It’s time to pre-order! You can order from our local Indie bookstore FoxTale. Remember my book launch will be November 13 at 2pm. I’m so excited about this book. Preorder now to make sure you get a copy.
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Going to the Water is my first novel in five years. I’m so excited about this book because I stepped out of my comfort zone. This book is the first in what will be a trilogy set in the Nantahala Gorge in North Carolina. Going to the Water is my first attempt at writing a contemporary novel.
Most of my books begin with questions that I need answered. Going to the Water began percolating in my thoughts in the fall of 2014. My youngest daughter was a sophomore in high school, and we suddenly had to move from the home where she had lived all her life. Someone I had counted as a dear, dear friend had betrayed me, and the friendship could not be saved. And, as if that wasn’t enough, a neighbor I much admired, who marched at Selma, Alabama in the sixties, who I thought had many of my same views, told me that the star quarterback for the local high school–my daughter went to another school–had slipped into the basement of the gym on a weekend and killed himself. Turns out many of the kids at this school had started a rumor that the young man, a senior, was gay. The rumor spread like wildfire through the school and community. When I recovered from my naive shock that things like this still happened and asked the neighbor why the football player with a promising college career would do such a thing, she said the school kids couldn’t tolerate their star quarterback being gay and she couldn’t blame them. Of course no one knew for sure whether the rumors were true, only that a handful of people decided to make a judgement and strike out on their own vigilante crusade. I was speechless and heartbroken that such a thing could happen in 2014 in a neighborhood of Atlanta, a progressive city.
These were the ingredients that helped me give birth to my characters Isla Weehunt and Randal Leech. Two people so different that had they not been thrown together through tragedy, they never would have crossed paths. Isla is the wife of a successful farmer, who enjoys their wealth and standing in the small mountain town. She has a secret that only her husband knows. She escaped a humdrum life in her hometown of Nantahala and never went back. Never. For no reason. Randal is a junior in high school. He’s the kid that all the tough guys pick on because he is different. He doesn’t play sports. He doesn’t go hunting. He likes to read. His mother was the loose woman in town. his grandmother is crazy as a loon. Randal is judged on his family’s past and the bullies’ comments.
Going to the Water is a book about passing judgment, about throwing stones when one lives in a glass house, but the story is so much more. It’s a book about the shame most people carry around. Shame saddled on their backs early in life. There is the love of place and nature, a saving grace. The humanity of a father’s legacy. It’s a tale of forgiveness and the rough road that one has to travel to get there. A murder and the fight for the truth. It’s a mystery that will leave the reader guessing until the last few pages.
My wonderful publisher, Firefly Southern Fiction, turned out this brilliant book cover. I hope all the readers will love it like I do.