by Kristy Tate
From some secrets, just like from some men, there’s no escape.
No one knows that sassy but shy Emma Clements is the voice of her grandmother’s advice column, Hailey’s Comments, until handsome Ryan Everett discovers the truth. To avoid his teasing questions and his you-can’t-fool-me remarks, Emma and her ugly dog Wyeth flee to sparsely populated Lister Island in the Puget Sound, where Emma intends to devote the summer to her painting and art.
On Lister Island, Emma encounters a pistol packing priest, a pair of greedy organic food farmers, an octogenarian jail keeper and Ryan Everett. Soon, Emma is much more concerned about her heart than her art. After a series of disturbing coincidences, Emma suspects that the life of Helen Dunsmuir, Lister Island’s recently deceased grande dame, is tied to her own. As she unravels the secrets of Helen’s life - and untimely death - Emma learns that problems are rarely solved with a quip or platitude, and that it’s better to love than to comment.
Hailey’s Comments, a romantic suspense reminiscent of Mary Stewart, was a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.
“A lemon that’s been squeezed too many times ends up in the compost pile…” I started out strong, but my words faded away when I noticed Savannah Everett’s father staring at me. He stood beside a cart filled with vegetables, grinning, as if he had caught me in my lie.
Pretending I didn’t see him, I cleared my throat and studied the citrus, as if I could possibly find navel oranges and limes more interesting than him. “I have to go, Grammy,” I mumbled into the phone and dropped it into my purse.
“Good morning, Miss Emma,” he said, standing by the potatoes and onions.
“Good morning, Mr. Everett.” I snuck a quick glance into his cart, but it couldn’t tell me what I really wanted to know. Grocery cart contents say so much about a person. Nothing screams immaturity as loudly as Captain Crunch, and the brand of yogurt in a cart can reveal the health of a dietary tract. I knew he wasn’t a vegetarian and that he ate a lot of ready-made meals, but what I really wanted to know wasn’t at all obvious. He had a retro Robert Redford look, with startling dark brown eyes that contrasted with his blond hair. He looked like he belonged on a sunny California beach with a volleyball, not in the produce section of the grocery store.
Hiding my flushed face, I scooped up a bag of grapefruit and hurried away without the red onion that I wanted and with way too many grapefruits. I would never be able to eat all of them before the last one spoiled. Living alone is like a race pitting appetite against ripening produce.
Maybe my answer to that day’s column would have been different if I had been standing in another aisle. Maybe if I had been looking at cleansers instead of citrus I would have come up with something lauding the benefits of bleach. Maybe if I hadn’t bumped into Mr. Everett I could have had onions on my hamburgers.
But it didn’t matter; once the lie spilled I was doomed to slip in it. That’s the problem with lies, they bleed and they can make a big mess, even when you think they’re contained. Sure, things could be mopped up, but if it wasn’t done right, the stickiness would stay, attracting dust, dirt, and lint.
Not that I was attracted to Mr. Everett.
Hailey's Comments was a "hate to put down" book. Just when I thought I had it figured out, there would be a new twist! She made it so you would like everyone and yet hate them at the same. You were always guessing as to who to believe. I loved the tie in with real history. It revealed her knowledge and understanding of the past and it's culture and environment. I would definitely recommend this book, as well as her other books.
About the Author
Kristy Tate writes women fiction with a dash romance, mystery and humor. Her debut novel, Stealing Mercy, was on Amazon's top 100 list of historical romance for more than fifteen weeks and spent two weeks as number one. Her participation in the Christmas on Main Street Anthology, an Amazon #1 bestseller, inspirational romance, made her an Amazon top 100 author for more than a month. Her novel, The Rhyme's Library, was a 2013 Kindle Review semi-finalist.
Kristy studied English literature at Brigham Young University and at BYU's International Center in London. Although a long time resident of Orange County California where she lives with her family, Kristy's heart belongs in her hometown of Arlington, Washington, AKA Rose Arbor -the fictional setting of her popular Rose Arbor series.