Summer at Hideaway Key by Barbara Davis

Breaking my I-don’t-post-reviews-here rule once again. Obviously, it’s a silly rule, meant to be broken when the urge comes upon me–as it did this morning when I finished reading Summer at Hideaway Key.

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Barbara Davis has done it again. She told me I’d love Lily-Mae. What she didn’t tell me was that I’d become so emotionally entangled with this wonderful character that I’d want to climb into the story and shake some sense into her, then turn around and pull Lily-Mae into my arms to soothe her. I wanted to promise that it would all work out. Surely, it would all work out.

Thank you, Barbara, that it did. Not perhaps as I would have preferred, but the deeds had been done already and couldn’t be undone. And isn’t that the gift of great storytelling? That the author can draw the reader so deeply into the narrative that she totally suspends disbelief? I was there. I was rooting and crying and laughing right beside Lily and Lily-Mae, beside Dean and Roland. (And I wanted to throttle Caroline, who became the perfect example of choices gone bad.)

Barbara dealt with some hard topics here—abuse, jealousy, lies, and betrayal. She made us think about the meaning of love, the gift of forgiveness, and the choices we make to follow love or to follow anger, to risk our heart or to run and hide from the possibility of pain.

Oh, and let’s not forget the setting. Barbara may have shown the horrors of a poor farm, but she also gave us Hideaway Key, the Gulf coast, and a gorgeous white beach. She tossed in pink drinks and pink flip flops, a tightly knit community, and the comfort of friends. I wanted to sift through Lily-Mae’s jar of shells, to sit on the deck and count blessings as I watched the sunset with my beloved, waiting every night for the green flash and rooting for happy endings all around.

Buy on Amazon

And make sure you collect all three of Barbara’s books. I can’t wait for number four.

Who Doesn’t Love to Read Accolades?

I mean, really? You don’t? 

I get it. Maybe you don’t like to read accolades about other people’s books.

I do. They let me know what a reader (at least one reader) thinks — and they usually prompt me to zip over to Amazon to see for myself what all the hoopla is about.

I hope that this reviewer’s words will have that affect on you. (Of course, I do. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t hope that.)

Here’s what the blogger with this delightful signature had to say

Empress-DJ-signatureon Books and Bindings.  She read my book for a blog tour (with TLC Book Tours). Et voilá!

“Five Stars is not a high enough rating for this marvelous book – quality writing of this caliber calls for at least a double rating of 10.  It was breathtaking.  I adored every sentence of this meticulously crafted story, and there was not a wasted word on the 403 superbly written pages.  The narrative was so descriptive and enthralling, I could hear the dog’s bark, see and feel the lightning in the sky, and smell the water in the bay…”

She picked out her favorite quotes and just kept on going. I savor her choices and am so very grateful that my words touched her enough that she could speak of it so. Thank you, thank you.

Click here to read the Full Review on Books and Bindings

Heavy Weather 2

Breaking My Rules: Writing a Review

I decided a few years ago that I would no longer review books here, mostly because I didn’t want to hurt feelings or neglect anyone. But sometimes rules need to be broken. And this is one of those times.

I met Barbara Claypole White (online, but we’re going to fix that soon at the WFWA Writers Retreat) when both of us were about to see our debut babies sail forth into readers’ hands. Her brilliant work, The Unfinished Garden, shared a release party with Becalmed. 

Barbara’s niche in the world of literature has evolved because of her own struggle to raise a son with OCD. We’ve seen the movie versions of this illness and tried to find the humanity in it, the place where we might be comfortable in its company. But Barbara gave us James to challenge all of our preconceptions–and we loved him. No, we fell in love with him.

Her sophomore novel dealt with other issues and did it well, but it’s her third book, The Perfect Son, that firmly establishes Barbara as an author who is going places.

MY REVIEW

In a world filled with cries for perfection, be it of body, performance, or mind, Barbara Claypole White brings us a story of the imperfect. And then she makes us fall in love with her messy crew.The Perfect Son

I consider this nothing short of brilliant. BCW began this journey into the world of flawed characters in The Unfinished Garden, and I fell in love with James as he battled OCD. In The Perfect Son, she explores flawed people of differing ages dealing with other flawed people—and doing it badly—until a crisis forces them to grow or to fold. The title works on so many levels.

Some stories push you to accept characters in spite of their issues. The Perfect Son made me long to meet Felix, Harry, Max, Katherine, and Eudora—and, of course, Ella—because of their issues and their triumph of spirit. Managing that, my friends, takes a gifted author.

 

Stop by WFWA Café May 25-May 29

We’ll be discussing Sailing out of Darkness all week long at the Women’s Fiction Writers Association Café on Facebook.sod small

Stop by any time to comment or ask a question–and perhaps win the book!

https://www.facebook.com/events/653668704758872/

WOMEN’S FICTION LAUNCH PARTY — MAY 5

Thirteen authors talk about their new releases. Win a book every half hour!

Women's Fiction Lauch Party
Join us!

Excellent line-up:
12:00 Lia Mack – Waiting for Paint to Dry
www.liamack.com
12:30 Carla Stewart – A Flying Affair
http://www.carlastewart.com
1:00 Elizabeth A. Havey – A Mother’s Time Capsule
http://elizabethahavey.com
1:30 Judith Keim – Straight Talk
www.judithkeim.com
2:00 Normandie Fischer – Heavy Weather
www.normandiefischer.com
2:30 Kristy Woodson Harvey – Dear Carolina
www.kristywoodsonharvey.com
3:00 Margaret Dilloway – Sisters of Heart and Snow
http://margaretdilloway.com
3:30 Shelley Noble – Whisper Beach
www.shelleynoble.com
4:00 Ute Carbone – The Tender Bonds
www.utecarbone.com
4:30 Samantha Bryant – Going Through the Change: A Menopausal Superhero Novel
http://samanthabryant.com
5:00 Cynthia Ruchti – As Waters Gone By
www.cynthiaruchti.com
5:30 M.C. Walker – Before the Lights Go Out
www.writermcwalker.blogspot.com
6:00 Kathryn Craft – The Far End of Happy
http://kathryncraft.com

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY: Enter to win one of five copies

CLICK TO ENTER!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Heavy Weather by Normandie Fischer

Heavy Weather

by Normandie Fischer

Giveaway ends April 02, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Available for Pre-order NOW! HEAVY WEATHER for Kindle

With the release date approaching–March 15–the Kindle version of Heavy Weather has been approved for pre-order. The print should follow soon.

CLICK HERE TO BUY

It takes a town to save a child. That town is Beaufort, North Carolina.

Annie Mac’s estranged husband vows that nothing will stop him from getting his baby girl. Not Annie Mac and certainly not that boy of hers.

Only four blocks away, Hannah Morgan lives in comfort with her husband and dog, making pottery and waiting for her best friend to come home. When she discovers the two children cowering in the bushes and their mama left for dead, it doesn’t take her long to set her coterie of do-gooders to some extra-strength do-gooding. Add in Clay, a lonely police lieutenant yanked out of his comfort zone and into the heart of this small family, and who knows what will happen?

From the author of Becalmed comes this latest tale of the Carolina coast, introducing some new characters to love–and to loathe.

If you haven’t read  Becalmed, the publisher has listed  it  for 99 cents for Kindle.

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Cover Reveal: Heavy Weather

I’ve shown this cover as it’s been developing, but I finally have the ready-to-go front. The fonts have been tweaked, and I really like them.

What do you think?Heavy Weather 2

Another Carolina Coast story from the author of Becalmed

It takes a town to save a child. That town is Beaufort, North Carolina.

In this love story about a small Southern town that takes care of its own, the Beaufort folk reach out to embrace two children and their battered mama.

Annie Mac’s estranged husband has come to get his baby girl, and he’ll stop at nothing to have her. When childless Hannah Morgan discovers the two children cowering in the bushes and their mama left for dead, she rallies the sleepy town of Beaufort, NC, and sets her coterie of do-gooders to some extra-strength do-gooding. Add in a lonely police lieutenant yanked out of his comfort zone and into the heart of this small family, and who knows what will happen?

Learning about Landing Pages

All of you website gurus have this trick already in your bag. I, instead, am at the beginning of this particular learning curve.

But I just read some interesting tidbits from a man whose blog I follow. I really enjoy Joel Friedlander’s words of wisdom and encouragement on The Book Designer, and recently Joel talked about landing pages.

What, I wondered, were these? (You see how far behind I lag?) Joel and his guest proceeded to tell me.

And being a hands-on learner, I decided to see if I could create one that worked.

Would you take a look and let me know what you think? All you have to do is click HERE.

Or click on the Page Tab above that’s called HOME.

Will you do that and let me know? After all, that’s how I’ll learn and get it right!

 

Gulls in San Carlos Dec 2009Coming in for a landing–and aiming at Sea Venture (taken San Carlos, MX) 2010