About Angela Correll

Angela Correll lives on a farm in Central Kentucky with her husband and an assortment of grass-fed cattle, horses, goats and chickens. Correll owns a retail shop and is co-owner of a farm-to-table restaurant. Her debut novel, Grounded, was an Amazon bestseller.

Visit her website at www.angelacorrell.com

Connect with Angela on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Giveaway Time!

You could win these! (US/Can only)

Plainview Farm four-piece sampler from Kentucky Soaps and Such, Angela Correll’s store.
(Includes goat milk luxury bar with Shea butter, goat milk cream, goat milk hand soap and a sugar scrub, in assorted scents. )
A copy of Guarded when it releases on December 1. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Image courtesy of potowizard at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall