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Leaves: The Gold Family Book 1

Leaves: The Gold Family Book 1

4.4 14
by Lou Aronica

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Welcome to Oldham, CT, a small town rich in Colonial heritage while being utterly contemporary. Situated along the Connecticut River Valley, Oldham bursts with color every fall, as the leaves on its trees evolve into an unmatched palette of scarlet, orange, purple, yellow, and bronze. For more than three decades, the Gold family has been a central part of Oldham


Welcome to Oldham, CT, a small town rich in Colonial heritage while being utterly contemporary. Situated along the Connecticut River Valley, Oldham bursts with color every fall, as the leaves on its trees evolve into an unmatched palette of scarlet, orange, purple, yellow, and bronze. For more than three decades, the Gold family has been a central part of Oldham in the fall, its Sugar Maple Inn a destination for “leaf-peepers” from all over the country, and its annual Halloween party a stirring way to punctuate the town’s most active month.

But this year, more than just the leaves are changing. With the death of their parents, the Gold siblings, Maria, Maxwell, Deborah, Corrina, and Tyler, have decided to sell the Sugar Maple Inn, and this year’s Halloween party will be the last. As October begins, the Golds contend with the finality that faces them, and the implications it has for a family that has always been so close. For some, it means embracing new challenges and new love. For others, it means taking on unimagined roles. And for others, it means considering the inconceivable. Complicating it all is a series of “hauntings” that touch each of the Gold siblings, a series of benign interventions that will remain a mystery until October draws to a close.

Filled with romance, tension, and unforgettable family drama, Leaves is the first in a series of novels about a world and a family that readers will want to make their own.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Nicholas Sparks fans will rejoice to hear there’s a new male author on the scene who writes beautifully about love and emotionally charged relationships.”
RT Book Reviews

“I never thought a guy could write women’s fiction this well. If you want deeply emotionally, totally romantic novels that take you into the heart of a man, you need to read Michael Baron.”
New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips

“Baron’s exquisite writing is a joy to read.”
– Long and Short Review

“Michael Baron knows how to pull every string of a reader’s heart."
– Crystal Book Review

“Mr. Baron's tender, masterful and descriptive writing style allows the reader to be transported and become part of the story line."
– CMash Loves to Read

Product Details

Story Plant
Publication date:
Gold Family Series
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.75(d)

Read an Excerpt


By Baron, Michael

Story Plant, The

Copyright © 2010 Baron, Michael
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780984190546

From Chapter 1

"Yes, I know I’m late,” Anthony Gold said, not making eye contact with his brother or sisters as he entered the common room of the inn. "I’m sorry.”

"We’ll get over it,” Corrina said sharply. It was difficult to know these days if she was angry with him for a specific reason or simply angry with him for all reasons.

Deborah called out from the dining room. "Dinner’s gonna get cold. Is Anthony here yet?”

"I’m here,” he said, a little surprised they bothered to wait for him and simultaneously wishing they hadn’t. Though Deborah’s cooking would almost certainly be the most pleasant thing about this evening.

He made his way into the dining room with the rest of them, Maxwell clapping him on the shoulder as he passed by. These days Anthony felt more like the baby of the family around these people than he did since before he graduated high school. He had no idea why that was, given how world-weary the past year made him feel otherwise.

Deborah ladled soup from a tureen, something orange and redolent of cinnamon and nutmeg. She topped each bowl with a dab of sour cream and snipped fresh chives over that. Ever the maestro, even in this crowd.

"Deborah, stop waiting on us,” Maria said. "We’re perfectly capable of serving our own soup.” Deborah simply smiled at her older sister, finishing at last and sitting with the rest of them.

Then the lights went out.

Just like when Dad died, Anthony thought instantly. It was the night of the funeral. A beautiful but unsatisfying service that followed three days of communal heartache and eulogizing. Mourners came back to the inn with them that day, but the family gathered alone for dinner. Mom had been crying for a week, but just before the meal began, she stood at the head of the table, raised her wineglass, and said, "Joseph, what you gave us will be with us forever.” Anthony touched his glass with the others and sipped through his tears. He knew what she said was true, but it didn’t help him miss his father any less.

As Mom sat down, the room went dark. For a moment, no one said anything. And then Maria started singing, her voice somewhat otherworldly coming out of the black. She sang "Autumn Leaves,” Dad’s favorite song. Anthony joined her, the youngest sibling attempting to lend ragged harmony to the oldest. It was the only jazz standard to which he knew all the words. Soon, all of them sang, Mom’s voice, nearly as mellifluous as Maria’s, coming in last and with a purity that denied her sadness. When the song ended, they sat in silence, Anthony half-expecting Maria to continue.

