Today on Let’s Review Wednesday our book is The Sands of Santa Rosa by indie author Tommie Lyn.
There are several intertwined plot lines: a bitter woman seeking revenge on her former employer; a corporate executive determined to maintain his image and lifestyle in the face of a disaster with widespread impact; an environmental group willing to take extreme measures to bring attention to its cause; a man seeking custody of the child resulting from a youthful fling because his wife and mother insist he do so, despite the fact that none of them has been in contact with the girl the entire five years of her life; and the story of Cotton Chastain, a Georgia man with a rare ability his mountain community calls the Sight. He refers to his premonitions and visions as Knowing, and while he can’t explain why he has them or exactly how they operate, he’s learned over his 22 years that it’s best to heed them.
So, when a Knowing comes over him that there’s trouble in the Gulf and his older brother is involved because of his oil rig job, Cotton heads south, intending to go to New Orleans, where his brother maintains an apartment when he’s onshore. However, the Knowing steers him instead to the Florida panhandle, where he meets Mattie Sands and her daughter Sara. Cotton’s premonitions of danger focus on the precocious little girl, and he extends his stay to try and figure out the source of his distress.
Rapid cuts from one plot line to the next were a bit jarring at first, but I quickly became accustomed to the style. The mountain dialect of Cotton and his people was well written and reminded me of Mark Twain’s use of regional speech patterns in his fiction. Some of the supporting characters felt a bit stock and two-dimensional, but they aren’t meant to be the main focus, so it doesn’t detract from the overall reading experience.
The first half of the book felt like the long climb up a hill that I’ve experienced on many roller coaster rides, but once I hit the 50% mark on my Kindle progress bar, the pace picked up considerably. Like the roller coaster, once the story crested that hill, it zipped around so many curves and twists, up and down so many smaller hills, that it left me breathless at the end and made me want to begin reading the sequel, Windows of the Soul , immediately afterward.
The Sands of Santa Rosa will give you a yearning for white sands, emerald green waters and sunshine. Just watch out for those Cubozoans…
About the Author
Tommie Lyn has lived in the Florida panhandle for almost four decades. Her high school sweetheart and husband of 49 years retired from the Navy after being transferred there from Okinawa in 1975. Many of her novels and some of her short stories are set in the panhandle.
She writes short stories and novels in a variety of genres: historical, mystery/suspense, supernatural thriller and mainstream fiction. Eight of her novels and an anthology of flash fiction stories are available for purchase from Amazon.com.
Encouraging other writers is important to her. In order to provide that encouragement, she maintains membership in her local Panhandle Writers Group as well as several online writers’ groups.
You can find out more about Tommie Lyn and her writing at her website, Tommie Lyn Writes.