At thirty-four, congressional staffer Mallory Hale is about to embark on an adventure completely off the map. After a whirlwind romance, she is hopelessly in love with two men–fortunately, they’re related. Daniel Everson and his little boy, Nick, are a package deal, and Mallory suddenly can’t imagine her future without them.
Mallory couldn’t be more shocked when Daniel asks her to marry him, move to Texas, and form a family with him and motherless Nick. The idea is both thrilling and terrifying.
Mallory takes a leap of faith and begins a sweet, mishap-filled journey into ranch living, Moses Lake society, and a marriage that at times reminds her of the mail-order-bride stories. But despite the wild adventure of her new life, she discovers secrets and questions beneath her rosy new life. Can she find answers on Firefly Island, a little chunk of property just off the lakeshore, where mysterious lights glisten at night?
FCB: When you were a little girl what did you want to be when you grew up
Lisa: As long as I remember, I wanted to be a writer. There were two early defining moments for me.
I was a preschooler when we had a family gathering and my older brother came home from school with a blue ribbon stapled to his Bee Under the Sea story. Everyone listened while he read his story to us. A light turned on in my brain. ‘You can get attention with your writing. You can get a ribbon for your writing.’ You always want to do what your older sib can do, of course. Brandon taught me to read and write those stories in my mind and I was offering to sell my writing to my relatives before I started school.
A first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhart picked up my Bear Cave story one day, saying, “You are a wonderful writer.” Then she read it to the class and when the bear went into the cave everyone looked at me wondering what happens next. I wrote sequels to the story for days or weeks.
You believe what your teacher tells you, of course. I kept writing from that day to this. I have gotten attention and recognition and a few ‘blue ribbons’, too, so it’s been a dream come true! I was able to get in touch with that precious teacher years after she had retired and thank her for the inspiration. Thank your teacher today!
FCB: We see a lot of advice out there for writers, but what advice would you give someone like me, who enjoys reading and writing reviews on a book? What makes a good review?
Lisa: It goes without saying that a review should be honest, but beyond that, I think a review is best when it answers the question other readers have: Would I like this book and why or why not? The reader wants to know a little about the story, but not too much. The review shouldn’t be a “spoiler” but it should tell enough to interest a reader.
Readers like to know what characters they might relate to and how the book will live on in the reviewer’s mind. What would a reader take away from the story? For example would the novel be interesting to a grieving person, a person who was close to a grandmother, who is struggling with empty nesting or with forgiving a neglectful parent, etc.
A good reviewer looks for elements that stand out in the book. These are all things that can be discussed if they are features of the novel: Are there moments of LOL or that tug at other emotions? Great descriptions that take you right to the time and place, that you can see, feel, taste, smell? Lots of action and conversation vs. pages of narrative? A plot with plenty of action throughout the whole story? An attention-grabbing opening? Are there noteworthy, beautiful phrases and sentences, anything inspiring? Did it keep you reading and turning pages to find out what happens? And, was there a satisfying ending or maybe a surprise ending?
And if the book left you wanting to read more of this author’s work, that’s a thing readers want to know and music to an author’s ears.
FCB: Thanks so much Lisa for taking a few minutes from your busy schedule to share a little about yourself. And yes, teachers are so important and at least in California really struggling. If you want to learn more about Lisa visit her website at: http://www.lisawingate.com/
This story started out a little slow for me. I tend to read fast paced, dead bodies in the first two pages types of books, this is not that type of story. But what I found, is a story about life from the perspective of Mallory Hale, a Washington up and comer who falls head over heels for Daniel Webster Everson and his young son, Nick.
There is so much to enjoy about this story. Mallory is the baby of her family and has some growing up to do as a new wife and instant mother. Not only is she use to getting her own way, but she’s use to a certain amount of pampering. When the newly formed Everson family move to Moses Lake Mallory is in for a rude awakening about life. Some of the things she faces made me laugh while her developing maternal feelings and relationship with Nick are sweet. You add the quirky citizens of Moses lake and you get several funny moments.
The story not only dealt with real life issues that a city girl faces moving to the rural Texas but you have the mysterious boss, Jack West and the disappearance of his second wife and stepson. I enjoyed trying to figure out the truth about Jack right along with Mallory.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about life. If you are an adrenaline junkie that needs super fast paced, action packed stories this probably wouldn’t be the book for you.
Disclaimer: I did receive this book from the author, but was under no obligation other than to give my honest opinion.
I love to read, especially mystery books. Though in the past couple of years I've been a part of the ACFW Book Club and have found some wonderful writers. It's been fun to interact with authors.
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