At last, Maxwell went to the basement, flicked a circuit breaker, and the power came back on. But the tenor of the day, of that terrible week, was changed. After all the comfort they tried to bring each other at the wake and the funeral, this group song gave them a modicum of peace.

Anthony didn’t know that everyone seated at the table tonight flashed back to that previous power failure at the same time. All he knew was that the lights went back on of their own accord a few minutes later.

And this time no one sang.


Excerpted from Leaves by Baron, Michael Copyright © 2010 by Baron, Michael. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“Nicholas Sparks fans will rejoice to hear there’s a new male author on the scene who writes beautifully about love and emotionally charged relationships.”
RT Book Reviews

“I never thought a guy could write women’s fiction this well. If you want deeply emotionally, totally romantic novels that take you into the heart of a man, you need to read Michael Baron.”
New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips

“Baron’s exquisite writing is a joy to read.”
– Long and Short Review

“Michael Baron knows how to pull every string of a reader’s heart."
– Crystal Book Review

“Mr. Baron's tender, masterful and descriptive writing style allows the reader to be transported and become part of the story line."
– CMash Loves to Read

Meet the Author

Michael Baron is the pseudonym for a successful nonfiction writer. He is the author of five previous novels, When You Went Away, Crossing the Bridge, The Journey Home, Spinning, and Anything as well as the holiday novella A Winter Discovery.

