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Sarah's Home by Vicky Whedbee is a Fall Into These Great Reads pick #historicalfiction #giveaway

Title: Sarah's Home

Author: Vicky Whedbee

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Blurb:

The story of those you came to know and love in Sarah's Song continues in rural Appalachia, Hurricane Hollow, Tennessee, in 1956!

After learning of the horrific abuse her adopted son endured during his childhood with nowhere to escape to, and then losing her best friend to more senseless violence, Millicent Thornton embarks on a journey to provide a safe haven for anyone that needs it. She builds Sarah's Home in honor of her late friend, bringing her dream to fruition, however, it isn't long before she realizes she has seriously underestimated the need of such a facility. Nor could she ever have imagined that her life and the lives of those closest to her would be turned upside down with the arrival of the first few occupants, and changed forevermore when the identity of another patient is learned!


The next morning after Tommy and Evelyn had gone, Samuel was sitting on the porch contemplating his discussion with Chalmer the previous morning. He’d absolutely hated admitting he was getting old. The more he thought about it, the more he was determined not to go down without a fight. He could either sit around and let Father Time have his way, or he could get out to that garden and show him that he wasn’t a quitter. It was time he started practicing what he preached, and the best place to find a helping hand was at the end of his own arm. Yep, he’d been acting like he was a nickel short of a penny’s worth of sense, and he needed to fix that right now. And that was exactly what he was going to do, just as soon as he finished his cup of coffee and had a nap.


He awoke feeling invigorated. Or, at least better. Invigorated was stretching it. He slipped his shoes on and grabbed his cane. He was going to go out there and show this garden who was boss. On the way, he couldn’t help but think of Chalmer again. After all, it was Chalmer that was ultimately responsible for making him see he needed to change his ways if he was expecting to hang around for any length of time.

As he approached the small garden, he noticed right away a startling difference from the prior morning. Where before the row of wilted onions were bowing their final farewell, there was now a row of luscious green onions standing majestically proud, reaching for the sky. It couldn’t be! Samuel was dumbstruck. “What in tarnation?” he mumbled to himself, walking down the row trying to figure out what had happened. He glanced across the rest of the garden, still as sad as droopy as it had been the day before.

Had Tommy put some fertilizer on the onions and not mentioned it? No. That couldn’t be it. Fertilizer wouldn’t have helped those onions. Besides why wouldn’t he have done the whole gar—he stopped when an image of Chalmer flashed through his mind. Then he recalled how pensive he’d seemed after they’d visited the garden yesterday.

He went to his truck and drove to the Thornton’s.

Virgil saw him pull up and went to see if everything was okay. It was unusual for Samuel to show up out of the blue. Samuel was stepping out of the truck as Virgil approached.

“Samuel! Good to see you! Everything all right?” he asked, concern lacing his tone.

“Good, g-good,” Samuel said right away, putting Virgil’s mind at ease. “I’s jes wondrin’ if’n ya had a minute?”

“Why sure, Samuel, anytime, you know that,” Virgil avowed, his curiosity rising.

Samuel nodded toward the garden that supplemented both the Thornton’s and Sarah’s Home’s supper tables. “Ya recken we c-could take a g-gander at the garden over there?” he asked, giving Virgil no clue as to where this conversation was headed.

Virgil indicated they could, and they headed that direction.

Glancing around, Samuel asked nonchalantly, “Where’s Chalmer?”

Thinking nothing of it at first, Virgil replied, “Oh, he’s in the barn with Faith and Adohy, mucking the stalls.” Then he began to wonder if this out of the ordinary social call had anything to do with Chalmer. “Did he come for breakfast again?” he asked, worried.

“Naw, I ain’t seen eem since yesterdy after church,” Samuel confirmed.

But there was something in the way he said it that left Virgil unconvinced that Chalmer hadn’t been up to something.

They came up on the garden and a big smile lit up Samuel’s face. Following his line of sight, Virgil looked to see what had made Samuel so happy.

“What the heck!” he exclaimed, looking at the partially missing row of onions.

