Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 13, 2013

The Spotlight

By Julie Obermiller
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Long winters provide the perfect backdrop for reading, and there will be many books under the Christmas tree. For lovers of period fiction and an eye for mysteries, a new trilogy by a local author might be a perfect fit.

Author Grace Richardson — a pseudonym — does not want you to know who she is. “After the trilogy was complete, I decided to use a pen name because I wanted to publish them in anonymity. I want people to read and enjoy them without thought as to who wrote them,” she said.

Raising a family with strong Christian values, Richardson knows it is hard to find books and entertainment that are not full of violence, sex and sensationalism to make money. As a voracious reader herself, Richardson wanted to share her story with other discerning book-lovers. All the book reveals about the author is that she lives in Somerset with her family.

The trilogy begins with “The Journal.”

“The story is about a modern woman who is given the diary of a young woman who lived in 1880. The books go back and forth between the modern woman’s life and the journal she is reading,” Richardson said.

The series continues with “Blessings” and “Legacy,” also available now.

Published by Westbow Press, The Journal’s synopsis offers, “Caroline Porter was a beautiful young woman who lived in an average town during the early 1880s. Her life, on the other hand, was anything but ordinary. Over one hundred years later, Kathleen Robertson is a successful bank executive whose life gets turned upside down when a handsome stranger gives her Caroline’s antique journal to read.

“From the first page, the journal comes alive as Kathleen finds herself enraptured with the details of Caroline Porter’s life. She reads about Caroline’s courtship with a cold-hearted man; the strong, undeniable pull she feels toward his younger brother; and her unintentional involvement in a murder mystery. As she reads, Kathleen’s belief that unexpected miracles can happen when you follow the Lord’s leading is reaffirmed.

“Come along as the lives of these two strong Christian women intertwine. For Kathleen, life will never be the same.”

Said the author, “I hope this story is so engrossing that the reader will come to care for these fictional characters. It is my hope that after the first few chapters, the reader will find themselves immersed in the story.”

Early reviewers shared their thoughts on the books. “A beautifully written series. I was so involved with the characters, I felt like I knew them personally, devouring each line and page until the very exciting end!” —Janet R., Newfane. “...an intricate saga with fascinating characters. The subplots are woven like a fine tapestry ... a definite page turner.” —Sharon S., Middleport. “...engrossing...an excellent read. I couldn’t put the series down. I would recommend these books to anyone.”— Genevieve K., Buffalo.

And since I read the books myself, here is my review:

As an avid reader myself, I was invited to read the manuscripts along the way and was so intent on the story that I continued through all three books in a matter of days.

There are so many vivid characters and side stories, and I was drawn in to their lives and emotions, wanting to unwrap their story page by page, like a beautiful present. The multi-dimensional plot and setting, the parallel of lives a century apart, transport the reader on an amazing journey. The book presents more than one thrilling mystery and breath-holding suspense and spans genres. It is a love story without the gratuitous bodice-ripping.

A story of faith, it shares the quandaries faced throughout time, the age-old questions about honor, duty, relationships and rewards, but does not preach or proselytize. I was personally hoping for a pre-Christmas launch because it is the perfect gift for book-lovers who would enjoy it’s subtle complexity and brilliant strokes of imagery.

Yes, I do know the author’s identity, but the secret is safe with me.

The Providence Series is available in hard-cover and soft, as well as e-book editions; individually or as a set. Beginning today, the books can be ordered from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and on eBay. For local readers, the soft-cover editions will be available at Thee Barker Store and Gordy Harper’s Bazaar, Booth No. 9, beginning this weekend, at a cost of $15 for book one and $20 for books two and three (the set can be purchased locally for $50). Author-signed copies will be available by request at Thee Barker Store only. Ebooks are available for under $5. The Providence Series will soon be in Christian book stores.