Synopses & Reviews
While the body of rodeo star Pony Jones lies motionless in the northern Alabama woods, her spirit is on a mission to find her killer. Invisible to the eye but not to the sixth sense, the only thing Pony can do is guide the living to the truth.
Her grief-stricken father, Titus, wants nothing more than retribution for his daughter's death, so when former police detective Jo Beth Dawson comes to town, something compels him to seek out her help.
But when Jo Beth and Titus team up to track down Pony's murderer, it turns loose a whirlwind of intense emotion and unexpected encounters. As they uncover more and more clues leading them to the killer, dark family secrets are revealed and the two must search their souls for redemption.
Jo Beth Dawson was once a good detective but the stress of the job led her toward alcohol and off the force in disgrace. When she comes across the body of Pony Jones however the murder of the energetic young rodeo star haunts her compelling her to investigate Pony's death even though it puts Jo Beth in direct conflict with Sam Donovan her former partner and irks her own family. As it turns out Jo Beth's family and Pony's family are linked and investigating the tragedy will force decades old secrets to the surface where no one but Jo Beth wants them to be. Michaels's debut is well intentioned but she takes on too many issues (alcoholism mysticism interracial tensions dark secrets) losing the reader in the process. And the killer's identity is telegraphed early on putting the reader in the frustrating position of knowing more than the book's protagonists. Michaels is obviously shooting for The Lovely Bones; while her attempt has potential it's difficult to find the story lurking among all the problems. (May 17) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"Jo Beth Dawson was once a good detective, but the stress of the job led her toward alcohol and off the force in disgrace. When she comes across the body of Pony Jones, however, the murder of the energetic young rodeo star haunts her, compelling her to investigate Pony's death even though it puts Jo Beth in direct conflict with Sam Donovan, her former partner, and irks her own family. As it turns out, Jo Beth's family and Pony's family are linked, and investigating the tragedy will force decades-old secrets to the surface, where no one but Jo Beth wants them to be. Michaels's debut is well-intentioned, but she takes on too many issues (alcoholism, mysticism, interracial tensions, dark secrets), losing the reader in the process. And the killer's identity is telegraphed early on, putting the reader in the frustrating position of knowing more than the book's protagonists. Michaels is obviously shooting for The Lovely Bones; while her attempt has potential, it's difficult to find the story lurking among all the problems. (May 17)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"The Tender Mercy of Roses
is an unforgettable story told with astonishing skill and clarity by a truly gifted writer." -- Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides
“The Tender Mercy of Roses
is an enchanting blend of the supernatural, mystery, and southern charm. Anna Michael’s debut novel has magical moments of insight that took my breath away!” - Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times
"Like the most healing of our dreams, Anna Michaels slowly unfolds a heart-mending story.The Tender Mercy of Roses moves in and out of the unseen places of the soul, exposing a magical story. Surprising wisdom startles the reader in the midst of a narrative both lyrical and powerful." - Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times Bestselling author "I devoured this thrilling page-turner, absolutely hooked until the final scene, then went back to read again passages so lovely I wanted to savor them more fully. Now I'm spreading the word---this one is a treasure!" --Cassandra King, author of The Same Sweet Girls
In this southern novel the ghost of a murdered cowgirl guides her grief-stricken father and a disgraced former detective to her killer.
About the Author
Anna Michaels lives in an enchanted cottage in Mississippi where she grows the roses that served as inspiration for her debut novel, The Tender Mercy of Roses
. Her gardens are also filled with cardinals, warblers and mocking birds that swing on a suspended dragon outside her office window and entertain her while she writes.
Her love affair with words started when Anna was a child. She used to read books in a tree swing on her daddy’s farm and dream of being a writer. Also a pianist and sometimes-lyricist, Anna says she “hears the music of words.” She describes her writing process as “recording the melody and the magic of story.”
Anna loves sitting on her front porch swing with friends, singing in her church choir, watching classic movies, playing her vintage baby grand piano, and spending time with her family.
Currently, Anna and her unicorn muse are spinning another magical story. She will share details of her second novel as they unfold.