Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Baxter Road Miracle by Carlene Havel

We have a new book to share with you. NEW, as in TODAY is the official release date.
Congratulations, Carlene!


Can faith move mountains? The Youngbloods are about to find out.

 In the 1960s, Henry Youngblood is absorbed in planting a church in the growing community of Buffalo Creek, baffled by unexplained opposition from city hall. Henry’s teenaged daughter Pauline yearns for a college education, while younger sister Susan only wants to be popular. Meanwhile, Ellen Youngblood wonders how to pay the bills for her new baby, keep her daughters under control, and temper the family’s dreams with reality. It will take a miracle for the Youngblood family’s dreams to come true.


Ellen awoke to the sound of rain.  She turned off the alarm and curled into a ball.  Although she remembered the nausea that plagued her other pregnancies, this time seemed worse.  “Tell Pauline to make breakfast,” she mumbled to Henry. “I have to sleep a few more minutes.  She tried to doze, but the combination of clanging pans in the kitchen and the drizzle outside the window kept her awake.  With a sigh, she threw aside the covers, grabbed her robe, and made her way to the bathroom.
“Do you want me to cook you some eggs?” Pauline asked brightly as soon as Ellen hobbled to the table.
“No!” Ellen answered.  “No, thank you.”  She stretched out her hands and spread her fingers.  “I’ll be fine as long as I don’t eat anything.”
“How about some soda crackers?” Henry asked.
“In a little while.”  Ellen forced a smile, and nodded toward Henry.  “I’ll be all right in time.”  She put an elbow on the table and rested her forehead in her hand.  “Make sure Susan doesn’t run late. Is your room ready, Pauline?”
“All fixed up for Sunday school.  The bed is made and the folding chairs are set up.”
“Come look at the garage,” Henry said.  “You would think it was designed to hold church services.”
Ellen nodded and swallowed hard.  “In a few minutes.”
Henry stood and picked up his Bible.  “I’m going out there to go over my sermon again.”
“I sure hope some people show up,” Ellen said after Henry closed the door behind him.
“Daddy asked for ten when he said the prayer over breakfast,” Pauline said.  “There are four of us, and Grace Harper phoned for directions.  If she comes, we only need five more.  Do you want a cup of coffee?”
“I’ll get it, sweetie.  Go haul Susan out of bed and get her dressed for church.”  Ellen went to the counter and poured from the full percolator.  She sat at the table and sipped coffee, enjoying the rich aroma as much as the warm, comforting liquid.  Finally, after almost ten years, my own house again instead of a parsonage.  How much mud are people going to track onto my new carpet this morning?
Feeling slightly less queasy, Ellen made her bed.  She took a second-hand maternity outfit from the closet.  The floppy over blouse and the skirt with a stretchy panel felt comfortable—and they explained her expanding stomach.  She made one last sweep through her bedroom to make certain all of her and Henry’s personal belongings were put away.  The crib and a wooden rocking chair the Youngbloods bought when Pauline was born constituted a makeshift church nursery.  Ellen smoothed the pink and blue quilt on the back of the rocker, and breathed a prayer that ten souls would find their way to the Youngblood’s garage this morning.
The rain tapered off, and shafts of sunlight broke through the uneven cloud cover.  Henry paced back and forth, frequently looking at his watch, while Ellen sat in a folding metal chair and Pauline played a hymn on the piano. A tall young man stood on the sidewalk peering into the open garage.  “You can come on in,” Susan said, with a beckoning hand motion. “We don’t bite.”
The lad walked up the driveway, hands jammed into his jeans pockets.  “What y’all doing?”
“We’re having church.”  Susan tossed her head to flip her blonde ponytail over a shoulder.  “Do you go to Sunday school?”
“No.”  He stood at the garage entrance.  “Church? In here?”


(Excerpt from Amazon 5 Star review)
Ms. Havel is an accomplished writer who delves into the emotional background of her characters. While Henry is the force of hope in this novel, his wife and daughter’s personalities and back stories are well thought out and delivered. Baxter Road Miracle will warm your heart. I highly recommend it.

(Amazon 5 Star Review)
What can I say about this novella? Loved It! So many layers. Growing up in the 60's it was a pleasant walk down memory lane, but even more so, is the author's vivid visuals of the characters, their lives and their world. I read this in one day, simply because I really didn't want to stop until I got to the end. Bet you will as well. Kudos to Carlene Havel for sharing this story with the world.


 Carlene Havel is an award-winning writer of Christian-themed fiction. She has lived in Turkey, Republic of the Philippines, and numerous US States. After a career in human resources and software development, she began writing in 2005. The Havels live in Texas, surrounded by their extended family.


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