As promised yesterday, we’re back with our second of four novels featured this week in our Farewell To Summer series. We’re giving all four of these novels away to one lucky winner. So make sure to leave your comment on yesterday’s post if you’d like to toss your name in the hat.
The truth is, the last 12 months, those making up the year before my book’s release, have been the worst of my life. The book had been written, edited, and sold. The title was set, and we were starting to talk about covers. I had found out I would be featured on the Debutante Ball, a blog for debut authors to bond and help each other promote.
And then one day, about a year ago, my husband and I separated.
My world fell apart. It fell and it kept falling. My world fell out of the sky where it had been floating, partly ignored, partly feared, and then it hit every branch in the tree below it, and then it rolled into the lake, and then it floated into the river, and knocked against the rocks, tumbled down a rapids, washed into the ocean, fell into the Marianas Trench, sank lower, and lower, and eventually melted in the heat of the geodynamo.
But the Book was still happening. This book about home and faith and, yeah, true love, the book that my then husband had cheered me on to write, had been the first reader for, the book for which, in my mind, he was the lucky charm—that was still happening. The Book didn’t care that my life was over. It didn’t care that I was suddenly alone, in a house, with a one year old boy with gross motor challenges, with no job of my own to speak of, and no idea how I would pay the bills.
In fact, the Book thought I should be excited. Thrilled that my dream was coming true. I was becoming a real author!
I was not thrilled.
In my novel, two women with the same name both become convinced that they won a million dollar house giveaway on a cable network. One is ecstatic. Her world, as she knows it, is not so great. A new house, a new life, a new chance—what else could she ask for?
But the other is not happy to win. She doesn’t want a new house right now. She didn’t even enter herself in the competition. She wants to hide in her old house, live in her past, pretend nothing has changed and nothing ever will.
These two women, so different, so oppositional, and yes, so imaginary—who would have guessed these two women would have been my bellwether as I navigated the last twelve months of my life? I’ve vacillated between them, sometimes clinging, sometimes breaking free. After all, I didn’t enter to win a new life.
But win it, I did.
And now that the Book is out—real, right, rewarding—I do feel, just a little bit, thrilled.
* * *
THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS OF SHIPWRECK LANE is the story of two women with the same name, each of whom believes she is the rightful winner of a Dream Home Sweepstakes. For Nean, winning the house means an escape from a string of dead-end jobs and bad boyfriends. For Janey, it’s a chance to build a life outside of the shadow of her fiancé’s death. Both Janine Browns head for Christmas Cove, Maine to claim the house, and when their lives intersect, they discover that more than just a million-dollar dream home awaits them at water’s edge. Filled with wit and charm, THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS OF SHIPWRECK LANE is an enchanting, heartfelt debut about the many ways love finds us, the power of a home-cooked meal, and what it really means to be lucky.