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In 1976, we moved from California in a van across the U.S. with my husband, a seven-month old daughter and a four-year son, we settled in Greenville, S.C. I can’t remember a day I didn’t have a desire to be with my family, dogs, and teaching special needs children. Those students brought me satisfaction as I saw their eyes light-up with comprehension.
The old house overlooked the ocean with a screened porch and four rocking chairs. Edisto Island limits the size of buildings and has no commercial entertainment. My grand boys learned how to amuse themselves with their imaginations, using puzzles and games, ping pong under the house, swimming and kayaking, eating fresh seafood. Our dogs bit the waves, learned to swim and ride in a boat and loved digging in the sand.
In August, 2014, Seven Days to Goodbye was published.
At home, I wrote in my newly appointed office, upstairs. My desk was wedged in the dormer, giving me a terrific view of the forest of hardwoods and pine trees. I hung a painting of Linus and Charlie Brown and a Tri-colored Aussie. Motivational quotes and pictures of special people filled my bulletin board. After my husband placed bird feeders in our backyard, I was entertained by the birds. They must have passed the word to all of their feathered friends on where to find black sunflower seeds. The squirrels leaped from tree branches and tried to steal the seeds, but ended up getting the leftovers on the ground.
My young adult series is called the Trina Ryan Novels. Seven Days to Goodbye takes place on Edisto Island. I turned my experiences into a teen novel with issues they will identify with, especially if they like reading about the beach, the magic of a service dog, and girls meeting guys for the first time.
The sequel, Starting Over, is set in my Greenville neighborhood. We had eight wooded acres and our next-door neighbors had a barn and two horses. I adapted my daughter’s riding experiences and my knowledge of dysfunctional families I encountered while teaching into this next novel. Starting Over will be published August 1st, 2017. Pre-orders are being taken now. Before your book is shipped from Fiction Addiction, I will sign your copy.
Enjoy an Excerpt:
Sydney climbed on my lap and licked the corners of my eyes. I buried my face in his soft fur and scratched under his chin. He leaned into my hand as I whispered, “We’ll have fun with or without Sarah. We just have to.”
Staring through the side window, a deep-blue summer sky flickered between pine trees covered in kudzu. Sarah’s car passed on the right. I turned the other way.
Off the freeway, we headed east and then south down a two lane road through sleepy little towns one after the other. Twenty minutes later, I leaned forward between the front seats, “Wow. Look.”
Branches from gigantic live oak trees slanted towards the middle of the street. The trees looked as though they were trying to touch each other and some did. They reminded me of my cozy canopy bed where Sarah and I had spent many nights, giggling and whispering. But this canopy was made of tree limbs in different shades of green, dripping with grayish, Spanish moss. The moss hung like ghostly long arms swinging in the wind.
“This is kind of spooky beautiful. It’s like being in a green tunnel.” I cracked my window.
A whiff of salty ocean filled the car. Sydney lifted his head as the trees whizzed by. His nose twitched. “We’re getting close, Syd.” He squeezed into the same space with me and gazed out the front window.
Suddenly, the trees disappeared. The cloudless sky stretched with no end in sight. Pelicans flew in an upside down, V formation. On both sides of the road, squiggly tidal creeks flowed through green marshlands. White birds with skinny legs stood statue-still in the shimmering water. This was a place I’d only seen in postcards.
Pelicans flew in an upside down, V formation. On both sides of the road, squiggly tidal creeks flowed through green marshlands. White birds with skinny legs stood statue-still in the shimmering water. This was a place I’d only seen in postcards.
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