“A lovely, intelligent novel. Yellow Sky, Emerald Sea possesses timeless and universal appeal and will give pleasure to any reader who appreciates good literature.”—Mark Spencer, Winner of Omaha Prize for the Novel
That day of hell and grace….
In the afternoon of September 21, 1938, a deadly hurricane bludgeons New England’s south coast with no warning. On a sandy point straddling Rhode Island and Connecticut, all the summer houses—with their owners clinging to roofs—blow into the bay. The next day, an aspiring reporter picks up a pen to interview his surviving neighbors. Will their memories survive?
Readers whose tastes run to Alexander McCall Smith, Rita Mae Brown, and Anne Tyler will enjoy this feel-good contemporary story honoring the survivors of the Hurricane of 1938 in Rhode Island. In this literary, yet fast-paced tale laced with intrigue, corruption, and romance, protagonist Vieve Clough Beale, portrait artist, recovering alcoholic, and widow with storm wreckage of a different sort, arrives on the Weekapaug Coast in the run-up to the eightieth anniversary of the hurricane to visit her beloved Uncle Carl, retired jewelry magnate. When he doesn’t show for dinner, Vieve—accompanied by her feisty terrier mix, Jack West—stay on to search for him. As the search drags on, Vieve accepts an invitation from charismatic acrylic artist Marley Kinnell to compete together in a mural competition for the hurricane’s eightieth anniversary commemoration. And then Vieve’s beloved terrier goes missing. What Vieve finds as she delves into preparations for the commemoration and the increasingly threatening activities at an abandoned coastal fort tests her loyalties and upends her future just as the town faces its own memories of hell and grace.
The contemporary story, threaded with powerful hurricane-day vignettes of death and survival, is a resonant tale of love, ambition, loss, and the rich legacy of time and memory.
How long will you stand up for what you believe when your world unravels?
Lucinda Tyne Beck, VP and uber college fundraiser, uncovers illegal use of donations by her boss, Frank Wickes, the flashy new President of her alma mater on the rocky North Shore of Massachusetts. As her 17-year marriage to artsy photographer Bart Beck unravels at a betrayal Lucinda can’t deny—much as she’d like to—Lucinda scrambles to save the college’s reputation and her marriage. The day her husband moves out, Lucinda’s best friend arrives at her farmhouse, horse trailer in tow, with an ex-racehorse on the verge of starvation. As Bart self-destructs and Lucinda’s life is threatened as she scrambles to bring Frank to justice, she turns to a surprising ally and an intrepid dwarf miniature horse for help. Before her pursuer strikes, can Lucinda save her college, her thoroughbred mare, and find a new way to love?
Praise for Halt at X
“A rich engaging novel…with its focus on characters’ search for meaning, purpose, and redemption, while hindered inevitably by their own faults. -Mark Spencer, author of Ghost Walking and winner of the Omaha Prize for the Novel
Sally is a novelist, essayist, and scientist with an MS in Conservation Biology. Before following the path to novel writing and conservation work, she worked in technical editing and philanthropic fundraising. As a conservation scientist, Sally works to help coastal communities and wildlife adapt to climate change.
Set in distinctly New England settings, Sally’s fiction combines literary, contemporary, suspense, thriller, and romance elements.
In HALT AT X, Lucinda Tyne Beck, uber fundraiser, faces much more than money woes when new President Frank Wickes takes over at Peabody-Hawthorne College on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Lucinda uncovers illegal use of donations by her boss at the same time her 17-year marriage to artsy photographer Bart Beck unravels at a betrayal Lucinda can’t deny. Soon Lucinda is scrambling to save the college’s reputation and her marriage. Right after her husband moves out, Lucinda’s best friend arrives at her farmhouse, horse trailer in tow, with an ex-racehorse on the verge of starvation. When her life is threatened and Bart self-destructs, Lucinda turns to a surprising ally and an intrepid dwarf miniature horse for help. Before he pursuer strikes, can Lucinda save her college, her Thoroughbred mare, and find a new way to love?
Sally is currently writing YELLOW SKY, EMERALD SEA–a tale of memory, art, and healing set during the run-up to the 80th anniversary of the Hurricane of 1938 on the Weekapaug Coast of Rhode Island. Sally’s essays–on bluebird nest monitoring, learning to play the saxophone, and making sense of a mismatched creche–have been published in the Christian Science Monitor.
Halt at X has been out in the world for a month now. Thanks to you early-adopter readers! I would love to get your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, if you are so inclined.
And so….next? A novel set on the Weekapaug Coast of Rhode Island eighty years after of the Hurricane of ’38.
On a short research jaunt there in May I met a talkative old local (Bill) from Pawcatuck, RI, who told me stories I hadn’t found in the books and old newspaper articles I’ve read so far. All while I was tripping over the briars and picking off ticks while stumbling around the hulking remains of Ft. Mansfield at Napatree Point. I did not see Bill stumble once! The plovers were piping loudly, the gulls were crabbing, and the cliff swallows were dive bombing me to steer clear of their nests in the abandoned fort! Great fun was had by all, except, I suppose, the crabs….read more
Novel writing tools circa 1985 (left) and 2015 (right). I’ve been at this for a while….ET_2in1
In this NND blog, I’ll be musing about novels, novel writing, and novelists next door. We’re out there. Right in your own neighborhood! Reading and writing novels.
A little about me to get going….
I have degrees in English (always a good excuse to write fiction) and Conservation Biology (always a good excuse to wander around in the woods or explore the low tide line). Art, Science, and Literature have encircled my life for decades.read more