Guest Post: FINDING PALMETTO MOON IN THE ETHER

I am so pleased to invite Kim Boykin, author of Palmetto Moon, (which I reviewed last week) to guest post here on Acting Balanced.  I joined this blog tour because the book was set in both my front yard (Charleston) and my backyard (Round O, SC) figuratively speaking and so I asked her to tell us a little bit about how she chose her geographic settings - I hope you enjoy this glimpse into her thoughts as much as I did! 

FINDING PALMETTO MOON IN THE ETHER

With Palmetto Moon, I wrote about Round O, South Carolina like I knew it like the back of my hand. I’d never been there before and had only driven through Walterboro, or stopped there to use the bathroom on the way to Edisto Island over thirty years ago. So, before I turned the Palmetto Moon manuscript into my editor, last summer, I decided I should visit to make sure I got the place right.

I was pleasantly surprised and then shocked at one of those ethereal moments. Dana and Bonita Cheney, the nice couple from the Colleton County Historical Society who showed me around Walterboro, offered to show me Round O. To be honest, with the majority of the story taking place there, and having never been there, I was more than a little nervous.

I’d sent Dana and Bonita a synopsis of Palmetto Moon, that mentioned Miss Mamie’s Boarding House. When we got to Round O, which really is a crossroads community (for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a crossroads with a few houses, maybe a church, a little store,) Dana asked me if I’d like to see Miss Mamie’s Boarding House.
There on the corner was a dilapidated two story clapboard home that very well could have been Vada’s home in 1947. I was amazed. Then he asked me if I wanted to see what it looked like in 1947. He eased down the road about 100 feet and there was the EXACT house I’d pictured when I was writing the book. I know this picture is a little cockeyed but I was completely stunned.

A few weeks later, I approached Dick Elliott, the owner of Maverick Southern Kitchens, and nationally renown SNOB inCharleston about contributing recipes for the book. I wanted to use them in lieu of Reader Questions. Turns out the executive chef at SNOB’s name is Frank Lee and my hero’s name is Frank Darling. Coincidence? Maybe, but I’m tagging it as a gift from the ether.

About Palmetto Moon:

June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.

In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.
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Book Review: Palmetto Moon, A Lowcountry Novel by Kim Boykin @AuthorKimBoykin #pumpupyourbook

I am so pleased to be part of another Pump Up Your Book tour, especially since Palmetto Moon by Kim Boykin is set in my adopted neck of the woods!  I live half way between the two main settings in the book, Charleston, SC and Round O, SC and that made this book so much more fun to read, but even if you don't live in the South, I am going to recommend you pick it up!  You should also pop back by on October 15th and check out Kim Boykin's guest post "FINDING PALMETTO MOON IN THE ETHER" which will share part of her journey in finding Round O.


From the Publisher:

June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.

In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.

My Review:

This book conveys both an innocence and a sense of coming of age in a time of bigotry and social expectation, while telling a love story.  I can see Vada, fresh from a liberal college education, being forced into a mold developed by years of segregation and elitism that prevailed in the South, and particularly in Charleston's elite circles for many centuries.  I love that within the first few moments in the book, she breaks free of other peoples expectations and takes a risk to create the life SHE wants, rather than the life her parents expect her to have.

The book draws you in to Vada's time and makes you feel like you have been transported back to the post-war ear.  Youi slip seamlessly into her world and can easily visualize characters like Rosa Lee, Desmond, Justin, the Hadleys, Claire, Frank Darling and even Miss Mamie, who runs the Round O boarding house.

If you like historical fiction, with a good, sweet romantic storyline, than you will enjoy reading Kim Boykin's latest novel; Palmetto Moon

About the Author:

Kim Boykin was raised in her South Carolina home with two girly sisters and great parents. She had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy. PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, it’s very appealing when the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.
Almost everything she learned about writing, she learned from her grandpa, an oral storyteller, who was a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the family farm, and people used to come from all around to hear him tell stories about growing up in rural Georgia and share his unique take on the world.
As a stay-at-home mom, Kim started writing, grabbing snip-its of time in the car rider line or on the bleachers at swim practice. After her kids left the nest, she started submitting her work, sold her first novel at 53, and has been writing like crazy ever since.
Thanks to the lessons she learned under that mimosa tree, her books are well reviewed and, according to RT Book Reviews, feel like they’re being told across a kitchen table. She is the author of The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule, and Palmetto Moon, also from Berkley. While her heart is always in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte and has a heart for hairstylist, librarians, and book junkies like herself.
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Monday Quiz - Falling Leaves edition #MQAM - come and play along!