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Leaves: The Gold Family Book 1 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
ruthhill74 More than 1 year ago
I feel like I should be giving this a much higher rating than I did. After all, this is basically a clean book. Hardly any profanity--very, very mild. No bedroom scenes although implied sex scenes. It is all about a quaint place, and it is a nice story. There was really nothing wrong with it. I just did not connect with it, and I wish I had been able to. This will be a book that many people would like. It has romance, memories, and sweetness. I found myself only interest in two portions of the book. I enjoyed the music references--there are quite a few. I also enjoyed the culinary artist. The writing style of the author was honestly pretty good. He painted the Sugar Maple Inn in a wonderful way, but the characters did not interest me as much as I wished them to. The "visitations" were also a bit strange. But I am certain this book will resonate with many. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
MelinaM More than 1 year ago
My Review This book was very well written, very enthralling. It is hard for me to describe how this book made me feel. I thoroughly enjoyed and I’m very glad that it is the first in a series. I feel like I know the Gold family on a personal level. This book really explored the feelings of the Gold Family very well. The Gold family: Maxwell, Maria, Deborah, Corrina, and Tyler recently lost their parents and have made the decision to sell their parents Inn. The story focuses on each sibling and their relationships with each other and other people. They each are going in different directions and drifting apart through the sale of the Inn. Throughout the book, each sibling sees something that reminds them of an incident from the past, but them the image disappears. They throw one last Halloween party at the Inn before the new owners take over. During a picture, they all here their mother’s voice; telling them they will need each other in the future. A great book that focuses on family and what sometimes happens with families that were once close. This book leaves you with a sort of cliffhanger, leaving you definitely waiting for the next novel in the series to see what happens with the Gold family. I can’t wait. I highly recommend this book. A very good job Michael Barron. I received a complimentary copy of this book for my participation in this blog tour.
TheStephanieLoves More than 1 year ago
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review The five Gold siblings' lives – their loves and losses and new beginnings – in their parents' wake come alive in Baron's newest novel. We unravel their deepest of fears and strongest of desires as we follow their daily proceedings leading up to the annual Halloween party the Golds have been known to throw in Oldham; the first one they've had to host since their parents have died. Baron's style is lyrical, smooth, and casual. I don't think it's particularly beautiful or mesmerizing, but it's definitely not bad. I feel some of his dialogue is rather stilted, but eh... at least it makes sense. Same thing goes for the overall plot too: I like the idea of the trials and tribulations of the stressful party-planning sans mom and dad – especially the way it's so organized and straightforward – but in the end, it's nothing riveting. Although Mama and Papa Gold may be gone, their presence remains powerful in the spirits and minds of each brother and sister. It was interesting to be able to shadow each individual sibling dealing with the same hell but different devils, but I found it a little dissatisfying that none of them were necessarily connected. Rather, there are just five separate story lines that only have supporting characters in common. We've got Tyler who, as a character, I didn't care much for, but whose story I loved. It's the quintessential narrative of naïve lovers and first heartbreaks. He as a character was dislikable (i.e. short-tempered and curt), but I think that's mostly because he was so superficial. I felt this way about the others too; I wish Baron would have gone into more depth with all of them. Then there's Deborah, who's reasonable and realistic – the inspired and bequeathed chef of the family. Her story of new love and new hope is exciting and heart-melting; I loved it through and through. Corrina is another relatable character, the under-appreciated wife and stepmom with true-to-life frustrations. She's probably my favorite character; Baron does an excellent job at bringing her flaws, and her beauty, to life. Maria is a recent empty-nester who's got nothing but good in her heart. I liked her as a character, but couldn't find myself connecting with her as much because her appearance was, again, so superficial and short-lived. Last, there's Maxwell, the politician of the house, who's supposed to be portrayed as a strong leader of a character. I, however, couldn't find much to like about him, though I did find myself aching for him anyway. His personality is presented poorly (not that he's a bad person, but that there's not much said about him), but his situation is mournful, and it's one I wanted to reach out myself to help mend. The most compelling aspect of Leaves is that we, as readers, do not know which story will end happily and which will end in tragedy. The best we can do is hold on, even when the ride gets bumpy, and hope to be able to find out. While I can't say Leaves was anything spectacular because it seemed just like a shallow collection of stories about each Gold sibling, it's a pretty easy read that flows well and is full of the sentiments in life that matter most: being resilient, finding and maintaining love, and always keeping hope. Stephanie Loves: "[Tyler] lay back in bed, thinking, this isn't a convenient time for me to lose my mind." Rating: 8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended.
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book where we get to meet the brothers and sisters of the Gold Family - in the days leading up to the final Halloween party at their family inn. I loved this book and look forward to the promise of future books following the lives of these siblings. Definitely a great story.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Angie Book provided by the publisher for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Leaves is one of those books that you want to read on a rainy fall afternoon while you have the house to yourself for a few hours. Curl up in your favorite reading spot with your favorite drink and a comfortable blanket and you’ll instantly be transported into the Northeast where we have the most beautiful changing of the leaves. This is probably the first review I’ve written in a long time that I’ve had to rewrite at least ten times to be sure that it’s worded in such a way as to not seem trite or offensive. There are only two other male writers who have wormed their way into my heart and onto my bookshelf and Kindle – James Patterson and Nicholas Sparks.  