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When Amaya Mayberry, was pulled from her upward moving career in Chicago and placed in a brand new castle in the backwoods of Northern Mississippi in order to fulfill the terms of her grandfathers will, her life was changed forever.
Finding her gregarious great-aunt Linda and a handsome, virile, Scottish assistant, Tyler McGregor, in residence, along with a full staff of servants and the ghost of her granddaddy, brought many exciting adventures, as together they turned Amaya’s Keep into a unique theme hotel featuring the secret passages. When her friendship with Tyler turned to love, Amaya was as unprepared for that as she was the fantasy life she was living.
Following Amaya and Tyler through the months at Amaya’s Keep is a fun, witty, adventurous trip through fantasy, as we watch them struggle through the trials of daily life and love with Granddaddy orchestrating the outcome.
Amaya Mayberry was in the middle of an important financial meeting with the heads of one of the most prominent advertising agencies in Chicago, when her life tripped from reality to fantasy in the blink of death.
While heading that board meeting, she was interrupted by her administrative assistant. Mrs. Anderson cracked the door and stuck her head in. “Ms. Mayberry, you have a phone call.”
Annoyed her meeting had been interrupted, she spoke sharply. “Tell whoever it is I’ll call them back.”
Mrs. Anderson shook her head. “Ms. Mayberry, it’s your mother. I think you had better take it in my office.”
Amaya made her apologies and left the room. She spoke very few words. “Oh, no!” Her face went ashen and she leaned on the desk for support as her legs began to buckle. “Yes, I’m on my way.”
Composing herself, Amaya thanked Mrs. Anderson and gave her instructions to inform the board members that her grandfather had passed away and she was leaving immediately. She grabbed her briefcase and purse and hurried out the door.
Amaya had always enjoyed coming to Mississippi to visit her granddaddy and had recently submitted her request for a two week vacation for her annual visit, but this trip was unexpected and rushed.
* * * *
Now here she was in a rental car, driving from the airport to her grandfather’s home where she would wait for her parents, who had gotten a later flight out and wouldn’t arrive until the following morning. Granddaddy is dead! What on earth am I going to do without him? He had always been her best friend and confidant. Having grown up first in Zion and then Lake Forest, Illinois, she had spent every summer since she started school in Mississippi with her grandparents, and then her granddaddy after her grandma died. With both her parents being practicing attorneys, they were happy to have Amaya cared for by people who loved her. She would miss him so much. “If only I had planned my vacation sooner,” she berated herself aloud, “I would have been here for him.”
Amaya arrived at the old white farmhouse very late at night to find Granddaddy’s nearest neighbor waiting up for her with hot coffee and a meal. Friends and neighbors had been bringing food, coffee and cold drinks to the house all day for Amaya, her parents, and the guests who would drop by. Homemade pies and cakes, rolls and brownies covered the counter, and the refrigerator was filled to overflowing with salads, dips and dishes waiting to be heated.
“I want to extend my condolences, Amaya. Your grandfather was a wonderful friend and neighbor,” said Mrs. Woodrow.
Tears touched Amaya’s eyes and she pushed her plate away and thanked Mrs. Woodrow, then insisted she go home to get some rest. “I’ll be fine. Mom and Dad will be here first thing in the morning.”
“I can stay with you tonight if you want company, Amaya. I don’t mind at all.”
“That won’t be necessary, Mrs. Woodrow, I’m very tired. I think I’ll just take a bath and go to bed.” After seeing Mrs. Woodrow to the door, Amaya climbed the threadbare carpet covering the stairs, eased into the old-fashioned claw foot tub and cried her eyes out.
* * * *
Making coffee and nibbling on a roll, Amaya was relieved the night was over and her parents would arrive today. The eerie silence of the empty house and knowing she would never see her granddaddy again had made sleep impossible as she had tossed and turned and waited for the first light of day.
When the knock sounded on the door, Amaya rushed to open it. Expecting her parents or another neighbor laden with food, she was surprised to see a gentleman standing on the porch with briefcase in hand.
“Hello, may I help you?”
“Yes, Miss Mayberry, I am James Lowry, your grandfather’s attorney. I have been instructed to meet with you and your parents as soon as possible.”
Ms. Swanson has written a magical book that sparks the imagination and immerses the reader into a colorful world. I loved every moment of reading about Amaya’s dream castle and the love between Amaya and Tyler. This book is filled so much with colorful characters and descriptive details, that I did not want to put it down. Thank you for a magical journey.
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Donna McGillivay’s AMAYA’S KEEP is definitely a keeper. The story is heartwarming and definitely makes you believe in fairy tale endings. I found myself cheering on the inhabitants of the castle as well as the growing relationship between Amaya and Tyler. You’ll need an occasional tissue, too.
By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Claudia McRay Blue Ribbon Rating: 5
Amaya’s Keep was an amazingly detailed look into the running of a modern castle. I have not been grabbed this quickly by a romance in a long time. Ms. McGillivray takes you into the family that formed in the whimsical environment that is Amaya’s Keep. The characters are all very well thought out, each with their distinct part to play. There is a sweet romance in this book, but I found myself caught more by the relationships that were formed, as the year progressed, not just the romance. Amaya is a strong woman with the ability to make people feel a part of the family instead of employees. Tyler is a treat to ‘watch’. He is a dream man, a sensitive gentleman willing to support a woman in her dreams. This is such a great book that I give it five angels and a Recommended Read.
Reviewed by: Serena
"Amaya and Tyler are well-written characters who possess a great deal of appeal and are realistically portrayed. Their love scenes are tenderly written and portray the longing that these two feel toward each other. The secondary characters provide both humor and necessary depth to the story. While the premise of the tale requires the reader to somewhat suspend their normal belief system, it is not beyond what coul
d be termed realistic. This reviewer best likens Amaya’s Keep to a modern day fairy tale, complete with magical happenings. Although Amaya and Tyler’s story is the main focus, several other secondary characters find loves of their own. This reviewer found herself engrossed in this fascinating tale and looks forward to other efforts by Mrs. McGillivray. Any reader who enjoys sweet romances with hints of fairy-tale magic and some spice will love this fine story. This reviewer certainly did!"
Reviewed by Leah, Love Romances 4 Hearts
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 272
Paper Weight (lb): 11.6
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