Hola! Today's book, Chasing Sunsets, by Eva Marie Everson, is the first in the Cedar Key series. I believe the second one will be released in a bit and that she's working on the third. I could be wrong.
First, let me put on the table that I know Eva Marie. I was a member of her writing critique group, Word Weavers, back in Orlando several years ago. I was only there a brief stint, but she ran the show for a while, quite well. I thought I knew how to write when I joined the group, but it was from Eva Marie and Janice Elsheimer that I really began to see and experience writing through the eyes of a writer. Thank you, ladies!
I think I've read nearly every book Eva Marie has written or co-written, fiction and non. Some of my favorites are the Potluck Club series and Things Left Unspoken. Chasing Sunsets is an interesting addition to her fiction. Cedar Key is deep-south Florida, a small beach community, littered with snow birds and tanned locals. Immediately I loved the setting, having lived in Florida for eleven years. Made me just a little homesick.
The main character, Kimberly, I took an instant but subtle disliking to. Couldn't put my finger on it initially, but she unfolds as tightly wound, needing to be in control of her surroundings. I wanted to smack her around, mom to mom, woman to woman. She's divorced, holding tightly to her two boys, who both need their father as much as they need her, if not more. But I hurt for her and wanted to see her come to life, so I kept reading.
Eva Marie does a beautiful job of letting us see Kimberly as she discovers herself and her past, as she unlocks the door of her heart, in painful, healing ways. I won't lie to ya - I pretty much wanted to smack Kimberly all the way through the book for the way she handles things, the speed she takes a new relationship. But I can't help liking her and cheering her on as she faces into the demons of her past and allows for personal change.
Eva Marie's descriptions are beautifully done. I'm not a visual reader and don't usually care about setting, but I could see everything, every nuance. The beach, marsh, boats, her house and wardrobe. The ways she moves. Love it.
And her neighbor! Patsy! I LOVE Patsy. I can't WAIT till the next book. There had better be more Patsy in the next book is all I'm sayin'.
Overall, I truly enjoyed Chasing Sunsets. It's a great summer read, especially if you're spending time at the beach or on a lake. I hope you'll find a copy for yourself. I read mine on my Kindle, which Eva Marie refused to sign for me last time I saw her. :( Next time I'm taking a black sharpie to the conference and am just going to have everyone sign the Kindle. So there.
Until I write again ...