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Secrets of Sand Mountain by Phillip C. Elrod

Secrets of Sand Mountain, Phillip C. Elrod, book review, On My Kindle

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Who knew that a string of pearls, left by a couple who needed some gas, could change the life of a boy and his family?

Phillip Campbell loved the main store in the small town that he lived in; he loved it so much that he decided to try to get a job there by offering to scrounge around in the store's storage for items to sell. While sorting through items that were long forgotten, Phillip stumbles upon a pearl necklace wrapped in cloth. When he asked the store's owner, Mr. Thompson, about the necklace, Mr. Thompson tells Phillip that the necklace belonged to a young couple who were making their way to California. Strapped for cash, the young couple offered Mr. Thompson the necklace as collateral for gas. Mr. Thompson said that he never heard from the couple again, but did not feel right selling it. 

Phillip proposed an exchange; he would work at Mr. Thompson's store on the weekends in exchange for the necklace. When Phillip proudly presents his mother with the necklace and tells her of the agreement, his mother suggests that he give the necklace to his Violette; Phillip's aunt and town recluse. 

Phillip gives the necklace to his aunt; the two develop a friendship and soon become each other's confidantes. He begins to learn that the peaceful town of Campbell's Crossing has its fair share of skeletons, and the two embark on adventures that will change their family, the town, and its citizens.


Set in the summer of 1944, near the end of World War II, Secrets of Sand Mountain by Phillip C. Elrod takes readers back to a time when liberty gardens and stills supplemented a family's ration coupons, and people made do with what they had. If the setting does not interest you, the characters in the story will. Readers learn all about Aunt Violette's adventurous and tragic past; how Phillip's father runs the family household and uses his gas coupons to make backdoor deals; find out about an estranged family member, and discover how a German POW ended up living in a cave near the town. 

If I had to choose one word to describe Secrets of Sand Mountain, it would be "comfortable." The characters are genuine and the pace of the book is steady. I did not feel like I was being rushed from one point of the book to the next; I felt comfortable with putting the book down for a bit to take care of everyday matter without worrying about losing momentum in the book, but it was still compelling enough to read while I was drinking my first cup of coffee in the morning.
 Elrod combines a down-to-earth writing style, colorful characters, and interesting setting to make Secrets of Sand Mountain a page-turner. It has plenty of adventure, a little action, and enough skeletons to keep readers wondering what Aunt Violette and Phillip will stir up next.

More Information

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Secrets of Sand Mountain will also be available on Smashwords beginning February 29, 2016.