Book & Cover Review of "Chasing Sunsets" by Eva Marie Everson

Chasing Sunsets: A Cedar Key Novel
Book Review
Chasing Sunsets: A Cedar Key Novel is a novel about a mother’s journey of self discovery, spiritual growth and emotional recovery after a bitter divorce that wasn’t at all in her life plan. Yup, all that in one novel. Added to that, the main setting of the novel is a relaxed community in the Florida Cedar Keys – making it an excellent beach read for the summer.

Main character, Kimberly Tucker, is still trying to adjust to all of the changes in her life after the divorce. Her two teenaged sons are off for the summer with their father and she doesn’t know what to do with her time. Struggling to determine what happened to her marriage, and to her life – her natural urge is to try and fix her life herself. Thanks to a coerced trip to her family’s summer home in Cedar Keys she not only discovers how to let God take the controls, but also discovers that she just might have a second chance at her first love.

This book tackles some tough topics. Along with divorce and it’s emotional aftermath, the book also tackles a family’s secret of alcoholism. Yet even though the topics are tough, the therapeutic atmosphere of the keys keeps the tone of the book light enough to be a relaxing beach read.

The only negative I have about the novel is that the last chapter almost seems like it should be a separate teaser/intro for book two in the series?  The way the book is organized now it leaves you feeling like some pages are missing … I backtracked twice trying to figure out if I missed something.

Cover Review
I have to admit that I was drawn to this particular book by the author’s name and the title of the book, but not necessarily by its cover. Author Eva Marie was my mentor through the Christian Writer’s Guild and she is not only a very talented writer, but a great encourager and wonderful lady. I’m always on the lookout for her next novel.

I’ve reviewed other novels of Eva’s and absolutely loved the cover design. I wish I could say the same for this one. On a positive note, I do think the blue colors used evoke a sense of calm, and tie in well with the pervading water setting of the cedar keys area. The photo of the woman running barefoot on the beach is also appropriate … however, it is blurry and outweighed by the blue area beneath it. Also, the text reading ‘ a cedar key novel’ is a little difficult to read in it’s current blue-on-blue state.

I believe a less blurry version of the same photo, used in a larger size would have been more appealing for this particular cover. I’d keep the same blue tones, but would better balance the title/author area with the photo so that it seemed more united as one unit. The photo and the blue area beneath currently compete for a reader’s first impression.

The book’s cover will still appeal to its intended audience of female readers, but – as a designer and as a reader who regularly browses bookshelves for new material – I’m left feeling that though the cover design has all the right elements, they’re just not in quite the right combination to be most effective; to catch the maximum amount of attention away from other books of the same category, and to interest those perusing the shelves that aren’t familiar with this author like I am.


* Note: This book was received for review from the publisher. It is available June 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The following is a press release provided by the publisher:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            Contact: Donna Hausler
                                                                                                            dhausler@bakerpublishinggroup.com
                                                                                                           
The Gift Of A Camera At Sunset, The Truth Spoken In Love, A Broken Heart Is Revealed, and The Dam Breaks…
“Don’t waste time, Kimberly. Time is something we all think we’ve got in abundance until suddenly the clock stops ticking. Don’t waste a single minute of your life…”
Chasing Sunsets: A Cedar Key NovelThere is magic along the marshes in Cedar Key, Florida. Kimberly Tucker may just need reminding. Author Eva Marie Everson takes readers to the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida in Chasing Sunsets (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3436-7, June 2011, 384 pages, $14.99). Time stands still on this tiny island as visitors and residents admire the beautiful sunrises and sunsets and the friendly smiling faces. But Kimberly struggles with the secrets of her past that seem to be locked away in Cedar Key.

Wondering what went wrong with her marriage and realizing the dreams for their future would not come true, Kimberly resents her former husband for moving on with his life. When a judge orders her sons to spend five weeks of summer vacation with their father, Kimberly’s father suggests a respite in the family vacation home on Cedar Key Island. As Kim revisits her childhood memories and former loves, she soon discovers that treasures in life are often buried, and mistakes–both past and present–become redeemable in God’s hand.
Walk alongside Kimberly in Chasing Sunsets as she discovers that God’s answers may not come easily, but they do come.

Eva Marie Everson is a successful speaker, a popular radio personality, and the award-winning author of Things Left Unspoken and This Fine Life. She is coauthor of the Potluck Club series and the Potluck Catering Club series. She lives in Florida.

Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, offers practical books that bring the Christian faith to everyday life.  They publish resources from a variety of well-known brands and authors, including their partnership with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Hungry Planet.

For more information, visit http://www.RevellBooks.com.

Endorsements

“In Chasing Sunsets, Eva Marie Everson takes her readers on a beautifully written journey through one woman’s unexpectedly altered life. The convincing cast of characters and lovely imagery had me wishing I could pack my bags and run off to Cedar Key.”–Jennifer Erin Valent, author of Fireflies in December, Cottonwood Whispers, and Catching Moondrops

“In Chasing Sunsets, Eva Marie Everson tells a poignant story of grace, second chances, and the depth of a family’s love. I rooted for sympathetic and lovable Kimberly Tucker through every page. Thoughtful, romantic, and warm as a tropical breeze. Highly recommended.”–Julie Carobini, author of Fade to Blue

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About Suzanne Wesley

Suzanne lives in Indiana with her husband and their two girls. In May of 2009 she began freelancing from her home office, using a combination of writing and graphic design skills to create professional-level, marketing materials for individuals and businesses at affordable rates. She has a BS degree from Indiana State University (1996); and completed majors in both English, Liberal Art and Fine Art, Graphic Design. Suzanne also completed the Apprenticeship writing program of the Christian Writer's Guild and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). View all posts by Suzanne Wesley

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