White Lightning Road
eBook (PDF), 192 Pages
This is a story of romance set in rural northern Louisiana. It follows the lives of two best friends, Jennifer James and Sally Jeffers. Each was an urban teenager whose family moved to White Lightning Road, a country road running between Vienna in Lincoln Parish and Homer in Claiborne Parish, where they became friends. Upon graduation from high school, each escaped back to the big-city life they love. Now a family tragedy has brought Jennifer back to White Lightning Road. Soon she is embroiled in a mystery involving her neighbor Michael Garrott, a man widely believed to be an unpunished murderer. Thus begin the romantic adventures of both Jenny and Sally. It is a tale of mystery and romance.
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Jul 22, 2009"White Lightning Road" Death and loss. Romance and new beginnings. Marriage and children. Backwoods ways and Southern city flare. Mysteries and murderers. There is a little bit of everything in Harry Gilleland's White Lightning Road. The book is divided into two parts and traces the lives of two close friends after their recent marital hardships. At only 178 pages of story and 31 fast paced short chapters, I couldn't put this book down. I actually finished it in 2 days...a record time for me! Jenny James returns home to her parents' house on White Lightning Road outside of Ruston in Northern Louisiana. She was a city girl at heart, going to school in Baton Rouge and living in New Orleans, escaping the simple down home woods where her parents prefer to live. It is so "down home" that the closest store is a gas station/grocery store/bait shop run by a gossip hound appropriately named Bubba. Unfortunately, Jenny's parents have both recently passed away after a tragic... More > accident involving a drunk driver, and Jenny has come to put their estate in order...the house, 180 acres of land, a boat, a car, and a nice fat savings all willed to her. Unbeknownst to Jenny, a murderer is lurking in the woods and watching. Michael Garrott, a rugged hunter and the town outcast, soon comes knocking to tell Jenny that her father promised he'd sell his house and land to Michael if something ever happened. Michael lost his own wife and child to a drunk driver a while back, and the guilty man responsible spent less than a year in jail for it. He was later found shot dead on the highway, and Michael has been accused of revengeful murder ever since although he has always claimed he's innocent. It's those rumors that make Jenny fearful of Michael and she tells him she has no plans to sell the house to him anytime soon. When her beloved dog Maxx is found mutilated in the woods, Jenny calls the cops and blames Michael. But Michael has found tracks in the woods indicating a mountain lion could be near. With hunters scoping the woods and noises in the garage, Jenny grows fearful and turns to Michael for protection. The chapter culminates with a steamy love scene that had me blushing. But when Jenny finds a stuffed mountain lion in Michael's trophy room along with a Rolex watch hanging on the wall, her original premonitions of Michael come flooding back. She's convinced he is a murderer and that he faked the tracks in the woods as a cover. Jenny turns to her best friend Sally who has also returned to town. Sally, in and out of marriage and toting around a toddler, is not without drama herself. But when homeland security agents show up at Jenny's house asking her to stay close to Michael and act as a "spy" for them, Jenny grows curious again and also develops true feelings for Michael despite any danger and what the town has to say about him. Looking past the rumors to probe for the truth, Jenny's life takes a 360 as she drops her defenses and lets her heart guide her. The last ten chapters of the book follow Sally as she relocates to Atlanta, deals with a sexual harassment charge at work, and searches for love again. It's a rushed sequence of events that would have worked better had Gilleland weaved it into the main chain of events rather than sticking it on the end. There's enough mystery and intrigue to keep you guessing, and a nice dash of sex and romance to make your own heart flutter (I actually wouldn't have minded a bit more it). A visit down White Lightning Road is well worth the trip. Read the full review at The Lulu Book Review< Less
Jul 12, 2009"White Lightning Road" White Lightning Road by Harry E. Gilleland Jr. Reviewed by Ameasha Brown, Book Reviewer Here is a wonderfully written Mystery/Romance in the rural setting of northern Louisiana. Harry E. Gilleland Jr. takes you into the lives of two young women who are best friends, Jennifer James and Sally Jeffers. While growing up, each was an urban teenager whose family moved to White Lightning Road. They both longed for the life of the big city and upon graduation they returned to the city life they loved. Jennifer has been drawn back to White Lightning Road due to family tragedy, where she has lost both parents to a car accident caused by a drunk driver. She is back to the family homestead to finish tying up loose legal ends. It is here that she first encounters her infamous neighbour, Mr. Garrot, a suspected murderer. Her stress levels high and her emotional levels low, she becomes involved with Mr. Garrot in a most unusual way. Her heart tells her yes,... More > but her head tells her no, as her life begins to weave more turmoil and confusion. Her best friend Sally is who she turns to for support. Sally is a single mom with a five year old son and she too experiences ups and downs in life that she shares with Jennifer. Sally wonders what the future holds for her. I found this book very enjoyable and hard to put down. I strongly recommend this book to those who want to escape their lives for a while and peek into the lives of the characters on White Lightning Road. For those who like a good mystery, it is an exceptional book. I found it an excellent read. I gave it six stars.< Less
