Today is my stop on Celebrate Lit’s book tour and Giveaway for Author Melody Carlson’s Surf Smugglers. I hope you enjoy learning about the book and author. Be sure to sign up for the giveaway at the bottom.
Surf Smugglers is Book 3 in Melody Carlson’s series “The Legacy of Sunset Cove.” It can easily be read as a stand alone, but it would be much better if you read the first two books in the series first. This book is utterly captivating.
Author Carlson has published over 200 books and her style of writing is flawless. Characters are so realistic they practically jump off of the pages. It is easy to become friends with them and imagine their lives as well as feel their emotions. I was happy to visit with my friends Anna and Katy again.
This is the tale of Anna McDowell, her daughter Katy, and parents Mac and Lucille. The United States is passing the Selective Service Act as the it joins The Great War in Europe. I gleaned some historical details from this book, which for me is always a bonus. The author did her research well.
Set in Oregon in 1917, this is filled with timely issues of war, prejudice, race, NAACP, journalism, and women’s rights and independence. Brimming with mystery, romance, intrigue, adventure, suspense and drama, this novel grabbed my attention early and held it throughout the entire book. It was easy to become invested in the exceptional story.
The element of faith and inspirational is present. A strong lesson of forgiveness is presented as well as grace. Even everyday Christian life is portrayed. It is nice to not need to seek the faithful message in a Christian novel but have it upfront.
I highly recommend this historical Christian fiction. It is engaging, enlightening, and encouraging. From me it gets a five out of five stars. I received a copy of this from Celebrate Lit and the publisher, and this is my own honest review.
About the Book
Book: Surf Smugglers
Author: Melody Carlson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: August 15, 2019
In the summer of 1917, US troops join the allied forces in the Great War. Back in Sunset Cove, