Belvin releases third novel

Published 11:45 am Thursday, July 27, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

WILLIAMSBURG, VA – Former Gates County resident and former GCHS teacher Janet Morris Belvin has written a novel set in the horse country of northern Virginia which continues the story of her first novel The Refuge. Sycamore Hill, a 202-page tale, is set in the rural area outside the fictional small town of Braverton Mill in Loudoun County, Virginia. The novel, Belvin’s fourth book, is set for the most part in the present day but hearkens back to the days leading up to the Civil War. It’s an uplifting book about the power of love, courage, new life, and fresh starts.

Return to the gorgeous terrain of Northern Virginia’s horse country where three families, the Hills, the O’Connells, and the Browns and the nuns of the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy nearby are about to find their lives intertwined. A crime committed by two brothers serves as a catalyst to bring the families and friends together in the village of Braverton Mill. Meanwhile, new births are happening all around them – from the horses at Greyson to the inhabitants of both the Hill home and the O’Connell home.

When expectant parents Charlie and Sue O’Connell decide that their small home won’t hold another infant, they decide to look for something larger. Finding a classic brick manor, they buy the house and its acreage and begin restoring it. But in the process, an astonishing secret is discovered in the basement of Sycamore Hill, a secret that will affect all three families as well as the nuns.

Inspired by the extraordinary courage of actual conductors on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, this captivating book is a reminder that no matter the era in which we live, we are all connected through our shared histories. And family is not necessarily determined by whose blood you carry, but by the love you share.

Belvin is also the author of Southern Stories from the Porch Swing, her memoir published in 2018, The Refuge, a mystery romance published in 2021, and The Bookshop on Beach Road, a historical dual timeline romance published in 2022.

She will be signing her books at the Gates County Public Library, 14 Cypress Creek Drive, Gatesville, on Saturday, September 23 from 10:30 am until 12 noon.

The mother of three and grandmother of nine, Belvin lives in Williamsburg, VA with her husband Paul and is a former teacher at Gates County High School. Her father, the late Dr. Frank Morris was a longtime pastor of Middle Swamp Baptist Church. She is an occasional columnist for the Gates County Index and writes for magazines and newspapers in North and South Carolina.

Sycamore Hill is available in print and eBook versions on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Books A Million and other bookstores or at Belvin’s online bookshop:

Belvin can be reached at or at her Facebook page Janet Morris Belvin, Author.