Friday, March 31, 2017

Building Celebration House by Annette Drake

Building Celebration House
The Celebration House Trilogy
Volume 1
Annette Drake

Genre: Women’s fiction/paranormal romance

Publisher: Baskethound Books

Date of Publication:  3/1/17

ISBN: 978-0-9916118-9-8

Number of pages: 234
Word Count:  52K

Cover Artist: Elizabeth Mackey

Tagline: How can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?

Book Description:

Carrie Hansen spent her life caring for cardiac patients. Little did she know she would become a patient herself.

After recovering from her own heart surgery, she learns she has a special talent: the ability to see and talk with the dead.

Now, with her health failing, she leaves the bustle of Seattle behind and returns to Lexington, Missouri, the small town where she spent her childhood. Here, she sets out to restore an abandoned antebellum mansion and open it as a venue for celebrations.

Carrie’s unique gift allows her to build relationships with the mansion’s ghostly occupants, especially Major Tom Gentry, the handsome Civil War soldier who died 100 years before Carrie was born. He encourages and comforts her, though not in the physical way they both desire.

Will Carrie finish restoring the celebration house or will it finish her? And how can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?

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When Carrie
opened the door and stepped inside, sunlight streamed in through the dirty
windows. Even though the barn had been vacant for years, the air smelled of hay
and horses.
Looking to her
left, she saw a man shaving. He’d glanced up when Carrie opened the doors, but
returned his gaze to the small mirror tacked to the wooden beam. He was bare
from the waist up. His chest was lean and muscular, with dark brown hair from
mid-chest to his waistline. His arms were powerfully built, and his right hand
was steady as he scraped the white soap from his angular jaw with a razor. His
dark blue uniform pants with gold braid down the side were tucked into
knee-high black leather boots. He stood at least six feet tall, and though
Carrie hadn’t made her living in the carnival, she guessed he was probably
younger than her, likely in his mid to late twenties. He peered at the small
mirror, tilting his chin to swipe away the shaving soap. Carrie waited to speak
until after he’d finished with the ivory-handled straight blade and dipped it
into the basin of soapy water.
“Good morning,”
she said.
His expression
was an equal mix of surprise and annoyance. He dropped the razor and grabbed
his shirt off a nearby nail. He turned his back to Carrie and pulled it on.
“You can see me,
madam?” he asked, buttoning his shirt and stuffing it into his pants.
“Yes. Can you
see me?”
“I can, but I
believe I have the advantage. I’m dead. You are not.” He turned and glared at
her. His eyebrows furrowed as though he wasn’t quite sure how they’d arrived at
the point of introductions.
“I’m sorry to
intrude. I’m Carrie. Carrie Hansen.” She extended her hand.
He reached to
shake her hand, but his fingers passed through hers. They both jerked back.
“I’m sorry. I
really didn’t mean to intrude,” she said.
“You surprised
me. That’s all. We seldom receive visitors, especially living ones who can see
us.” He put on his blue uniform coat and fastened the long row of brass
buttons. “I’m Major Thomas Gentry, at your service.” He bowed.
“I’m sorry I
startled you. I sometimes forget ghosts aren’t accustomed to being seen.”
His eyes
narrowed and he frowned. “How may I be of service to you, Miss Hansen?”
“Where can I
find Colonel Stratton? I need to speak with him.”
His dark blue
eyes showed his increasing puzzlement. “The living do not go looking for
Colonel Stratton. What business have you with him?”
“I bought this
house, and I intend to live here.”
“You bought
Stratton House?”
“And I need to
speak with the colonel.”
Major Gentry
shook his head as though to sort through the details. “Please forgive me. You
bought Stratton House, you intend to live here, and you wish to speak with the
home’s proprietor, Colonel Stratton?”
“I thought we’d
covered that,” she said. “You don’t get many visitors, do you?”

My Review:

I read this book in one setting. It was that good.  I love reading about ghosts it is my favorite type of book. This was actually in my opinion a sweet book. I really enjoyed each and every character in the book. I loved Annette Drake's writing style. This book had a wonderful story line, it was well thought out and made me not put it down till the last page. There are only a few colorful words, no f-bombs and no sex scenes. 

The book is about Carrie Hansen. Carrie is a cardiac nurse. She has had a rough road over the last few years. She finds out and is given a heart transplant. Her husband leaves her for his younger secretary during her battle with her heart problem. Her beloved father passes away. Now she finds out her transplanted heart is no good. Carrie doctor wants to put her back on the transplant list, but Carrie decides she does not want to go through another surgery and recovery time. 

Carrie likes to look online a realtor sites in her spare time. One night she finds a listing for a house listing right down the road from her deceased Grandmothers house. Carrie remembers lots of good times at her Grand Mothers home as a child and decides she wants this house. The house is dilapidated and will need lots of work. Carrie decides to jump on it before her health gets to bad. 

On her first visit to the house Carrie sees a woman on the porch and knows immediately she is a ghost. During Carries illness her heart had stopped once and she woke up with the ability to see ghosts. Once she goes to the house more she realizes there are actually 5 resident ghosts. The man who built the house, his wife, their maid and her son, and a soldier. Carrie talks to all the ghosts and let them know she is going to restore the house and open it as a Celebration house, where people can celebrate the happiest moments in their lives, weddings, birthdays, baby showers and more. She lets the ghosts know she is more then happy to share the house with them but they must behave round her guests. 

I think my favorite parts of the book were how the ghosts and Carrie get along. How they actually get to know each other. So much so Carrie even allows the ghosts to pick the wallpaper paint, light fixtures and more.  I would love to tell you more about this book but then it would spoil it for you. Grab is get comfortable and dive right in.  

About the Author:

Annette Drake is a multi-genre author whose work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences.

She makes her home in Washington state. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she loves ferry rides, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.

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