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me - hosted by Heather & Wayne from Acting Balanced.  We are continuing to answer questions together. 

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! Grab the badge for your post if you like:



Here are the Questions:


1. September is Better Breakfast month - so tell us what you had for breakfast today?
2. Yesterday was Minature Golf Day - did you partake?  Do you golf, minature or regular?
3. Today is Elephant Appreciation Day - do you appreciate elephants?
4. Next Sunday is "Ask a Stupid Question Day" - what will you ask?


Our Responses:

Wayne went to bed early, but Heather's answers appear below:

1. September is Better Breakfast month - so tell us what you had for breakfast today?

H - I've been alternating between oatmeal and Rice Krispies

2. Yesterday was Minature Golf Day - did you partake?  Do you golf, minature or regular?


H - I haven't golfed, minature or otherwise in years... if I were to play, it would definitely be miniature...
 
3. Today is Elephant Appreciation Day - do you appreciate elephants?


I do appreciate elephants...



4. Next Sunday is "Ask a Stupid Question Day" - what will you ask?

H -According to my kids, all of the questions I ask are stupid... so I will probably just keep asking them all

And here is our 5th Question:  One of the things I miss most now that I live in the South is the changing leaves in the Fall.. have the leaves started to change where you are?

Now, please link up your MQAM posts below:

Monday Quiz

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me - hosted by Heather & Wayne from Acting Balanced.  We are continuing to answer questions together. 

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! Grab the badge for your post if you like:



Here are the Questions:


1. Today is MAKE A HAT day... Will you be participating?
2. September is National Chicken Month... Your favorite way to make/eat chicken?
3. Have you decorated for Autumn yet?
4. Soup season is almost here... Do you make your own soups?  Have a favorite?


Our Responses:


Will come soon

And here is our 5th Question:  Liam is 8 years old today!  Please help us wish him a happy one! No real question...





Now, please link up your MQAM posts below:

Monday Quiz - the Fummer edition #MQAM

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me - hosted by Heather & Wayne from Acting Balanced.  We are continuing to answer questions together.  Judy from Retired-not-Tired wanted us to reinstate #MQAM, so I challenged her to write this week's questions...

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! Grab the badge for your post if you like:



Here are the Questions:


1. I have heard the term"fummer" being used lately. Is it fall-like or summer-like in your neighbourhood?
2. The astrological sign for September is "Virgo" what is yours?
3. The kids are back in school do you have your routine as well?
4. Sunday was "National Grandparent Day". Did you honour your grandparents?


Our Responses:

1. I have heard the term"fummer" being used lately. Is it fall-like or summer-like in your neighbourhood?

H - Definitely still summer here in Charleston - the humidity is still close to 100% and as such a lovely 85 degree day feels like over 100...

2. The astrological sign for September is "Virgo" what is yours?


H - I am a Libra
W - I am a Pisces

3. The kids are back in school do you have your routine as well?


H - Getting there - the hardest adjustment has been that Erik goes to school every morning - but I am learning to adapt.

W - I guess.  There is no such thing as a perfect routine in my world - especially with three kids who go to three schools, but I am fitting in my workouts, work, home and everything most of the time.

4. Sunday was "National Grandparent Day". Did you honour your grandparents?


H - We recouperated from our Surfers for Autism day at the beach on Saturday, and didn't know it was Grandparent Day.




And here is our 5th Question:  Liam is getting pumpkin crazy, and we'ved noticed that the stores and restaurants are too... are you a fan of pumpkin everything in the fall?

Now, please link up your MQAM posts below:

Monday Quiz - First of September edition!

