by Ann Tonnell
How Sweet the Sound merges an energetic love story with one of fulfilled dreams and a rural community’s hope. Val Scott, a retired RN, envisions a way to improve the lives of an economically depressed area of Georgia through an initially hush-hush project. Because the state’s conservative and fundamentalist history serves as a deterrent to planning, revealing, and executing such an innovative project, Val remains cautious in the early stages.
She finds support from a fierce flirt, popular laundromat owner, Nicki Williams. Although Nicki has suffered incredible loss, she has worked through her grief to obtain a social work degree and is pursuing an MBA. She is drawn, not only to Val’s project, but also to Val herself. Nicki’s best friend, John Henry Evans, becomes an ardent supporter.
Val and Nicki navigate their relationship and business partnership amid an intense project timeline. Throughout the story, music’s poetry communicates romance, love, and understanding. As the project nears completion, a karaoke talent event demonstrates the community’s acceptance of the project’s mission. Val prepares to leave for several months on a bicycle trip, and Nicki questions the strength of their bond.