Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Summer of Moonlight Secrets - Danette Haworth



Imagine this...your parents run a historic hotel in a historic Floridian town, and you call the hotel home. You have total run of the place! You have just started summer vacation. There are natural springs nearby where you can swim. The hotel is filled with secret tunnels and servants' stairs, an attic that is open to the elements where kudzu grows, and several really cool kids your age have come to stay at the hotel for a few weeks. There is a beautiful, mysterious girl wandering around who seems to be a runaway, who has secrets, and is just a little other-worldly. Oh, and did I mention that the hotel just happens to specialize in dollar-sized blueberry pancakes???


Sounds like the summer you've always wanted as a kid? Yeah, me too. My Floridian author friend Danette Haworth has done it again. Just like her debut novel, Violet Raines Almost Got Struck By Lightning, she has blended the perfect tale of childhood adventure, friendship and coming-of-age infatuation, along with the struggle of loneliness, relationships with your parents, and standing up for yourself. And all of it occurring in a creaky old hotel, rich with stories and rumors of ghosts! But what came as a total surprise in this novel was the element of fantasy that takes this childhood romp to the next level. I'm not going to discuss the fantasy portion of the book. I will leave that up to you to discover.

Danette and I share a love for historic old southern houses and old Florida (and American Idol!). And what I love about her books is that this passion shines through her words and stories. Live oaks, kudzu, humidity, thunderstorms, bugs, manatees, Spanish moss, night blooming jasmine...everything you need for atmosphere. She also "gets" kids too - their hopes, dreams, worries and confusion with today's pressures and distractions, but doesn't allow it to get too dark. Her books are the perfect read for the 8 to 12 year old who doesn't want to grow up too fast just yet.

I would love to thank Danette for an engaging lunch and offering me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this charming novel!




11 comments:

caite said...

Oh, I am so NOT a Florida person. "kudzu, humidity, thunderstorms, bugs, manatees, Spanish moss, night blooming jasmine.." did you say bugs? now, ice, snow, brutal winds blowing off the ocean, a cold mist in the air...awwww.

and don't get me started on ghosts. although those pancakes sound good about now. and how about adults who don't want to grow up?

farmlanebooks said...

You're having lunch with another author?! You are so lucky! I wish some would have lunch with me :-)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love this sentence: "Live oaks, kudzu, humidity, thunderstorms, bugs, manatees, Spanish moss, night blooming jasmine...everything you need for atmosphere." You're so right! Just reading that makes me itch to take a trip...

Molly said...

Oh, it does sound good - and lunch with the author is certainly an added bonus!

Zibilee said...

This book sounds great, and I bet it would be the perfect read for my daughter! Thanks so much for the awesome review, I will be looking for this one for the summer reading list when it comes out!!

Jenners said...

You had me at blueberry pancakes.

But I'm off to Goggle kudzu!

The Bumbles said...

Blueberry pancakes - all I can picture is Pulp Fiction ;0)

This sounds like a great experience - another review putting me right into the pages of the book. Always makes me want to reach through the screen and turn the page to read what you aren't sharing.

Danette Haworth said...

Aw, Sandy! Thank you for the great review! Makes my day!

Alice Teh said...

Blueberry pancakes? I want! This is a great review. :D

Literary Feline said...

I love blueberry pancakes! This sounds like a wonderful book. And how cool that you got to have lunch with the author!

Kathy (mommysreading) said...

I am getting this for my daughter (okay maybe it IS for me). I hope she likes it.......

Thanks for the review.