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One of the great benefits of reading is the opportunity to “travel” to other locations without having to pack a bag or board a plane! I asked Kristen Terrette to share with us about the setting that she chose for her novel Time and Tide, the second book in her Moanna Island series. (You can find her interview about the first book, Safe Harbor, here.) It’s always interesting to hear the stories behind the setting of a book, and Kristen’s will likely have you ready to “travel” there!
Before she shares with us, though, let’s take a look at Time and Tide, to set the stage.
After almost killing himself and someone else, Chad’s legal problems, addiction recovery therapy, and physical therapy if he ever wants to walk normally again, are a part of his everyday life. He believes there is no chance at true happiness, certainly not love, and only hopes to become a better man than he was, to find redemption somehow.
Chad moves to Moanna Island, a small island close to Savannah off the Atlantic coast, to begin a job with his family’s real estate empire, a job he was supposed to have taken years ago.
Free-spirited Ryan Mason is a Moanna local girl from a blue-collar family. She’s dropped her own dreams to help her father care for her schizophrenic brother.
Their paths first cross at a Rehabilitation Center where Chad attends therapy and Ryan’s brother lives. Chad can’t believe his luck when he finds her on Moanna Island, forty-five minutes away from the Center, only days later.
Chad is drawn to Ryan’s joy, even through the pain and grief life tries to throw her way. His lonely void begins to dissipate with every island adventure spent with her. He soon finds out what her secret is. But is it possible to start over and be restored?
Welcome back, Kristen! Tell us about Moanna Island. 🙂
I believe I was in second grade when my family began vacationing on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It made its way into the depths of my soul, and created a longing to go back every summer, which I did until I was in college. Hilton Head is a low country island, with predominantly flat land, abundant with rich marshland and extreme high and low tides. It’s known for its greenery- island brush and Live oaks- with Spanish moss covering almost every branch.
My childhood memories are full of bike rides through the shaded trails crisscrossing the island. They wind around brackish ponds with alligator families and through bamboo forests. We’d often ride on the beach during a low tide, bumping over the ripple pattern effect left by the waves. Fishing and crabbing were a daily adventure with my fisherman Dad, and we always had to squeeze in an outing to the Harbor Town lighthouse and the old Liberty tree with the local celebrity, Gregg Russell, playing his original kids’ songs, making us laugh and sing to the music.
So when I began to envision my first Moanna Island love story (Safe Harbor) taking place on a beach, I quickly realized the beach was looking more and more like Hilton Head Island in my head. Well, the Hilton Head from thirty years ago, before everyone went there, and it still felt like a well-kept secret. And, just like that, fictional Moanna Island was born. It’s located off the coast of Georgia, near Savannah (like Hilton Head and St. Simmons), but it’s small with almost no commercial activity. It is mostly a resort town, with heavy traffic during the summer and leaving the off-peak seasons quiet and relaxing.
I have had lots of fun using the memories of my childhood escapades in the adventures of the heroes and heroines in the first two Moanna Island stories. My new release Time and Tide shows off the marina and small town feel I remember so well. With the third book in the series already in the works, I don’t see the adventures from my imagination ending soon.
I hope you enjoy Moanna’s low country island setting. After you read about it, you just might be antsy for a low country island vacation of your own!
What a fun place to visit! I’m ready! Thanks for sharing Moanna Island with us, Kristen. 🙂
Your turn! If you were going to plan a vacation, would you prefer a trip to the beach or the mountains?
More about Kristen:
Kristen has a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and was on staff as a Children’s Ministry Director for over five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. With the support of her husband and two children, she stays home making up fantasy places and characters, allowing God to take the story where He needs it to go.
You can connect with Kristen online:
Time and Tide Giveaway:
Kristen has graciously offered to give away an e-copy of Time and Tide. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.