Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Refuge on Crescent Hill by Melanie Dobson

Camden Bristow had been a successful photographer based out of New York City. Her images of international events had yielded many magazine sales and given a good lifestyle, until six months ago. While a magazine had bought and used the photos from her last trip to Indonesia, she had yet to be paid. And now the magazine had gone bankrupt. Jobs had dried up and Camden was running out of money.
Forced out of her apartment, she decides to head to Ohio, to Grandma Rosalie. Growing up, Camden had spent summers at Crescent Hill, the Bristow family mansion. She had roamed the hill and watched her grandmother work glass. While she hadn't seen her grandmother in years, they had written to each other.
When Camden arrives in Etherton, she is shocked to find that her grandmother had passed away just a few days before. She has inherited the old run down house – and trouble. But her step sister is in town too and threatens to contest the will. Someone thinks there is a treasure in that house and is determined to find it, no matter the trouble it may cause.  Camden hears noises in the house.  Is someone else living in the house?
The city mayor is not playing fair. The old mansion needs expensive repairs, repairs Camden could never afford. If the city condemned the property, they could get it without paying a cent. Then Camden finds the condemnation paper on the front door.

Stephanie Ellison-Carter was sweltering in the South Carolina sun, wondering how she was going to write her history term paper. Her professor wanted a paper on an unsolved mystery in the history of the U.S. She finally decides to visit her aunt and hear about the mystery in her own heritage. The Ellison family had been wealthy in colonial times. The Yankees stole some of the money. But there had been the jewels, heirloom pieces made in Britain, reward for a family loyal to the Crown in the 1700s. Worth millions, no one knew where the jewels were. Stephanie's aunt gives her a journal passed down for generations. Miriam Ellison recorded news of their own Carolina plantation slaves in the 1850s. A descendent of Miriam's maid claims the maid's husband stole the jewels and headed north on the underground railroad, heading for a place known as Crescent Hill.  She decides to follow the mystery and heads to Ohio.

This is a satisfying Christian mystery and romance.  One learns a bit about the Underground Railroad while reading a quickly developed plot.  The romance is nicely done and the Christianity of the characters is just right.

NOTE: Refuge on Crescent Hill will be available as a free download for Kindle, for one week, beginning October 31.  (Remember, you don't have to own a Kindle to read a Kindle ebook.  You can read the ebook using a widget for your computer.)  

Melanie has written other great novels.  Check out her website.  A former corporate publicity manager for Focus on the Family, Melanie has worked in the fields of journalism and publicity for more than eighteen years.  She and her family live in Oregon.

Kregel Publications, 270 pages.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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