Sarah Loudin Thomas’
Appalachian Blessings series
Until the Harvest
When a family tragedy derails Henry Phillips’s college studies, he’s left unmoored and feeling abandoned. Although Henry tries to find escape in bad company, the only things that can tamp down his anger and grief are the family farm, his fiddle, and sweet but unusual pre-teen Mayfair Hoffman.
Unfortunately, Mayfair’s older sister, Margaret, with the freckles and cute, turned-up nose, has the opposite effect. Worse, she’s his grandmother’s housekeeper and helper, so she’s always around and ready to push his buttons. At first he thinks she doesn’t care about his loss, before beginning to understand she’s facing her own struggles. Mayfair’s health and unique gift sit at the heart of those worries, and Henry and Margaret soon find themselves relying on each other as both Henry’s future and Mayfair’s life are put at risk.
Introducing Margaret & Henry
Brief physical description
Margaret has TONS of freckles! She’s sensitive about her complexion and thinks her freckles keep her from being pretty (along with hair that tends to frizz). She’s a bit on the curvy side in an era when Twiggy was a top model.
Henry is tall and lanky with wavy hair. Picture a young Gregory Peck. He’s a little awkward, but you just know he’s going to get more and more handsome as he ages.
I love this photo I found on Pinterest. I imagine Margaret being covered up in freckles like this, plus the pose communicates how self-conscious she is.
This shot of a young Gregory Peck fits my mental image perfectly. He’s like a puppy after a growth spurt—he hasn’t quite figured out where his own appendages start and stop yet which makes him unintentionally vulnerable and appealing all at the same time.
Strengths and weaknesses
Margaret tends to undervalue herself. She sees her worth in what she can do rather than who she is. She’s a planner, organizer, and generally competent at anything she attempts (although she wouldn’t attempt it if she thought she was likely to fail).
Henry is a gifted musician—he plays the fiddle while his dad played the mandolin. He’s also a little bit hot-headed and tends to fly off the handle rather than think things through. He’s a little too spontaneous for his own good, but his heart is in the right place.
Quirk (if any)
Margaret is super-protective of her little sister Mayfair who has Type I diabetes (and perhaps a knack for healing people!). She carries candies in her pockets for emergencies.
Henry knows how to build fences, milk a cow, and (it turns out) run moonshine.
Your inspiration for the character
Margaret is a little bit my mom, a little bit me, and a whole lot insecure. I think she’s that part of every woman who feels like she doesn’t quite measure up to everyone around her.
Henry is a little bit my Dad, a little bit my brothers, (and, okay, a little bit me!). My Dad lost his mother when he was 18 and just starting college. It was such a traumatic, life-changing experience for him. You can talk to him about it even now and tell what a deep impact it had. I wanted to write about how love is the thing that can get someone through something so impossibly difficult.
Background to the story
After writing Miracle in a Dry Season I really wanted to continue the Phillips family saga, but with new characters. Dipping into the next generation seemed like a logical step. Henry is Casewell and Perla’s son—basically a good kid who honors his parents and does what’s expected. But how might a “good kid” react if his world were suddenly turned upside down by tragedy? What could set his world right again?
Relz Reviewz Extras
Character Spotlight on Perla (Miracle in a Dry Season)
Enter the Until the Harvest giveaway
Visit Sarah’s website
Discover Sarah’s free e-novella Appalachian Serenade
Buy at Amazon: Until the Harvest or Koorong
Sarah is also offering a fabulous Until the Harvest Giveaway! Click on the graphic below to enter!