Synopses & Reviews
Now in paperback, the acclaimed debut novel featuring the ghost of a murdered cowgirl who guides her grief-stricken father and a disgraced former detective to her killer—and a long-hidden family secret.
When disgraced police detective Jo Beth Dawson comes to town, she wants only to watch the rodeo and crawl into a bottle, not necessarily in that order. But when she stumbles upon the body of young rodeo star Pony Jones, Jo Beth feels an otherworldly connection with the dead woman—and an irresistible compulsion to find her killer.
Pony herself, invisible to the eye but not to the sixth sense, guides her grief-stricken father, Titus, to Jo Beth’s side. Jo Beth and Titus are unlikely partners—two wary, broken people who are quick to judge and slow to trust—and their pursuit of Pony’s murderer unleashes a whirlwind of intense emotion and unexpected encounters. With every clue they uncover, dark family secrets are revealed, secrets that will tie the three of them closer than they could imagine.
A richly layered examination of family, grief, and redemption, The Tender Mercy of Roses is “an unforgettable story told with astonishing skill and clarity by a truly gifted writer” (Pat Conroy).
"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
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.
The celebrated novel from a shimmering new voice in Southern fiction, Anna Michaels
At twenty-six, Pony Jones is a record-breaking legend of the rodeo circuit. And when the beloved young star’s body is discovered in the northern Alabama woods, it’s Pony’s spirit—invisible to the eye but not to the sixth sense—that guides the living to clues to her murder. Swept up in a whirlwind mystery of intense emotion are her grief-stricken father, Titus, bent on retribution; and Jo Beth Dawson, a hard-drinking former detective with an otherworldly connection with Pony—and an urgent compulsion to uncover the truth. The Huntsville rodeo leads Jo Beth to Titus, and what the unlikely partners find is more shocking than murder itself: long-buried family secrets that will bring them to search their souls for redemption . . . and tie the three of them closer than they could imagine.
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.