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me - hosted by Heather & Wayne from Acting Balanced.  We are continuing to answer questions together.  Judy from Retired-not-Tired wanted us to reinstate #MQAM, so I challenged her to write this week's questions and she decided to go with a theme... September 1st...

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! Grab the badge for your post if you like:



Here are the Questions:


1. September's birthstone is sapphire. What is yours?

2. September is sometimes called the unofficial new year, will you make some resolutions?

3. Many people start to think about Christmas at this time. Have your started your Christmas shopping?

4. September is one of the busiest months of the year for babies being born. Do you celebrate many birthdays in September?

Our Responses:

1. September's birthstone is sapphire. What is yours?
H - Opal (October) - yep, you can start thinking about what to get me now...

W - Aquamarien (March)

2. September is sometimes called the unofficial new year, will you make some resolutions?

H - I don't make resolutions at any time of year...

3. Many people start to think about Christmas at this time. Have your started your Christmas shopping?

H - Yes... I start shopping as soon as Christmas is over... 

W - no.

4. September is one of the busiest months of the year for babies being born. Do you celebrate many birthdays in September?

H- Liam and my grandmother are our only two birthdays.

And here is our 5th Question:  Is September a busy month for you?  What's going on?

Now, please link up your MQAM posts below:

Sundays in my City- Early Morning Walk

Early morning walk through Riverfront Park in North Charleston - checking out the Naval Memorials, the boardwalk and his shadow!





An interview with author, Lori Foster! @lorilfoster @harlequinbooks

I am so pleased to have been able to do another q & a with Lori Foster as part of her blog promotion tour for No Limits!  I have to say that I loved reading both No Limits and the prequel novella, Hard Knocks and I know that after checking out this interview, you are going to want to add them both to your TBR pile and, like me, will be waiting on tinderhooks for the rest of this latest series!  

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release, No Limits?


This is Cannon’s story, a character that readers met in my last series, Love Undercover. From the second Cannon showed up on the page, I knew he’d get his own story. He’s that kind of guy, the guy who steps up and takes notice and gets a lot of notice in return.

In No Limits, Cannon reunites with Yvette, another character from the previous series. They parted under strained circumstances, with Cannon just heading into professional MMA and Yvette young and traumatized from a horrific threat. Cannon saved her then, but he was noble because of her age and what she’d been through. Now she’s older, more independent, and he’s ready to make up for lost time.

Auto Show - Photos of the Week with Linky

We took the boys to the 4th Annual Steel Pony and Car Show this weekend - it was so much fun to see them checking out the cars, motorcycles and emergency vehicles!

 








Please link up your photo posts here:



Monday Quiz About Me - Back to School Edition

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me - hosted by Heather & Wayne from Acting Balanced.  We are continuing to answer questions together.  Judy from Retired-not-Tired wanted us to reinstate #MQAM, so I challenged her to write this week's questions and she decided to go with a theme... Back to School

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! Grab the badge for your post if you like:



Here are the Questions:


1. What was your favourite grade in school?
2. What was your favourite subject?
3. What was your least favourite subject?
4. Who was your favourite teacher?

Our Responses:

1. What was your favourite grade in school?

W - My favorite year was my Junior year of Undergrad - it was the year I came out of my shell and figured what I really wanted to do.

H - Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten... nuff said?

2. What was your favourite subject?

W - The most memorable class I took was a Buddist Philosophy class.

H - My favorite class was always history

3. What was your least favourite subject?

W - I had one English teacher who ripped the love of reading right out of me... until I took another English class a few years later and fell back in love.

H - Math

4. Who was your favourite teacher?

W - That is an unfair question in a lot of ways - I have had several mentors for vastly different reasons.  I have to say that working closely with all three of my thesis/dissertation mentors were the most rewarding relationships - Thanks Laurel, Steve and Babs.

H - I had several teachers I loved - but my favorite year was fourth grade with Mr. Riggs - he was always singing, acting and breathing new life into old routines.

And here is our 5th Question:  If you could talk to your high school self now what would you say?

Now, please link up your MQAM posts below: