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Hi, y’all! Today, we welcome back our author friend, Elizabeth Maddrey for her new cover reveal. This story is excellent and I am eagerly anticipating this series!
About the Book
She renovates old houses. Can he restore her heart?
Deidre McIntyre didn’t exactly purchase the gorgeous old home in the Shenandoah Mountains on a whim. The building had seen better days, but she had the skills—and the time—to fix it up. And maybe it would provide the fresh start she was looking for.
Local handyman Jeremiah Crawford has a soft spot for Peacock Hill. When someone from out of town purchases it, he swings by to offer to help fix it up…and investigate the new owner’s plans for the property.
The pixie-like Deidre isn’t at all what he expects, but he’s happy to hang around and enjoy the view. When Deidre’s ex-boyfriend, a popular TV house flipper, shows up demanding a piece of the action, Jeremiah must decide if Deidre—and Peacock Hill—are worth fighting for.
Falling in love wasn’t on the blueprints, but it might just be worth the change in plans.
Deidre slipped her phone into the pocket of her jeans before backing up to view the front of her new…well, it wasn’t a home yet. The house sat on fifty acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Mountains rose in the distance to the west. Though she couldn’t see it, the tiny town of Butler’s End sat at the bottom of the hill the house perched on, and civilization wasn’t too much farther down the road in either direction. But from here, she could’ve been in the middle of nowhere. This place was going to be something amazing. It had been, once, and it could be again, with a little bit of love and a whole lot of know-how. She happened to have both.
The front of the house needed to be cleaned. And several sections of the stone blocks that made up the facade repaired or replaced. She might have to hire that out. She dug out her phone and opened her note-taking app. She circled the house, tapping away as she saw things that needed attention. The landscaping, such as it was, would have to wait. The house was her first priority.
She rounded the corner, returning to the front of the house, and scowled at the dinged red pickup parked in the circular drive. She snapped a photo of the sign on the truck’s door that featured an enormous cartoon frog wearing a straw hat and chewing on a piece of grass. There had to be someone who belonged to that heap.
“Aha.” A man in jeans and a cream Henley that stretched over broad shoulders and well-defined arms jogged down her front steps and avoided the missing tread with ease that spoke of practice. “I heard someone bought the old girl. That you?”
Deidre kept her phone in her left hand, her finger hovering over the emergency number speed dial, and nodded.
“Pleasure to meet you, ma’am. I’m Jeremiah Crawford.” He gestured to the truck and extended his hand. “I own Bullfrog Home Services.”
Deidre took his hand, remembering her father’s advice to have a firm grip and make eye contact. “Deidre McIntyre.”
“Ms. McIntyre, I was just wondering what you planned to do with the place. She’s been a fixture ‘round here. A lot of the locals would be torn up if she got knocked down and turned into condos or something.” He flashed a bright, toothy smile.
If the locals loved the place so much, why hadn’t anyone taken better care of it? Sure, the previous owner was old and in a nursing facility now, but she had family. Family who’d seemed well pleased to be rid of the thing. “I have no plans to tear it down.”
He cocked his head to the side. “Then what will you do?”
She crossed her arms. “I’m sorry, why do you care?”
“Well now, ma’am. If you plan to fix her up, I thought I’d offer my services.” He dug in his pocket and produced a business card.
Deidre took the card and offered a tight smile. “I think I’ll be fine. But thanks.”
He nodded. “All right then. I’ll leave you with that, in case you change your mind.”
Deidre tucked the card into her pocket. She wasn’t going to be able to do everything herself, but she’d planned to bring down some of her contractors from D.C. “I don’t suppose you do stone work, Mr. Crawford?”
“Jeremiah. And, as it happens, I do.”
“Have any references?”
“In the truck. Hang on a second.” He crossed quickly to the vehicle and pulled open the door. Deidre caught a glimpse of a passenger foot-well littered with food wrappers. He took a binder off the seat and brought it back. “Here you go.”
Lips pursed, she flipped through the pages. The photos were good. But you could edit images. “Any way I could visit some of these sites? Check them out?”
“Course. Why don’t you give me a call in the morning and I can take you around?”
She opened her mouth to protest then shrugged. She’d find them faster if she was with him. And even if he was there glad-handing the client, she could see the work. It would speak for itself. “I’ll do that.”
About the Author
Elizabeth Maddrey is a semi-reformed computer geek and homeschooling mother of two who lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C.
When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books.
She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace on their way to their own romantic happily ever after.
Ten Behind the Scenes Facts
1. Peacock Hill is based loosely on Swannanoa Palace, which is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern VA
2. I love to watch home remodeling shows and one of my favorites is Nicole Curtis and her show Rehab Addict. She’s, loosely, the physical basis for Deidre McIntyre.
3. Swannanoa has swans all through the mansion. I don’t really like swans, so I changed them to peacocks.
4. Jeremiah runs Bullfrog Home Services — that song was stuck in my head for the entire time I was writing the book.
5. Jeremiah makes killer nachos. This is, to me, a very important trait in a man. Nachos are an important part of life.
6. I visited Swannanoa with my sister over the summer (they open for tours periodically on summer weekends.) I expected it to be cooler and drier since it’s in the mountains, but it was still hot and muggy. For a place constructed to be a summer retreat, I was a little disappointed.
7. The mansion is filled with gorgeous wood — from parquet floors to intricately carved paneling. I tried to incorporate a lot of that (and the tromp l’oeil paintings) in the descriptions.
8. Swannanoa has a terracotta tile roof. I changed it to cedar shakes for Peacock Hill because I really wanted Deidre to have to replace the roof, not just a few broken tiles here or there.
9. I’ve actually hiked to the waterfall Jeremiah and Deidre hike to — it’s not the most amazing waterfall I’ve been to, but it’s a nice hike all the same.
10. When I started the book, I’d planned to have Deidre fall in love with a man who didn’t know one end of a hammer from the other. Then Jeremiah walked onto the page in chapter 1 and that idea flew out the window.
Elizabeth Maddrey is giving away a print copy of A Heart Restored as part of her SLB tours cover reveal!
Let’s chat about the book!
What did y’all think of the excerpt?