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Daisy Young believes that when life hands you lemons, eat chocolate and get on with it, but no amount of candy gets her mind off her drowned fiancé – until she flees to Tennessee’s mountains and meets Luke Strann, a man with a dark, secret past.
Their friendship transforms into a “no promises, no demands” affair that ultimately leaves Daisy frustrated with what love is not. Should she give up the hope she’s learned to run to and return to her family in Nashville? Just as she weighs her choices, a near-fatal accident reveals Luke’s secret, and Daisy must make the decision of her life.
Set in a time when Tina Turner rocks the radio and phones are plugged into walls, THE FIZGIG chronicles the adventures, defeats, and triumphs of Daisy and Luke, with laughter and a host of unconventional characters mixed within.
Sample one of the 5-star reviews:
The Fizgig chronicles the recovery of Nashville wannabe writer and school teacher (wannabe applies to both) following the unexpected death of her fiancé. Relocating from a cozy urban life to the Smoky Mountain foothills, Daisy Young attempts to re-enter and re-engage life from a small yellow house in Hillston, Tennessee. A flat tire introduces her to carpenter-poet Luke Strann, who moves with little effort from a down home, lucky-in-multiple-loves kind of guy, to her James Dickey in-the-raw life raft and infatuation.
The strength of this novel is in the characters. Their interplay, growth, and coming together forces a healing that keeps the reader involved and caring. The author also knows how to play on the setting – playing off of the strengths of the mid-Appalachian players without falling into stereotype. A relatively easy and uplifting summer read.
Born in a Tennessee commune to an activist mother and an unidentified father, Iris Lyon already feels short-changed. Now, in small-town Twicks Hill, her husband ignores her, her mother stages protests, and her musically gifted daughter grows sneakier by the day. When Iris runs into an old acquaintance, handsome mystery writer Armando Torres, she hopes for friendship to ease her frustrating world. Instead, she must overcome deceptions that crash in on the night she dances with Armando.
Dancing with Armando chronicles three generations of strong and optimistic women, each with hopes and dreams — and closely guarded secrets. While Sophie and her daughter Iris walk a fine line between love and dejection, granddaughter Heaven shines as a musical prodigy whose curiosity about her missing grandfather sets off a chain of emotions that will change their worlds.
Sample one of the 5-star reviews:
What strikes me most about Dancing with Armando is how beautifully written it is. The author has a way of using words that draw a picture we want to step into. It’s a complicated picture, given the secrets, the regrets and the desires of three generations of women. But it is a world we know, a world we have lived in ourselves, since we all have secrets and regrets and desires.
But the author doesn’t take us down a maudlin road. These women are too strong, too independent, too optimistic and too full of dreams to lead us there. Instead, the author does a great job of making us care deeply for Sophie, the grandmother, who lived in a commune in the 1970s and hasn’t given up her save-the-world activism; Sophie’s daughter Iris, who came about as the result of a relationship Sophie had with another commune dweller, though she’s never told Iris who her father is; and Iris’s teenage daughter, Heaven, a musical prodigy whose curiosity about her unknown grandfather sets off a chain of events that will change these women’s worlds.
The characters’ development and the story evolve in real time, and under realistic but labyrinthine circumstances. Dancing with Armando is a book that grabs you and doesn’t let go. It’s rich, it’s deep, it’s poignant, it’s humorous–it’s real life with just enough magic woven in to make us believe that everything has a time and a purpose that will be revealed to us when the stars properly align. “Twinkle to the Twinkle.” I highly recommend this gem of a book.