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Somewhere The Bells Ring by Beth Trissel

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    Caught with pot in her dorm room, Bailey Randolph is exiled to a relative's ancestral home in Virginia to straighten herself out. Banishment to Maple Hill is dismal, until a ghost appears requesting her help. Bailey is frightened but intrigued. Then her girlhood crush, Eric Burke, arrives and suddenly Maple Hill isn't so bad.

    To Eric, wounded in Vietnam, his military career shattered, this homecoming feels no less like exile. But when he finds Bailey at Maple Hill, her fairy-like beauty gives him reason to hope--until she tells him about the ghost haunting the house. Then he wonders if her one experiment with pot has made her crazy.

    As Bailey and Eric draw closer, he agrees to help her find a long-forgotten Christmas gift the ghost wants. But will the magic of Christmas be enough to make Eric believe--in Bailey and the ghost--before the Christmas bells ring?

    Christmas
    Rating: Sweet
    Page Count: 100
    Word Count: 24317

    Excerpt:

    “Bailey.” He spoke softly, so as not to startle her.

    She turned toward him. In her long, white nightgown, hair tumbled down around her, wearing that lost look, she bore an unnerving resemblance to the mysterious woman in Wilkie Collins’ classic mystery, The Woman in White. Eric fervently hoped the similarity ended there. As he recalled from the novel, that unfortunate lady had been unhinged.

    Leaving the door ajar, he stepped inside. “We missed you at breakfast.”

    She answered distractedly. “I wasn’t hungry.”

    He limped to where she stood, the hitch in his leg a little less pronounced today. Maybe he was getting stronger. “Why are you here, looking for ghosts?”

    “Or a door to the past.”

    He tried to coax a smile to her trembling lips. “Did you check inside the wardrobe?”

    “Eric, I’m being serious.”

    “That’s what worries me.” Leaning on his cane with one arm, he closed his other around her shoulders and drew her against him. Such a natural act, and she accepted his embrace without pulling back. She smelled of flowers from her perfume and wood smoke. “Mercy, child,” he said in his best imitation of Ella, “it’s as cold as a tomb in here.”

    “It wasn’t last night.”

Reviews

Grade 
01/12/2013

Review

Ms. Trissel has penned an instant classic. This will be part of my Christmas reading from now on. Bailey and Eric are wonderful characters and I love them. The writing is poetic and the setting is exquisite. The beauty of Virginia and the rightness of the romance are present in every line of the tale.

    Grade 
    05/16/2012

    Review

    Review by Robin at Romancing the Book.

    Ms. Trissel captivates her reader from the moment you start reading the first page. She has written a compelling love story that spans some fifty plus years and keeps you entertained every step of the way with the story within a story.

    The year is 1968 and we find that Christmas is almost upon us. Bailey Randall finds herself sent to recoup in Virginia at Maple Hill. All because she messed up in collage by experimenting with pot and was found with a young man in room. So after being chastised by the dean and her father off she goes to stay with Meg at Maple Hill.

    There is a quirky but very loving bunch of people that you instantly fall in love with at Maple Hill. Meg, who just happens to be every ones dotty old aunt; along with Ella, the cook/housekeeper/keeper of secrets, reminds you of the old cooks in all those black and white movies. She knows more than she should but keeps secrets when needed.

    Although they are deeply involved in the story it isn’t about them. Instead it is about Bailey and Eric.

    Bailey while out walking the dog sees something in one of the rooms that hasn’t been used in a long time. Because she smoked pot everyone says it is just her imagination.

    Meanwhile an old friend comes home from the Vietnam War. Eric notices how much Bailey has grown up; he finds he is very attracted to her.

    Bailey decides to go investigate and finds herself face to face with the ghost of Edwards’s grandfather who tells her of never having been able to say good-bye to his beloved Claire at Christmas. She finds out about the present and how he comes back every year until the bells ring Christmas Eve.

    Bailey decides it is her job to help Edward find the present so that he can then move on. She enlists the help of Eric and his hippie cousin Tucker.

    Not wanting to spoil anything I will leave it there. You will have to read this wonderful story and find out what happens between Bailey and Eric.

    I fell in love with Ms. Trissel’s characters and look forward to the next delightful story ready with Kleenex box in hand. A must read for every romance fan.

      Grade 
      11/09/2011

      Review

      This book is set in 1968 in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.Bailey Randolph has been sent to Maple Hill, a beautiful old home to convalesce and reflects, according to her family, over the trouble she found herself in at college.It was just one little incident but her family has blown it all out of proportion. That is ok tho because Bailey loves it at Maple Hill, always has.As she strolls across the meadow, a few days from Christmas with Captain, the dog, she see a movement in a window, to a room, that has been closed off for years. Could Old John be moving furniture while the housekeeper Ella cleans? What unfolds in this book for Bailey is a wonderful story. The people she meets and the story that unfolds within this story is wonderful. I highly recommend this to everyone. You too will fall in love with these characters and not want the story to end. So come along, meet Eric , Edward and Claire and cousin Tucker who is quite the character as well. Hear their story, go along on the adventure and truly enjoy a wonderful book.

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        Somewhere The Bells Ring

        Somewhere The Bells Ring