The Road to Happenstance — Not a Trail of Coincidence

Matthew Sadler rides his ’77 Harley into Happenstance, intent on passing through, but people and events conspire to prevent his leaving.

A Lot of Running

Matt Sadler was running. He didn’t know he was running away, but probably sensed that would be coming.  A young widower who had been betrayed by colleagues and most friends, Matt saw a life of extreme unhappiness stretching out in front of him at Reedport

To avoid being run over on his vintage 1977 Harley by two little old ladies in a station wagon, he took a right turn on an unfamiliar road. Following the road across a covered bridge led to life changes.

Coincidence or Not?

On the other side of the bridge, Matt found the little community of Happenstance. He’d never heard of it before, but he decided to stay overnight.

The Road to Happenstance, Janice L. Dick author, part of the Mosaic Collection. .
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He knew that his late wife, Ginny, would have liked the quaint little town. And that first evening, the chronic stress crept over him. Matt was simply too tired to keep riding. A couple days in a community no one in Reedport would expect could be a restful paradise.

Circumstances (or so it seemed) kept cropping up to keep him there just a little longer.  Soft protection for the Ballard sisters, elderly proprietors of the Happenstance Hotel was at the top of the list of circumstances needing his involvement and help.

More opportunities presented themselves for Matt to help in the community.  Or be helped, when his Harley needed some work done. Quiet philosopher, Gavin “Bear” Beresford and Pastor Otto Selig became trusted people with whom he could share some of his story, especially his grief.

The Road to Happenstance

Matt is too young to be alone.  First one lovely young woman, Roni Wilkenson, entered his life and he began to think  perhaps she would be the next one for him. Her almost uncanny resemblance to his late wife, Ginny, first drew him to her 

The Road to Happenstance, Janice L. Dick, author. Part of the Mosaic collection
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A scary medical emergency for Miss Emmaline Barlow, one of the sisters, brought Dr. Paula Percy into his life. Matt and Paula shared a love of motorcycles and an intense protective spirit for the Ballard sisters. Roni felt the Emmaline and Grayce Ballard were too old to be running the hotel. She was suspicious of dementia and Alzheimer’s for Grayce, while clearly Emmaline’s heart wasn’t as strong as it could be.  Roni had next to no interest in the motorcycles, riding as a driver or a passenger.

Matt finds himself fitting into the community and its history. After being shown old journals written by Amanda Rutherfold Barlow, Matt believes the history of Happenstance Hotel can be used in marketing. He’s beginning to entertain thoughts of staying. 

Evil and criminal activities are attracted to Happenstance as well. Matt will have his hands full stopping trouble and protecting the Barlow sisters.  They wisely recognize Matt as their ‘knight in shining armor.’  There is a snake in the grass among the criminals who plans to destroy Matt’s reputation in Happenstance as it has been ruined in Reedport.  Snakes use blackmail as their prized tools!

A Pleasant Read for Me

I enjoyed the easy flow of this book. While there is some drama with criminal intent, the book isn’t filled with extremely stressful situations. I felt I could always trust the main characters to do their best to bring things right. As a reader, my fight or flight tendencies weren’t taxed. I confess to enjoying a thriller read or stressful books such as the Holocaust books you will find here.

Being able to relax with genuine pleasure reading is probably my favorite! While I am inclined to look for the ever popular ‘Cozy Mysteries’ for relaxing reading, I want to assure you that The Road to Happenstance is not a ‘Cozy’ book.

Recommending this book as a well-written story and worthy pleasure read is an easy thing for me to do.

RIGHT will prevail

Author Janice L. Dick writes faith based novels. The Road to Happenstance doesn’t have specific doctrine, but a solid faith statement. There is no extreme violence, profanity, vulgarity or sensuality. The good guys win while readers enjoy historical connections, dry humor and development of true love!  Amazing how a very good tale can be spun without shock and awe!

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