ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.
Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.
When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.
Check out Shelley's Facebook Fan page
ABOUT THE BOOK
The serenity of the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky is disrupted when Abby Anderson discovers the body of Perry Borntrager in an abandoned well. Perry had been missing for months. Everyone figured he had left the order during his rumspringa. As friends and family reel from this news, and are faced with the first death by mysterious circumstance to occur in their small town in over 20 years, a homicide detective arrives to help solve the crime
Before Perry disappeared, Frannie Eicher and Perry had been secretly courting. Now that it’s common knowledge that he was murdered, it’s up to Fannie to decide whether or not to tell everyone about the secrets he told her.
After much deliberation, she decides to tell Luke Reynolds, the visiting police officer, what she knows. At first, the two meet only on the context of discussing Perry’s death. Then, Luke begins to feel more and more at home, both with Frannie, and in Marion. The only problem is that he feels a romantic pull toward Frannie. Frannie feels that same attraction toward Luke, but is afraid to give her heart to him. After all, she doesn’t want to leave her faith.
As Luke uncovers more secrets about Perry and the case draws out, his time in Marion runs out. He has to decide whether to go back to his job with the Cincinnati Police Department…or stay in Marion.
If you would like to read the Prologue of The Search, go HERE.
The Search by Shelley Shepard Gray is the second book in The Secrets of Crittenden County series. The discovery of Perry Borntrager's body has stirred up this close-knit Amish community. Detective Luke Reynolds is still trying to sort through the evidence and learn the identity of the killer, but his feelings for Perry's former flame Frannie Eicher has put a crimp in his investigation. When she is injured in a kitchen accident, Luke finds himself spending more time at her hospital bedside than working on the case, and ignoring the possibility that Frannie may be hiding something from him about it. Frannie's accident forces Beth Byler to take over Frannie's bed and Breakfast, which is far out of her comfort zone. She's more comfortable taking care of babies and young children than baking and being a good hostess, but mysterious guest Chris Ellis not only helps out but awakens something inside Beth. Others in the community are struggling with the repercussions of Perry's drug dealing and death as well, especially his sister Deborah who knows far more than she's telling anyone. Gray has a real talent for creating fascinating stories with Amish characters, exposing them as real people with hopes, dreams, and secrets. Frannie is the center of this novel, and she's a terrific heroine: strong, smart, and wanting desperately to be loved. I think that Beth and Chris' relationship was a bit rushed; they both confess to extraordinarily deep feelings that seem unrealistic based on the three encounters in the story. That's the only flaw in this story filled with suspense, major twists and turns, romance, and friendship. Gray makes it very easy to fall in love with the Amish communities she describes, and I'm ready to book my stay at the Yellow Bird Inn in Crittenden County!