HOMETOWN by Wendy Rich Stetson - "A Gazebo in a Town that Time Forgot"
We're thrilled to have Wendy Rich Stetson, author of HOMETOWN, with us. She not only has a great new book out, she's also giving us a glimpse of a romantic Pennsylvania treasure.
“What a charming page turner. Wendy Rich Stetson's writing is vivid, sharp, and alive with the beauty of rural Pennsylvania and the love blossoming in Tessa's heart. I loved it. Please tell me it's a series...” —Ellyn Oaksmith, bestselling author of the Blue Hills Series
“A Gazebo in a Town that Time Forgot”
Wendy Rich Stetson
Looking for a magical spot to get engaged? Might I suggest a gazebo.
More specifically, a whimsical, Victorian gazebo ringed by wild tiger lilies in a tiny mountain town that time forgot.
Nestled in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania, Eagles Mere is a gem of a village. If you didn’t grow up in PA, you’ve likely never heard of it. Even if you did, the odds are slim. At the turn of the 20th century, Eagles Mere was a booming resort town, hugely popular among the residents of Philadelphia’s Main Line. The magnificent, Queen Anne style “cottages” lining the leafy streets are a testament to the wealth that once congregated in this summer community. And crystalline Eagles Mere Lake, dotted on sunny summer afternoons by striped sails and colorful kayaks, is a haven.
The Eagles Mere Playhouse was legendary in its day, attracting well-known actors such as Charlton Heston and Patricia Neal to tread the boards. I grew up in farm country not far away as the crow files, though the wide-open fields and rolling ridges of my hometown are nothing like the forests surrounding Eagles Mere Lake. In my early twenties, I found my way to the storied Players Cottage on Pennsylvania Avenue as a teacher and performer at the Ensemble Theatre Community School. That summer, I fell in love with the quaint historic town and its Sweet Shop ice cream parlor and quaint sandy beach, and of course, with its gazebo.
On a summer night in 1993, my then boyfriend and I lingered on the steps of that Victorian folly, gazing into the heavens and whispering plans for the future. Overhead, the sky was impossibly starry, and a lifetime unspooled before us like the sparkling, silver path of the Milky Way. Sitting at his side in the dark, I had a sudden inkling he might, out of the blue, ask me to marry him. With a heart-fluttering thrill, I realized if he did, I would say yes. But he is a New Hampshire boy and impulsive as a hunk of granite. A spur of the moment marriage proposal was not the way this particular future doctor chose to make major life decisions. But he considered it, that night under the stars. And somehow, I knew he considered it. A year later, in that very same gazebo, he got down on one knee, and with a ring that I helped pick out, he proposed.
What surprises me, as I write this post twenty-seven summers later, is that until now, I never drew the connection between that mountaintop gazebo and the gazebo that brings together the hero and heroine in my debut romance, “Hometown.” In a little town (not unlike my hometown), a tall red-haired young woman (not unlike me) finds the courage to ask a strong and silent Amish carpenter (not unlike my husband) to build a very special gazebo in her yard. He agrees, and in many ways, that gazebo brings them together. Though the gazebo in my story bears little resemblance to the one in Eagles Mere, the two structures are of one family. Call them summer houses, follies, or belvederes, gazebos exist for no other reason than to bring joy. Their mission is to beautify, delight, and inspire.
I can’t imagine a better place to begin a life together.
“With the lyricism of old-fashioned romance and the simple joy of a well told story, Hometown is filled with whimsy and longing. A perfect escape into an older world made new again, and the journey of a young woman trying to find where she belongs.” —Gabra Zackman, award-winning audiobook narrator and author of The Bod Squad Series
When Tessa's big-city plans take the A Train to disaster, she lands in her sleepy hometown, smack in the middle of the most unlikely love triangle ever to hit Pennsylvania's Amish Country.
Hot-shot Dr. Richard Bruce is bound to Green Ridge by loyalty that runs deep. Deeper still is Jonas Rishel's tie to the land and his family's Amish community. Behind the wheel of a 1979 camper van, Tessa idles at a fork in the road. Will she cruise the superhighway to the future? Or take a slow trot to the past and a mysterious society she never dreamed she'd glimpse from the inside?
“As a regular narrator of romance audiobooks, Wendy’s ranks among the best. Her wit and intelligence don’t ask us to check our brains at the door, making the journey that much more satisfying and fun. Escapist romance at its very best!” —Kirsten Potter, award-winning audiobook narrator
Wendy Rich Stetson is a New York City girl who still considers the Central Pennsylvania
countryside to be her home. She grew up road tripping in a 1979 VW camper van, and she keeps a running list of favorite roadside attractions from coast to coast. Now an author of sweet, small-town romance, Wendy is no stranger to storytelling. She’s a Broadway and television actress, an audiobook narrator, and a mom who likes nothing more than collaborating on children’s books with her teenage artist daughter. Wendy lives in Upper Manhattan with her family of three and rambunctious Maine Coon kitty.
Follow Wendy’s journey at www.wendyrichstetson.com.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: August 11, 2021
Content Rating: 2 Hearts
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