Unexpected Joy

Unexpected Joy

 

Introductory Sale Price: $13.95


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A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.  And all plans, safe-guards, policing, and coercion are fruitless.  We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.  -John Steinbeck

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A journey often begins without foreknowledge and leads to places unimagined.  It is the fall of 1999, and poised at the edge of the new millenium stands and introverted girl, one who might have found an earlier century a better fit.  College junior Annie Healey is bright, opinionated and decidedly old-fashioned in all ways but one: religion.  An avowed atheist, Annie thinks religious faith is obsolete.

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As part of an assignment for her Comparative Religion class, Annie attends services at a local Orthodox Church. There she meets Anna, an elderly Russian woman, and is mysteriously compelled to seek her company.  From their very first encounter Annie suspects that there is something extraordinary about Anna and is determined to discover what it is.  Led backward into the history of Anna’s life, and pushed forward by pressing conflicts in her own, Annie is propelled along the path of discovery and transformation, in part by a revealing icon of the Mother of God.  In the process of finding out the moving truth about the old woman, Annie surprisingly discovers the truth about herself.

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Unexpected Joy takes you on a journey that you won’t want to end.  It’s a small story full of heart and endearing characters so real you’ll find they’ve entered your life and joined your own circle of friends.  Cheryl Tuggle writes in a straightforward and sincere style, flawlessly interfacing the realities of contemporary life with wisdom from a bygone era.

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When I got to the end of Unexpected Joy I was so sad that it was over!  The characters sprang to life and I didn’t want their story to end.  I was so delighted to put this novel into print and share it with others.  I’ve been waiting for good adult fiction for a long time that has an Orthodox backdrop and meaningful message.  And Cheryl Tuggle has delivered! — Macrina Lewis

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Cheryl, your book is great. You have a great plot and characters, humor, and some very good writing, as well as true insight into human nature. I’ve enjoyed the book very much.  –Leslie Baynes, Missouri

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You are a very gifted writer. I’ve only just begun the third chapter and find myself savoring each carefully crafted sentence just as I would a piece of Hershey chocolate as it melts slowly in my mouth.
Finished the book. What a wonderful story and beautifully told. I will be ordering more. I want all of my friends to share the blessing. –Nancy Leon, Houston, TX

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LOVED the book! Thank you for sharing your inspiration! –Barbara Kuzara, Joplin, MO

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I was at the OCA clergy conference in Seattle and ran into Fr. Moses. He told me he was buying your book which was displayed in the booth across from me for the past 2 days without me even looking. I purchased it and finished it. I must say I am only disappointed that it wasn’t longer. I loved the rhythm and feel and I loved the plot. It was pleasant without being boring and spiritual without being preachy. I just wanted you to know. I hope you sell tons. –Beth Zanis, St. Charles , IL

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