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By Tommie Lyn

From the opening scene, we know there’s trouble. Like the coastal storm in the setting, we see it coming.

A young woman discovers the body of a coworker and is soon put on the suspect list. Officer Cameron arrives, develops a crush on Shelley, and works to learn the identity of the murderer before the hurricane hits the town of Pensacola.

A few items pulled me out of the story. Usually the main character has the strongest goal, the most to lose, and is responsible for the resolution of the final conflict. Here it seems that Clay Cameron does the investigating and solving for Shelley’s dilemma, although she does have a lot invested in this particular crime. So who really is the main character – Clay or Shelley? Shelley and Clay’s romance raced too fast to “I love you,” and mainstream readers won’t buy Clay’s purity and chastity unless categorized as an old-fashioned or Christian romance. I also did not buy that William didn’t know about the memo paper near the phone, call waiting, or caller ID as he is always using that phone.

Nonetheless, there are many discoveries happening in the story. We learn something about the characters, and they learn something about each other. Tommie Lyn slowly pulls us into the story with sprinklings of character definition, exposition, and development by showing not telling. Shelley’s collection of shoes and clothing, her choice to leave and have fun instead of work at the office, and her place in society when Mr. Adair did not feel the need to perform a background check with the rental agreement. And at first only the audience can see the swirling mess of a marriage Shelley’s mom has been enduring. Like putting up shutters to keep out the view of the hurricane, Shelley’s mom hides from the storm still out there, and her marriage will be the debris she has to clean up.

Although there are some unpolished segments, do grab a southern-flavored iced tea, head on out to the front porch with this book, and enjoy a little escape from your day.


Tommie LynTommie Lyn grew up in the Appalachian foothills of north Georgia immersed in firelight whispers. She listened spellbound as older generations spun chilling tales of local events, including stories of the supernatural. And sometimes, they even used the word “murder.”

She carries on the tradition of her kinfolk, the storytelling magic guaranteed to rob hours of sleep and make the night come alive. Only the brave dare step into her world to listen. And sometimes, the voices still whisper…

After graduation, she married her high school sweetheart, who joined the United States Navy. They traveled from one corner of the USA to the other and even lived for a while in a foreign country.

Now, Tommie Lyn lives on Florida’s sunny (most of the time) Emerald Coast. But she remembers the mountains of her youth, and that’s why her blog is titled: “Mountains in my heart…sand in my shoes.”

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