Marci Hamilton’s life as a kindergarten teacher heats up her wacky sister talks her into entering a Texas-wide barbecue sauce cook-off. If they won, she could get the yellow VW convertible she’d been eyeing. What she didn’t anticipate was meeting J.W. “Johnny Walker” Watson when the sisters’ car broke down on a deserted ranch road. Not much of a country music fan, Marci didn’t have a clue that the tall, lanky cowboy was really a CMA superstar. That’s when her life really started to heat up.
J.W. Watson is going through a rough patch with his ex-wife. Love is not on the horizon for him, that is until he first lays eyes on Marci Hamilton. As tough as it might be, he’s determined to get to know this lady without the brouhaha of fame. So he decides to take an active– but covert part in the barbecue sauce cook-off that he’s sponsoring.
Will Marci and Johnny be able to cook-up a Texas-sized romance–and will she win that VW convertible?
Believe is a magical realism story with a spiritual twist. Springen O'Flaherty has psychic powers that have ruled her life. She was resigned to being different until she met Jed Collinsworth. Now she has to tell the man she loves that she can talk to dead people. But she waits too long, and when her dad passes, Jed meets the O'Flaherty family with all their eccentricities—tent revival preachers, healers and heroes. The sequel is When the Magnolia Blooms, coming this fall.
New York Literary Magazine
"Believe is an extraordinary, captivating novel with an original, magical plot, winning characters, and a complex romance.
A talented storyteller, Annaliese Darr skillfully brings her well-drawn characters to life, giving them strong personalities and believable emotions.
Springen is a remarkable protagonist worthy of many more books.
Fans of Magical Realism will be enchanted from the first page!" - NY Literary Magazine
Kirkus Recommended Review
Darr smoothly and skillfully handles a series of well-executed flashbacks in which readers see Spring gradually come to
understand how her powers work as well as the personal toll they take on her; for example, after a trauma, she recalls,
“I’d turned into a zombie. I was a fossil like those found flash frozen in the Arctic.” The author’s depiction of the
simplicity and beauties of life in rural Appalachia are semi-poetical highlights of the novel: “the bright green tree canopy was highlighted by a froth of color, courtesy of the wildflowers." Darr also provides wonderfully believable dialogue to every major and minor character in the story.
An evocative, involving novel about how mystical powers can complicate one’s life.
Chanticleer Book Reviews 5 Star—Believe
Winner of the Chanticleer Somerset Book Award
First Place Women's Fiction
Annaliese Darr, the author, writes of the Appalachian culture of tent revivals, blue grass & gospel music, and beliefs in “psychic gifts” and the old ways with a deftness and clarity that juxtaposes Spring’s new life chapter in the big city. Darr’s dialogue and characters are refreshing and captivating while her heartwarming story encompasses mystery and murder.
The narrative is straightforward with no ruffles and flourishes, but is written sometimes with witty and loving banter and sometimes it is written with palpable sadness that steps the reader through a complex tale and time switches without confusion. Darr balances the mystery of “what happened?” with “what happens next?” as she capably builds the suspense and tension on several fronts.
Fiona O’Flaherty’s quiet California life is turned upside down when a killer cop takes an “unhealthy” interest in her. With the help of the Four Amigos—a group of retired law enforcement officers—she changes her identity and flees to a farm on the Northern Neck of Virginia. Much to her surprise her new roommate is a handsome ghost who departed this world in 1865.
Even more amazing is the fact Danann Farm is a mystical Irish village that was transported to America in the early part of the nineteenth century. As a nurse she’s used to multi-tasking but now she’s falling in love with a charming spirit while also managing the restoration of a historic home. Not to mention a serial killer is determined to kill her. What next? How about a pint-sized seer with special powers, a group of geriatric aunties managing the rumor mill, and an extended family ready, willing and able to protect the new mistress of the Magnolia House.
Fiona’s having quite an adventure, but like most magical tales this story will have a happy, if somewhat quirky ending.