It can’t be easy on a writer when they choose so many protagonists with half as many secondary characters, but Mr. Baron really proved himself worthy of following the Gold children, along with their spouses and children. One thing that always impresses me is when a writer makes sure you know the flaws of the characters instead of trying to make them all perfect, such as Corrina, who is a controlling witch throughout most of the book and you learn it very, very quickly. Another thing I liked about this story is that in the foreword you kind of know what’s going to happen. Two hearts are going to join as one, one heart will stop. For someone who cries a lot when it comes to books, it was nice to know that I should have some tissues on hand prior to reading.  Not only am I an avid bibliophile, I’m also an avid music lover and while some of the music mentioned in this book wasn’t my cup of tea, there were instances when I squealed at the mention of a singer/band.  When the song, We Are Young,  was mentioned it had me reaching for my laptop so I could open up Spotify and play it while reading. If I had to pick a con, in addition to the seemingly abrupt ending, it would be the use of the word “kid” repeatedly in reference to Joey’s character. For some reason, I found the redundancy of the term annoying, as if the writer really didn’t care for Joey at all and didn’t like writing about him.  If I had to pick a character that was my favorite, it would be Deborah. She rarely let anything get to her and was happiest at work in her kitchen. If I had to choose a character who grew the most, it would most definitely be Maria. I’ve already mentioned who annoyed me most, but I still found her to be the glue that held the family together. Though I didn’t label it as paranormal, there are definitely some paranormal activities that take place in this book. I adored them as they really helped show the back story to these characters and what they needed to remember as they moved along their path.  At the end of the Kindle edition, which is what I read, there are previews to other books that Mr. Baron has written along with a short note as to his feelings on that particular book. Each one grabbed my attention and had me adding them to my Amazon wishlist. I can not say enough good about this book, it was just so…nice. I can’t wait to read the others in this series. Well done, Mr. Baron, well done.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A family of five children and an inn that has been left in their possession as they have both passed away.  Each has played their own role, but with the inn going to corporate hands, they must each give up a piece of their childhood.  Throughout the book there are references as to memories in the past - I loved how each memory was introduced and shared by each character.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
The Gold family's Sugar Maple Inn has been a popular tourist destination in Oldham, Connecticut for thirty-two years. Autumn in New England, where the leaves change their glorious colors, draws a faithful legion of "leaf peepers" to the area every fall season. But for the five Gold siblings, this is the final autumn that they will own the inn. After the death of their parents, Joseph and Bethany, who had moved their family from Long Island to Oldham to start a new life, the five Gold siblings: Maria, Maxwell, Deborah, Corrina and Tyler have made the reluctant decision to sell the inn to an organization that operates country inns all along the Eastern seaboard. The Gold family will hold their final traditional Halloween party before the inn officially changes hands on November 1st. Leaves follows the Gold siblings throughout the month of October as they count down the remaining days of owning the Sugar Maple Inn, culminating in the hosting of the inn's traditional Halloween party. As the days count down, the siblings struggle to let go, move on, and start anew. Each sibling has their own individual memories and issues that they are dealing with in their lives, but the ending of their family owned business adds a bittersweet element to the tumultuous and emotional time that they are going through. Will the upcoming sale of the family inn tear the family apart? Will the once close family bond loosen as they focus on their individual personal lives? Or will the family traditions and bonds of love forged by their beloved parents bring them closer together? Leaves is a poignant story of a New England family's changing dynamic ... similar to the autumnal seasonal leaves changing of colors in their hometown. Author Michael Baron weaves a heartfelt and riveting tale of loss, rebirth and renewal for the siblings in the Gold family, who each struggle with life changes within their family relationships. As the month of October counts down the days to the inn's final traditional Halloween party, the story chronicles the sibling's ups and downs of their individual lives, as they move towards the end of the ownership of their family inn. Just like the seasonal changes, life also changes, and for the Gold family, the changes will redefine their lives and family relationship. The reader is drawn into the Gold siblings lives, magically transported to the scenic New England town of Oldham and the quaint family owned Sugar Maple Inn. As the individual life stories of the Gold siblings (Maria, Maxwell, Deborah, Corrina and Tyler) unfold, the reader can't help but become emotionally invested as if they were their own family members. The author builds upon the drama of the siblings personal lives and their family relationship with the calendar countdown of the final days of their family inn. Like a emotionally charged roller coaster ride, the author keeps the reader engaged with the riveting twists and turns of the changing Gold family dynamic, only to leave the reader emotionally spent with a bittersweet cliffhanger ending as the Gold family saga continues in the next book in the series. Author Michael Baron's storytelling is reminiscent of my favorite author, Nicholas Sparks. His thoughtful creative style of writing simply captivates the reader and holds them spellbound. Leaves is an emotionally moving story about family relationships and life changes that will simply tug at your heartstrings. I just know that the Gold Family series is going to be one that will resonate with the readers long after the last page has been read.
MissDaisyAnne More than 1 year ago
