Friday, February 11, 2011

Promises to Keep

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Promises to Keep
Bethany House (February 1, 2011)
Ann Tatlock


Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy Award-winning novel All the Way Home. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.


Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper.

Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined to die in the place she lived her life, and somehow manages to find her way "home" day after day. Feeling sympathy for the elderly woman, Roz's mother allows Tillie to move back in.

Mara Nightingale becomes Roz's first friend in Mills River. In spite of their many differences, the girls discover they have something in common that binds them together--both are hiding secrets. So they make a promise--"cross my heart and hope to die"--never to tell anyone else. When danger stalks the Anthonys, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Promises to Keep, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:

Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock is a family drama with heart-stopping suspense. In 1967 Roz Anthony's mother, Janis, has moved with her children, seventeen-year-old Wally and two-year-old Valerie from their home in Minnesota to make a new start in Mills River, Illinois. Roz understands why her mother needed to get away from her father's drunken abuse, but being just eleven, she still wants her daddy. She meets Mara at school, a girl who is ostracized because of the color of her skin and who has her own secret about her father. The two girls bond and promise to pray that each will be united with her daddy. Added to the family drama is Tillie, who keeps turning up on the Anthony's front porch insisting that she is going to die in their house, the one she built with sweat and love with her husband before her sons sold it and sent her to a nursing home. Tillie becomes an answer to prayer when Janis needs a baby-sitter for the girls, but her presence is one more thorn in Wally's side until he just can't take anymore. Roz's prayers seem to be answered when her father shows up with a promise that he will make everything right, but Mara isn't so sure, and it puts their friendship to the test. Tatlock is a master of writing compelling, heart-breaking family drama while really getting into the heads of her characters. Readers will ache for Roz as her mother dismisses her missing her father again and again by telling her to simply forget him and move on. Janis' refusal to talk with Roz opens the entire family to tragedy, while Roz's refusal to trust her mother could just destroy them all. Through Roz's eyes, the world is a scary changeable place, and Tatlock wisely keeps the reader there, until a climax that will leave them forgetting to breathe. I can never get enough of Ann Tatlock's books, especially when they are this good.