Friday, May 7, 2010

Guest Blog - Laurie Lewis author of Awakening Avery

My friend Laurie Lewis has a new book out titled, Awakening Avery. I thought it might be fun to have her guest blog about her new book.

Take it away, Laurie.

“How were you ever able to put so much feeling into that story?”

I recently received that comment from a reader. It’s one of my favorites because I wanted “Awakening Avery” to be a chuckle-out-loud, grab-a-hankie sort of read. Life, as we all know, causes broad swings on a woman’s emotional Richter Scale, and this novel pulls from some deep places in my own heart.

My husband suffered a heart attack mere hours after we had returned home from depositing our youngest son at college, and in an instant, everything I knew about our family was on the line. What would I do if Tom didn’t survive? How would I tell the children? How would we go on?

That was seven years ago, and thankfully, Tom made a full recovery, but the questions that flooded our family during that frightening period are still vivid. “Awakening Avery” is a story of hope and self-discovery born from those questions.

I know women who’ve been catapulted into the solo lead of a family, witnessing their struggles as they find their footing and deal with the family’s emotional upheaval. It’s every woman’s greatest fear, and once I was grounded again after Tom’s heart attack, I began writing “Awakening Avery” to explore the delicate intricacies of that very personal journey. Three storylines involving the Thompson and Carson siblings provide some of the best laughs and most difficult choices in the book.

“You’re depressed,” the doctor declared.

"Ya think?” is author Avery Elkins Thompson’s sarcastic response to the astute diagnosis for the malaise that set in following her husband’s untimely death. Avery’s carefully controlled world is imploding. Her once-rock-solid family is reeling and vulnerable in ways she never could have imagined, and her adult children fear they are losing her too.

Avery can’t write, and questions about their father’s death leave the family mired in pain. “We need a healing place,” her oldest son tells her, suggesting she find it on Anna Maria Island, Florida, a former family vacation spot.

“You’re just a shadow of the person you used to be . . . We’d gladly give you up for a while if it meant getting you back.”

When Avery returns to Baltimore to sell the family’s waterfront condo, she meets rodeo-ers-turned-real-estate-brokers Teddie and Rider Davis, and Avery’s quiet life will never be the same again.

The Davises help Avery secure a summer house swap with brooding widower Gabriel Carson from Anna Maria, whose overprotective parenting has resulted in two self-centered, twenty-something daughters. Avery and Gabriel are in for the summer of their lives as they step into one another’s messy, complicated worlds.

Still, venturing out on her own again is challenging for Avery, whose experiences at the Ringling’s magnificent Cá d’Zan mansion, and with the quirky characters she meets there, eventually awaken her to truths she has long forgotten—that as crazy as life can be, it is possible to laugh and love again.

Family vigilance is one of the themes I wanted to explore in “Awakening Avery.” Death, health issues, financial upheaval, divorce, sin, the loss of a home, a move, etc.—can lead to cracks in our family’s spiritual armor. But in truth, anything that causes parents to be preoccupied can lessen our vigilance, pulling us down from the watchtower, allowing weakening influences into our homes. Avery suffers from a lack of vigilance for a time, resulting in a variety of concerns with each of her three adult children. With a little help from her friends, she reestablishes her own spiritual footing and then sets off to strengthen her family and everyone else in her circle.

I hope “Awakening Avery” will resonate with women of all ages. It’s been a healing project for me.

Thanks for inviting me to guest blog, Kathi!

You're welcome! To find out more about Laurie and her other books click here.

6 comments:

  1. Great interview Kathi. Good luck with the book Laurie! It sound so interesting. =)

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  2. Thanks, for inviting me to guest post on your blog, Kathi! I'd love to return the favor when your new book comes out!

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  3. You're more than welcome, Laurie. Thanks for the kind offer.

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  4. Laurie, I'm glad everything turned out well after your husband's heart attack. Your novel sounds beautiful!

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  5. Laura, I'll pass this on to Laurie. I'm sure she'd appreciate it. Thanks!

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