*From Impressions In Ink Blog* Synopsis: The Sugar Maple Inn in Oldham, Connecticut has been owned by the Gold family for decades. After the parents death the adult children sell it. The siblings gather one last time for a Halloween party before the inn is sold. The tourist area is home to vibrant leafy trees in the autumn: hickory, beech, sumac, sassafras, maple, and oak. "Leaf peepers" travel to this area of the Connecticut River Valley in order the see the colorful show of leaves each autumn. The inn is where the five siblings grew up, they have wonderful memories of a close-nit family. Their grief is evident as the closure to this last bit of their parents and family history come to an end. Marie is the eldest of the siblings, she is a parent facing an empty nest. Maxwell the eldest son has a rising political career, and a wife who still thinks of herself as the "it" girl from her high school days. Deborah is head chef at The Sugar Maple Inn. Corrina is married to an attorney and has an angry step-son. Tyler the youngest of the Gold family, is a photographer of these famous autumn leaves. Each sibling has angst over career choices, parenting roles, marriages, the unknown after the inn sells, and grief after their parents death and the sell of their beloved childhood home. Review: Positive Points: This is a story that most readers will be able to relate to in some way. Whether it is through the various issues that the adult children have, or plainly through their loss of what they held most dear. This is an endearing story. I felt invested and involved in the outcome of these characters. Even though I did not always agree with their choices, I had compassion for them. There is a nostalgic quality in this story. Each adult child looks back on their past with fond memories, all of them contemplate a future with the absence of this inn. There is a bit of magic in this story. The author calls them "hauntings." I call them epiphany moments---meaning a vision of their past with a teaching principle. Negative Points: I'm ready to read part two! I could not find any negative points in this story, I tried. I loved everything about this story, and can't wait to read the next installment in the Gold family. Thank you to Michael Baron, The Story Plant, Providence Book Promotions for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review.
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
Leaves by Michael Baron ISBN: 9780984190546 Foliage of autumn leaves along Connecticut, breathtaking! That and other things made me want to read this book as I love being able to see the colors now and love the scenery. The siblings sat around the kitchen table to discuss plans for the annual tradition. No spouses or children, just the immediate family. Everyone would have a job to fulfill. The Sugar Maple Inn had a yearly October Halloween open Inn event that both Bethany and Joseph Gold had taken special pleasure in bringing to the community. Now that they were gone the children were going to make sure it continued this year before the Inn was sold. Love the references to the musical artists that I still follow. Each of the children have their own lives and are at various stages of relationships and some have children of varying ages. Love the photography and culinary skills. Love how she experiments with herbs and spices to perfection. The book is very detailed, descriptive enough and warm and welcoming that I feel a part of the family. Many of the events that do take place I've lived through myself so I know the pain and sorrow and joy and happiness. Love how some things that occur bring up memories of the past, the siblings getting along and being a family. Even though there are a lot of characters in this book they are very easy to keep track of and I love how the chapters are set up. Nothing in confusing in this book. First you start out just meeting them and as time goes on you discover the relationship problems they are having, sometimes it's just the kids problems. Love how the brothers and sisters can just drop in on another sibling and talk about their problems. One thing I do when I find a new author to read and like what I'm reading is to go visit their site, which I did and I can't wait to find the other books he's written so I can read them as well. This book also includes a chapter of Micheal's other works. Happy to learn this is one of a series, oh sweet!
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FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Mr. Baron’s other novels remind one very much of Sparks, with the amount of emotion and compelling looks into real people’s lives. Leaves is - yet again - one of those truly great novels. Now, for a born and bred Connecticut girl, after the first three lines of this story I was basically home. In fact, my hometown, the Inn that always stood and probably still does on Main Street, along with the leaf-peepers who came every year from ‘the city’ to see the fall colors - are offered here in full-color sweetness and hilarity. Joseph and Bethany Gold have been a huge part of their small town for a good, long time. A very loving couple raising five children, they ran the Sugar Maple Inn in the town of Oldham, located in the Connecticut River Valley. However, times have changed and now the Gold parents have passed away, leaving the siblings to deal with the Inn and its issues. The one thing that the Inn has always been known for is their famous Halloween party, and once the kids decide that they are going to sell the Inn to a large chain so that none of them have to deal with the problems that come along with running it, this year becomes the last time that Oldham and ‘The Gold’s Halloween Party’ go hand-in-hand. It is almost as if they’re laying their parents to rest once again, because the Inn was a highlight of the town for years - but this party will be the last big gasp before the family breaks up and goes their separate ways. All the children; Tyler, Corrina, Deborah, Maxwell and Maria - and their spouses, children and significant others - are looking forward to this big change and what it will mean to their lives. Some are filled with glee, while others are upset to see this tradition and their home disappear. It is the end of an era, and this last party is a challenge for the siblings as they struggle to let the past go and head into an unknown future. To say this is a fascinating and, at times, really hysterical read, is not enough. Every page, in fact, shows the very real world of small town New England, and the author, thankfully, plans to make a series of novels about this family. Quill Says: Whether a native or a leaf-peeping visitor, a good time is had by all when this author releases yet another great title.
TheStuffofSuccess More than 1 year ago
Leaves was a comfortable story to read.  Since I live in CT I was familiar with all the local small New England town references.  That added a certain comfort with the story.  Five siblings lose their parents and are faced with selling this small New England Inn which has long been a popular tourist destination.  Characters are well thought out and relationships are very detailed.  Each of the characters have very different personalities and very different issues to deal with.  I have not read any other Michael Baron novels so I don't know how this compares to any other works of his.   I don't generally read books like this and it is for that reason only that I give this four stars.  The story does not appear to have a solid ending but it is planned to be the first of a series of the siblings - so the lack of an ending serves to draw you in to the next volume.  I believe the book is well written - I am just more of an action/adventure type of reader.   I was provided this book in exchange for an honest review.