Authors Showcase: Women in Shadows
August 11, 2012
The Book: Shadows of Destiny
The Author: Gale Minchew
The Story: On the banks of a sleepy bayou, a lost soul is nestled in the piney woods of East Texas, waiting and watching in the darkness of the shadows. He is feverishly seeking the past but is inevitably snared in the present and will stop at nothing to find his destiny.
Alarmed by this lost soul that stalks her while she sleeps, Analise Michaels struggles to find meaning within her dreams. Instead, she finds danger down the street, across the ocean, and through the realms of time without ever leaving town. Analise is not like other teenagers.
She can see and hear what others refuse to acknowledge. As Analise navigates the tangled web of drama and hysterics during her senior year of high school, she finds an unlikely friend and makes several enemies along the way. Her life becomes inescapably intertwined with an enigmatic stranger she must depend upon to help her unravel the mystery behind her haunted dreams and finally release the Shadows of Destiny.
Review by Caleb Pirtle III: East Texas is my home. I know well the small communities that nailed beside the narrow, winding roadways that cut through the piney woods They all possess their own traditions, their own mysteries, some of them dating back for generations, some as fresh as yesterday. Those who walk the streets may be smiling, but you have no idea what secrets are lurking behind those smiles. You may know who did what to whom. You may never know the why.
In Shadows of Destiny, Gale Minchew has captured the heart and soul, the puzzles and the riddles, that hover over a small town in East Texas. The present is never what it seems to be. The past is like a small explosive with a burning fuse. You know it will explode. You just don’t know how and when.
You know people will be burned.
You just don’t know how badly.
It is a time when dreams become nightmares, and the shadows hold all of the answers to questions that most in town are afraid to ask.
Strong characters. A haunting plot. Gale Minchew knows how to write.
The Book: Come The Shadows
The Author: Wendy L. Young
The Story: Officer Will Harmon lives a comfortable life in Campbell Creek, North Carolina, where there hasn’t been a murder in seventeen years. When bones are discovered in the old bread factory his life is disrupted but the body only the beginning. Surprising threats are coming and he will do whatever it takes to protect the life he loves…
Review by Glenda A. Bixler: You know it’s a quiet little town when the central meeting place is the Pie Shop! What a cool idea–pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner! At least it was for Will Harmon, a member of the police force in this small town.
We meet him first at the site where a body had been found in an empty bread factory. He hoped to get the case since there hadn’t been a murder in 17 years, but once again it was already assigned–to somebody who would never share details with him! So, since he also learned at that time, that he had a new partner, Rogers, he told him to meet him at the Pie Shop for breakfast! They hadn’t had a new officer for more than ten years and Will knew that he would be expected to train him. Then when he got home, Laura, his wife announced that they had new neighbors – the Rogers… Too much togetherness?
Most of the town enjoyed living in Cabin Creek, but recently a developer had proposed a new project for the town. All of the old factories were now deserted so many would find work if approved. Laura, was very concerned that they didn’t know much about what would take place and that it was moving so fast, so of course, Will was also involved. The town seem to be moving toward a division, especially when Laura took on the lead role in requesting detailed information, including building plans. But then the developer started to talk with individual property owners and was offering enough that many started to make commitments to sell.
In the meantime, Will knew little about the dead body except what the new ME, his sister, Jessa, was willing to share. This was her first case, however, so she was holding to procedure. Until she realized that she was also being led by her superiors to hurry and close the case …
That’s when she called her brother, she told him it was murder! And sought his guidance…
Will of course jumped on the case, investigating even when he wasn’t supposed to, happy to realize that his new partner was willing to help and had some experience with homicide.
Sure, the murder mystery investigation was important, but readers also become involved in Laura’s fight against the town’s politicians regarding the new development – and we learn quickly that Laura is a formidable woman! In fact, readers will enjoy meeting the whole family and will begin to look forward to meeting them again in the series. The ending was a surprise and was handled quite effectively even though it involved an unexpected turn.
Spotlighting the plight of small towns which are built when work is available and then are hurt when the factories close or move away is one that can be often found across America. But new development is not always the answer and must be thoroughly investigated! Wendy Young has taken a routine situation, created caring people, as well as criminals that do what they do best. Adding murder makes this one I would include in the “cozy mystery” genre since Laura got into the investigation!…You’ll know you want to continue the series because of the setting, the people…and the great writing style that’s been presented. Enjoy this one!