As recounted in Appalachian Justice, Jessie is an adult survivor of horrendous childhood abuse. At the age of thirteen, she was rescued by reclusive mountain woman Billy May Platte.
Now forty-seven, Jessie is outwardly successful but inwardly struggles to reconcile the broken pieces of her past. In honor of Billy May, Jessie has offered Crutcher Mountain as a location to build the Platte Lodge for Children, a wilderness retreat and respite program designed for children with disabilities. Everything comes together beautifully until a series of strange events threatens to shut down the retreat.
To save the lodge, Jessie must open her heart to the truths she discovers and place her trust in a lonely little boy.
Melinda, how did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
Crutcher Mountain was a respite for Jessie in the first of the Cedar Hollow Series (Appalachian Justice), when she was rescued from a life of abuse. It was the place she needed to return to in order to find closure and move on.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I think John Johnson was probably my favorite character. He’s a childhood friend of Jessie’s who is a constant source of stability and support. In the midst of Jessie’s emotional upheaval, he manages to not only remain grounded, but also humorous.
Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
It probably continues the themes from Appalachian Justice. I do believe there’s always hope, no matter how dark things may seem. There’s always room for a second (or third, or fourth…) chance. No matter how emotionally damaged we may feel, we can heal.
What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
Author and reviewer Shannon Yarbrough said, “[W]e fall in love with the characters – though often stereotypes of small town life in real society or on…TV days gone by – they are ones we relate to, particularly when we have small town blood ourselves.” I think that’s very true.
Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
“[W]hen the book hits its climax and the mystery of what has been going on is uncovered, Jessie finds something she never dreamed, and Clayton delivers another emotional knockout.”
Where can people learn more about your writing?