“L-Let m-me explain,” Samuel said.


After Samuel filled Virgil in, he asked, “Ya reckon, ifn I was ta c-come an’ get eem an’ a-bring eem b-back, that I could offer eem a j-job helpin’ me ta work in the g-garden, an’ mebbe pay eem a quarter a week?”

Virgil wondered how Faith and Adohy would feel about it. They were pretty close with Chalmer. “Well, let’s go on over and let me see if the kids can get by without him, and if so, you can ask him yourself,” he answered.

They could hear Chalmer as they drew near, but when they entered the barn he immediately went silent. He knew it was unusual for Samuel to be there, which could only mean something was up.

Virgil called Faith and Adohy aside and presented Samuel’s request to them, surprised to see the look of relief on their faces. It turned out keeping an eye on Chalmer was a full time job, and they were both grateful for any time during the day, no matter how small, that they could get twice as much accomplished, giving them more time to work on their house.

Samuel made small talk with an unnaturally timid version of Chalmer until he got a nod from Virgil. He recognized this version of the boy from before with the incident at the church social when he’d thought he was in trouble. The memory brought to Samuel’s mind the magnifying glass, and he wondered if he’d done the right thing trusting Chalmer with it. He hoped so. He hadn’t heard any more about it, and was pretty sure he would have, had anything occurred. Having Virgil’s blessing now, he posed his offer to Chalmer.

Chalmer’s demeanor changed instantly. “Ya mean it?” he asked, incredulous. “A whole quarter?”

“If’n ya work ever day, it works out ta be five cents a d-day. Ya reckon yer up ta it? It’s a man’s job.”

“I sure am, kin we start now?”

“Well, I reckon ya done went an’ d-did yer work there for taday,” Samuel told him with a wink, and they both grinned like Chesire cats.

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What’s your favorite thing about autumn:

Being a born and raised a Florida girl, I have always longed for a more visceral sign of the change of seasons than we get in the deep south. But with the first sign of cooler weather I begin to look forward to the upcoming holidays, Thanksgiving being one of my favorites, and nights cold enough to have a fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate, and big bulky sweaters! Granted, as I said, we don't get too many of those days in Florida, so they mean a lot!

What inspired you to write this story:

I have a strong love of and pull to the mountains of Tennessee and have since childhood. Both my father and my husband were born in Knoxville. From our family visits there when I was growing up to see relatives, to listening to tales of my father and husband's childhood I have an enormous store of memories that I wanted to incorporate into my stories to immortalize them for generations to come. Thankfully I also made copious notes before I lost both my father and then my husband so that I could use their memories to add to my books. Some of the incidents in all three of my books are real stories/events in my life! Some of the characters are fashioned from people i know or have met, and the others just came to me to tell their story!

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card

Open internationally.

Runs September 1 – 30

Drawing will be held on October 2.

Author Biography:

Vicky Whedbee was born and raised in Daytona Beach, Florida, where she resided until her 40's when she relocated to San Mateo, Florida, where she currently resides. An avid reader, she wrote her first novel over a period of years as a labor of love and fulfillment of a lifelong dream that began with the encouragement of her Engish teacher in high school.

With a diagnosis of cancer for her dad, she decided to become an independent author and published her novel on her own in order to present a finished product to her father before his demise. She was in the process of reading said novel, "Things He Hadn't Told Her", to him at the time of his passing.

She wrote her second novel "Sarah's Song", which was a collaboration with her father set in the time of his childhood in the rural Appalachian mountains, with notes taken prior to his demise. Both books have been met with stellar 5-STAR reviews on Amazon & Goodreads, as well as awarded the 5-star review seal from Reader's Favorite.

After numerous requests, she wrote a sequel to Sarah's Song, titled Sarah's Home, which could also be read as a stand-alone. It, too, is being received with love and 5-STAR reviews.

She is currently working on her next novel.

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N. N. Light
Sep 26, 2023

Thank you, Vicky, for sharing your book in our Fall Into These Great Reads Bookathon!

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