Tuesday, June 14, 2011

‘Chasing Sunsets: A Cedar Key Novel’ by Eva Marie Everson – Book Review

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Summer is coming soon, and with it comes perfect beach reads. Some even take place in a beach setting! Such is the case with ‘Chasing Sunsets: A Cedar Key Novel’ by Eva Marie Everson.

Here is the synopsis of this novel:

Kimberly Tucker’s Life Hasn’t Turned Out the Way She Thought It Would. While her ex is living it up, she struggles to understand what went wrong. When her two sons end up spending five weeks of summer vacation with her father, Kim plans a respite at the family vacation home on tiny Cedar Key. As she revisits the long-forgotten past, she discovers that treasures in life are often buried, and sometimes you do get a second chance at love.
Let yourself get swept away to an island retreat of warm tropical breezes, sandy beaches, and the most glorious sunsets you can imagine.

Here is the biography of this author:

Eva Marie Everson is the author of over twenty-five titles and is the Southern fiction author for Revell. These titles include Things Left Unspoken and This Fine Life. She is the coauthor of the multiple-award-winning Reflections of God’s Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel (with Miriam Feinberg Vamosh) and, of course, the Potluck Club series (Potluck Club, Potluck Club Takes the Cake, and Trouble's Brewing) and Potluck Catering Club series (A Taste of Fame, The Secret's in the Sauce, Bake Until Golden, and Potluck Club Cookbook) with Linda Evans Shepherd.
Eva Marie taught Old Testament theology for six years at Life Training Center and continues to teach in a home group setting. She speaks to women’s groups and at churches across the nation and internationally. In 2009 she joined forces with Israel Ministry of Tourism to help organize and lead a group of journalists on a unique travel experience through the Holy Land. She is a mentor with Christian Writers Guild and the first president of Word Weavers, a successful writers critique group that began in Orlando and has since become the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Word Weavers. She serves on its national leadership team.
Eva Marie lives with her husband, Dennis, and their fourth (and final) child, Jordynn. Eva Marie and Dennis are parents to three incredible adult children and the grandparents of the five best grandkids in the world.
Eva Marie considers a trip to Cedar Key the perfect respite.

Here is the trailer for this insightful book:

This book skips back and forth between the current day and the late 1980s, when the main character, Kimberly Tucker, was seventeen and in love. The book is told from the perspective of Kim. She is a little younger than me - but not by too much! – so I was able to relate to her based on living close to the same era. I never had a summer romance in an exotic locale, but found it fun to live it vicariously through her!  

I appreciated the fact that Kimberly was such a Godly woman, and relied on her Heavenly Father to help guide her through her day:

I sucked in my breath as I always did in these moments, then reached for my files and purse I’d placed on the bench beside me. Father, be with me, I prayed. But no matter what happens, I trust you. (p. 25)

It was interesting to see what Kimberly learned about herself throughout the course of the book. I found this particular thought of hers to be very insightful:

I spotted a bench shaded by a shiny tin roof where A Street curved at the harbor. Wanting time to just sit and absorb, I walked past the tour boat docks – all three of them – and forced myself not to look at the one owned by Steven’s father. Too many memories…most of them good.
Too good.
Each one leaving me remarkably sad and unsatisfied. How was it, I wondered, that the moments of our youth could affect the emotions of our adulthood. (p. 86)

One thing I like about Eva Marie’s writing is that she doesn’t shy away from showing the flaws of her characters, even though they are Christian. Some authors seem to not like to show that Christians have issues – but we all know from experience (and from looking in our mirror) that that is not true!

It was terrific for Kimberly that she was able to go to her father’s neighbor, Patsy, for Godly wisdom and insight from an older lady’s point of view. Here is one piece of advice from this sweet lady:

Saturday afternoon with Patsy was spent in lament over my phone call the night before. Patsy said exactly what I expected her to say. “Pray about it,” she said, “and God will take care of it in his time and in his way.” (p. 341)

Another Godly person in this storyline is Steven Granger, the first love of her life who crossed her path again in the current day. Here is Steven explaining what he thinks a blue heron in their line of sight is thinking, and how that is a good example for us to follow:

“He knows who is in control, Kimberly, and it’s not him.” He squeezed my hand again. “And it’s not you and it’s not me. If God can take care of the sun and the moon and the waters and the Leviathan, if he can bring about salvation to the earth…if this day is his and this night as well, then so is tomorrow and the next day and the next.” (p. 356)

I’ve had the pleasure of reading one other book by Mrs. Everson – ‘This Fine Life’ (you can read my review here). Just as in that book, Mrs. Everson is very adept at character development and is very detailed in the descriptions of the settings. I enjoyed both books very much, and will definitely keep my eyes open for more books by Eva Marie Everson! I give this book my highest recommendation.

You can order this book here.

Available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. This book was provided by Revell Books for review purposes.


Eva Marie Everson said...

Thank you so much ... and for such detail in your review. I love that you pulled portions of the book out to show why you liked it.

I appreciate you!

Eva Marie Everson
Chasing Sunsets

Eva Marie Everson said...

Oh! And I'd like to invite your blog readers to my Chasing Sunsets Facebook page. I'm uploading video from my most recent trip to CK...nearly done, so be patient with me...but I think you'll enjoy the pics as well!

Eva Marie

Facebook Page: http://tinyurl.com/3bhq3ek

Andrea Schultz said...

Thanks, Eva Marie! It was my pleasure to share your wonderful book with my blog readers (the review was also posted on Amazon). I hope lots of people read it!

Thanks also for coming by to share your appreciation and encouragement. It is nice to know authors are appreciative!

I headed over and 'liked' your page on Facebook, by the way!
Looking forward to your next book.

Thanks -


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