Fresh Start Summer

The Seasons of Cherryvale

Fiction - Inspirational
292 Pages
Reviewed on 04/12/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Beverly writes “Fresh Start Stories," because everyone needs one from time to time,” summing up the importance of new beginnings in life through God’s redemptive grace. Bev understands well the challenges of starting over since she and husband Gary have moved dozens of times, lived in six different states, and two countries. (She promises they weren’t running from the law!) Now settled in Southern California, they enjoy traveling, photography, and spoiling their granddogs, Gracie and Chloe. Their grown children, Lindsay and Evan, have successfully “started over,” and are both employed in their chosen career fields.
Humorous, faith-filled, and thought provoking, Beverly’s award-winning fiction series, The Seasons of Cherryvale, will draw you in and won’t let go. The characters quickly become friends you’ll long to visit again and again. Always including thought-provoking themes and yummy recipes, her gorgeous settings and plots with twists and surprises will entice you to settle in for a cozy armchair escape.
Beverly’s nonfiction includes the international bestselling memoir, “Lessons from the Mountain, What I Learned from Erin Walton” co-written with actress Mary McDonough. This important book has earned literary and fan praise. The recipient of the 2011 Ella Dickey Literacy award, and hundreds of five-star reviews, the book has touched reader’s hearts, and become an important look at what it’s like to “grow up Hollywood.”

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite

Putting out fires, literally, wasn’t exactly what Grace Harkins had in mind for her first summer after retiring from teaching school, but that is exactly what happens in Fresh Start Summer by Beverly Nault. Her friend, Maggie Elmsley, informed her before movie production hit town that Cherryvale would never be the same again. As a rash of fires began to break out on Maggie’s property, the teen actress attempts suicide and movie star Jeff Field is searching for a way to have his daughter back in his life, Cherryvale really is in for some serious changes. Though Grace has a long list of ways that she wants to spend her retirement, she is drawn to taking care of others before she starts in on her own objectives. As Grace subtly works her way into the lives of the two actors, the town rallies around Maggie and her home for rescued animals. But there is something sinister going on. Is it merely coincidence that things start happening when the movie production hits town? Will Cherryvale indeed be dramatically changed?

As simple and quiet as Fresh Start Summer is, it is impossible to put it down. Beverly Nault draws the reader into the story of Cherryvale in a very subtle and emotional way. Each character is easy to relate to and the reader becomes concerned for how things turn out for them. The gentle message of Christian love and grace penetrates through every incident in one form or another. There is no blaring trumpet call, but a very recognizable difference in the thoughts and actions of a town where people really do care about each other. Inspiring, heartwarming and profound, Fresh Start Summer is a picture of how true Christians face adversity together and heal the pain that comes along with it.

Paul Johnson

Well, it’s finally here, her first summer of retirement. Grace Harkins, a muffin-baking, bike-riding, newly retired teacher has a long list of things she wants to do, but somehow things don’t seem to want to work out as she planned. Before she can get started, there’s the excitement of being an extra for the movie filming in her small hometown of Cherryvale. But everyone living there is unhappy. One in particular is her outspoken friend Maggie, who protests that the movie people are invading and disrupting the community. Suspicious fires break out, dark strangers lurk about, then threatening phone calls, and more... As time goes by, it looks as though Grace may have to choose between her cheerfully long-awaited retirement and saving a long time friendship.

I wanted a change of pace from my normal reading routine so I choose this book. I’m glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to a little town called Cherryvale. Fresh Start Summer is a simple tale for all ages to enjoy. The main character, Grace Harkins, somehow ends up as the center of all the action in Cherryvale, as well as her very outspoken friend Maggie. Along with them is an outstanding cast of characters that bring small town living to life. The dialogue was very well done. However, Maggie's completely negative attitude can be a tad annoying at times. The setting for the story is great. Anyone that grew up in a small town can envision this locale very well. I invite everyone to visit Cherryvale. You won't be disappointed.

Patricia Day

Open the pages of this delightful book, Fresh Start Summer by Beverly Nault, and prepare to be entertained. Small-town Americans are proud of their roots and even more so of their hometown. When a movie company chooses the town of Cherryvale for its next movie production location, it affects residents in a variety of ways. Maggie does not approve. She loves Cherryvale just the way it is and does not relish movie-making hordes invading it. She envisions corruption of her beloved hometown, as well as the morals and ethics of the residents. No, she foresees only bad coming of it. She owns an animal sanctuary and has enough to handle without outside interference. Sam and Abby Madison are quite excited at the prospect and anticipate being a part of the production – acting and assisting. Carolyn and her twins Cassie and Carson long for the excitement the company will bring to sleepy Cherryvale, and other residents such as Grace and her husband and their Pastor take it all in their stride. What’s to get anxious about - these intruders will only be with them a short while?

When you put all these folk together and add two shady characters from the town, and a spoiled teenage film diva who has known nothing but success, you have the ingredients for an out of the ordinary story. Throw in greed, envy, kidnapping and arsonists, and the story turns from interesting to attention-grabbing. Initially, I wondered when the many characters would be brought together and what would the catalyst be? People and attitudes are changed radically as the intrigue unfolds; even people you’d never think of as friendly become changed beings when their ‘normal’ is tossed inside out. I finished the book loving the differences that had come about as the tale developed. Worth the read.