Author Barbara Anne Ashley has published her second novel, which sweeps readers up on an idyllic romp through the countryside. Peppered with plenty of family drama, moments of intimacy, and charming animal antics, “Sunny Skies and Sudden Storms: Mom and Dad and the Dogs, Down on the Farm” follows a retired couple named Jan and Bill – Mom and Dad to their dogs – as they live a pleasant, quiet life on their small, remote farm.
To the casual observer, life on the farm may seem calm, predictable, and even a bit boring. But when strange events make their way to the farmhouse door, life for Mom and Dad gets interesting in a hurry. One Christmas Eve, a starving bloodhound appears on their doorstep. Mom and Dad immediately take him in and care for him. When they find his owner has passed away, they rename the dog Hero, and he joins the family and its trio of canines: Buddy, Gypsy, and Pumpkin.
Then, when Mom and Dad discover the new kindergarten teacher at the nearby school has a stalker, they rush to the rescue. Meanwhile, two very different pairs of young people experience the beginning of serious love and commitment. The farm may offer a quiet visit or tumultuous occasion, but if the animals and people are safe, fed, and sheltered at the end of the day, all is well.
“I believe that a vast majority of people around the world want the same thing,” Ashley said. “We want to have a happy life, to love, and to raise our children in peace and safety. With this book, I wanted to bring my readers a slice of the companionship and warmth these things exude. I also wanted to allow them to live vicariously through these emotionally complex and deeply relatable characters and get to experience all of the wonderful things about rural life that I so enjoy.”
Ultimately, “Sunny Skies and Sudden Storms” shares a compelling story about an older couple living on a farm and invites readers to follow along as their home becomes the center of a variety of dramas small and large. Ashley expertly twines an eclectic cast of characters with beautifully imagined settings to create a delicious narrative dish and, sometimes, fireworks.
“Sunny Skies and Sudden Storms: Mom and Dad and the Dogs, Down on the Farm”
By Barbara Anne Ashley
ISBN: 978-1-6657-0315-4 (softcover); ISBN: 978-1-6657-0316-1 (e-book)
Available through Archway Publishing, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon
About the author
Barbara Anne Ashley was born in Gary, Ind., in the shadow of the steel mills there and raised in a multicultural family. Ashley brings a lifetime of unusual and exciting experiences to her writing, and she is also the author of “A Woman’s Journey” (2017). She has five kids, 19 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren. Ashley studied at the University of Memphis for seven years majoring in anthropology and taking courses in women’s studies, geology, art, and art history, among others. Ashley previously worked in medicine, mental health, and journalism, and she remains involved in animal welfare and rescue. Ashley currently lives with her husband, Durward, and their dogs on a farm in Stanton, Tenn.
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