May 10, 2006"An exciting novel with double the romance!" In reviewing White Lightning Road by Harry E. Gilleland, Jr., I found myself wanting to write the review by beginning with the ending. Why? Perhaps it is because the ending is one that most authors wish they could provide to their readers: unexpected, fulfilling, and destiny-in-motion. I sighed with contentment after reading the last page; there were no loose ends thanks to the author’s creative imagination and the way he entwined two separate stories and told them individually through Jennifer James and Sally Jeffers. As teenagers both girls were uprooted from the big cities they loved when their respective families moved to Lincoln Parish in north central Louisiana and resided on White Lightning Road. Jenny and Sally became best friends; however, after they graduated from high school they went their separate ways, each returning to the big-city life. Jenny enrolled in Louisiana State University, and Sally married the first boy... More > who proposed to her and moved to Dallas, Texas. The two keep in close touch. Jenny graduated from LSU and married Randoll James who was killed in Iraq. Then she tragically loses both of her parents in an automobile accident. Returning home she and Sally spend some time together--Sally is visiting her parents, trying to nurse her wounds from a second failed marriage. Jenny becomes involved with Michae Garrott, a man whose wife and young daughter had been killed four years earlier in an auto accident. The driver had tested positive for drugs but served only one year in jail before receiving probation. Michael told everyone how unfair he thought the sentence was and, when the driver turned up dead with three bullet holes to his heart only a week after his release, people assumed that Michael was responsible. At first Jenny, too, thought Michael could be a murderer and was uncomfortable being around him. However, after getting to know him better, she became convinced that he was innocent. They quickly became friends--then lovers. But all was not perfect as Jenny discovered clues that clearly pointed to him as being deceptive…possibly even a murderer. Had she really slept with someone who had taken another man’s life? Could she ever trust him? When Sally gets a secretarial job promotion and moves to Atlanta with her son, she meets and falls in love with Bill, a younger man who is still in college. Though Sally tells herself that it won’t work, Bill is persistent and upon graduation presents her with an engagement ring. Sally wants so much to have the “happily-ever-after” marriage that has eluded her thus far. When introduced to Bill’s mother, she is suddenly faced with the “other woman” in Bill’s life—a woman with determined plans for her son. The plans do not include Sally as his wife. Then, weeks later, when she completes a major project for her boss, a private celebration lunch turns into a sexual proposition. It is a situation that eventually requires her to use the services of an attorney as well as her own investigative skills. During the time in Atlanta, she keeps in constant touch with Jenny who still lives on White Lightning Road...their lives are going in different directions but, nevertheless, are entwined and following paths that will eventually reunite them in a strange twist of fate. Though the writing is written in a rather simplistic style, the characters are very believable, and the storyline moves at a good pace. I did find myself somewhat distracted by the story being told in third person with the usage of present tense. Overall, White Lightning Road is a good read, and it is the hoped that this first novel by the author will be followed by many more.< Less
May 8, 2006"An Intriguing Tale of Mystery and Romance" Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. creatively takes the reader to a rural highway in Lincoln Parish in north central Louisiana and into the lives of two best friends. On White Lightning Road, Jennifer James and Sally Jeffers survive their boring rural lives together as displaced urban teenagers. Upon graduation, both girls escape back to their big city lives separated only by geographical distance. A family tragedy brings the girls back together once again on White Lightning Road. Jennifer finds herself in the midst of a mystery with her best friend by her side. Together they solve the mystery and find romance. Although the third-person and present tense format is somewhat distracting at first, I encourage the fact that this is a must-read. The characters are believable and the plot intriguing. The author presents you with a satisfying ending with a nice little twist.
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- Harry Gilleland
- October 2, 2011
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