Saturday, February 4, 2012

Introducing "The Sour Orange Derby"

                                                            The Sour Orange Derby
                                                                  (copyright 2009)

As you can tell by the copyright, The Sour Orange Derby is a long time in the making. I wrote this book years ago and spent awhile working on it, then it kind of fell by the wayside when I began focusing on The Whisper Legacy. But now I'm ready to get it finished and published, and it will be published this year before the release of Book 3 in the Whisper Legacy.

The Derby is mostly finished. It just needs some fine-tuning, and my awesome friend Red is doing the cover, as she did for Walk the Red Road. The book is based on bits of my family, primarily my grandfather and the many ways in which he helped make our childhoods magical. I took a few (major) liberties with the story, so not all that happens in the book actually took place (primarily the specific event that the book centers around, my brother is perfectly healthy and not at all happy about what I do to his character). Regardless, it tells the tale of one little boy's relationship with his Papa, and how a family comes together to celebrate one another, and the legacy that they leave behind.

It is a book close to my heart, as I grew up with these stories and have done my best to tell them in a way that gives readers a piece of who I am, in my own way. Below is the synopsis:

                       One lone tree is all that remains of the Standridge family orange groves. Once a cherished treasure rich in family tradition, the groves were destroyed by the 1963 frost that turned all the fruit sour and ended the legacy that began as far back as the Civil War.
But for young Colly Standridge, that solitary tree is at the center of a magical world.
Inspired by real people and events, The Sour Orange Derby follows the lives of Colly, a child who dreams of becoming a professional baseball player, and K.B. Standridge, an imaginative old man who spends his days creating stories and magic tricks for his grandkids to enjoy. Told through the eyes and memories of Colly’s older sister, Kariss Standridge, at the annual celebration of The Sour Orange Derby, this novel encompasses the beauty of family and wonder of childhood as K.B. searches for a new Standridge family tradition – and finds the answer in his own last beloved orange tree.
The Annual Sour Orange Derby brings together his grandson’s passion for baseball and his personal pride in his family’s tradition, a game that encourages imagination and youth. More importantly, it is a game that holds the Standridge family together when the tragic consequences of the young boy’s fight with cancer threatens to tear them apart.
A story about love and healing steeped in southern traditions, The Sour Orange Derby is a tale of how one family comes together to celebrate life and history in a game that transcends all others.

(Photo by Robert Byron available for purchase here)

Also, allow me to share what's coming up in my marketing calendar:

February 17th-18th: 2012 Amelia Island Book Festival
This is my first time at the festival, and I am taking part in the marketplace on Saturday selling my novels, and the workshop on Friday featuring several best-selling authors. S is going with me and hopefully together we'll sell lots of books and schmooze with the bigwigs to learn the secrets of being just like them. I've never done a workshop before, so it will definitely be a learning experience.

March 23rd-25th: 47th Annual FIHA Powwow
I am beyond excited about this. I managed to score a booth selling books at an annual pow wow down in Fort Pierce, Florida (much thanks to my friend Melissa for finding the info for me). I've been in contact with the event leader and apparently nothing like this (fiction novels) has been sold before so hopefully I bring something new and exciting to the table. S and I are going to camp there probably Friday night and get to selling some books on Saturday. I can't wait to check out the food and dances.

May 12th: Volusia County Literacy Fair
I did this last year, so this will be my second time participating. I love getting to talk to students about writing, and talk about my novels. Hopefully this year will be as big a success as last!

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