Thursday, November 24, 2016

Key Largo Blues - #BookBeginnings on Friday and The #Friday56

     In the "About the Author" section of Key Largo Blues, Lynne M. Spreen writes: "Many novels and movies feature the coming-of-age story, in which young people figure out who they are and what they want to be. That's compelling, but so is this: what happens afterwards, twenty or thirty years later, to these interesting people?"

     I love stories about older characters. In Key Largo Blues, Karen Grace is fifty when she goes through major life changes. Her career is in shambles and she is recently divorced after thirty years of marriage. As the book opens, Karen is starting her life anew, building a business, and taking chances. It isn't always easy to start over in midlife, and the author shows her character's doubts, challenges, fears, and triumphs. Key Largo Blues is a book with many layers and one I'm sure I'll read more than once.

     Key Largo Blues is the sequel to Dakota Blues, but the book stands alone. You'll enjoy it even more, however, if you read Dakota Blues first. I'm proud to feature Lynne M. Spreen and other fabulous indie authors on my blog.

Book Beginning:
     Staging was everything.
     Karen Grace closed her windows against the possibility of noise. Key Largo teemed with Christmas Eve revelers, and the marina was like a parking lot, what with fishing charters and pleasure boats coming and going. So Karen took precautions. She couldn't afford to blow her scheme. In one hour, the show would go live.
     And the show, if successful, would launch her business. In the past year, her safe and happy life had imploded. Now footloose and broke, she considered the optics. Her new client had to think Karen was calling from a high-end office building, not an old camping trailer.

Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
She was accomplishing so much. The degree to which she could focus, living alone in the trailer with no social life, was thrilling. It was also somewhat depressing.

Genre: Women's Fiction / Older Adult (OA)
Amazon Link: Key Largo Blues
Book Length: 275 Pages
Author Website: Any Shiny Thing

When Karen Grace turned fifty, she lost her husband and her job. Now she’s starting over, and this time, she’s determined to build a new life on her own terms. However, she’s being pulled in multiple directions: her family and friends want more of her time, her hometown sweetheart wants a commitment, and her fledgling business is on life support. With the hard-won confidence of midlife, Karen knows what she needs to do, and pays the heartbreaking price for pursuing her dreams. While grieving that decision, another challenge lands: Frieda’s granddaughter arrives on her doorstep in Key Largo, pleading for refuge. In this life-affirming sequel to Dakota Blues, Karen Grace completes her journey, deciding what can be saved and what must be jettisoned as she navigates passage into the second half of her life.

Disclosure: The author provided me with an advance copy of Key Largo Blues; however, that did not affect my review of the book.


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger


  1. This looks like a lovely book - I enjoyed both the excerpts, and love the cover. Hope you enjoy reading it. Here's my Friday Book.

  2. Your 56 feels familiar. I know what it's like to go through that. I'm thinking I should check out this series, Sandra!

    My Friday 56 from The Nature Of Balance

  3. I read Spreen's Dakota Blues and found it to be a solid book about a woman finding her inner strength after some tough setbacks. This sounds like a another winner.

    Kelly Marshall

  4. The older I get the more I enjoy reading about older couples and this sounds interesting. :)


    Friday Memes

  5. I know several friends that I might be able to recommend this one to. Great post and the excerpt makes it sound like a great book.

  6. Thanks so much for featuring my book, Sandy! What a joy to read your perceptions of the story. A long time ago, when I was learning how to write my first novel (at age 50-something), I was told to write the book you want to read. Although there are a lot of nonfiction books out there about midlife and beyond, there isn't as much fiction. And like Stormi, the older I get, the more I want to read about us-- dreamy, aspirational, "take me away" fiction about our time of life.

    I just spent an enjoyable Thanksgiving with family members who're retiring or deciding if they can afford to switch to part-time, and if so, what they'll do. Part of the calculation is necessity, but part of it is the dreaming. What do I WANT to do? What have I waited all my life to be able to do? Oh my gosh, this is a great time of life. I'm 62 and just hitting my stride, and I want to tell people that the culture is wrong. We bloom after fifty, and that's all I want to write about! Thank you again for your generosity. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

  7. As I get older, I appreciate books about older characters more. This one does sound like an intriguing story. I'm reading The Elizabeth Papers by Jenetta James this week. Happy reading!

  8. I love older characters in books, too, as I can relate to their issues. But even when I was younger, I enjoyed seeing the extra layers you find in this kind of character.

    Definitely adding this one to my list! Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “IN A DARK, DARK WOOD”

  9. I would grab this by the title and cover alone.
    sherry @ fundinmental Friday Memes

  10. I don't read many books with adult protagonists (I teach middle school reading, so I mostly read YA), but I'm intrigued by your excerpts. The idea of seeing what happens to the characters after their coming of age story is something I hadn't previously thought about. Happy reading!

  11. Sounds intriguing, if a little sad! I'd be interested to read this since I don't read many novels with a main character in this age group.

  12. Hi Sandra,

    This series definitely wouldn't be my usual kind of read and to be honest, if I saw this book in the shop, I would probably pass it by.

    However, your excerpts forced me to read the synopsis and I found myself relating more and more to the storyline, it might have been written for me! Whilst hubbie and I are still happily married, life has thrown us some very curved balls recently and we are finding that at 50+, reinventing ourselves is proving to be difficult, if not impossible to do.

    Definitely one I might add to my TBR pile, thank you for sharing and I hope that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving celebrations :)


  13. The beginning makes me want to go to Key Largo for Christmas! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  14. Sounds like a wonderful read. Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

  15. Looks like it's the perfect seasonal read. :)

    Lauren @ Always Me

  16. I've just finished reading Lynne's book of short stories about the "second half of life" and was very impressed. She gets that this transition is about choices, set amid the changing contemporary world, and one's own physical, emotional, and financial challenges. And she does it with an underlying sense of humor! I'll definitely be reading more of her work.

  17. Thanks so much, McEyes. I keep hearing people say they're looking for older adult fiction. We have YA - Young Adult - so why not OA? I'm having fun writing it, and positive comments like yours keep me uplifted.


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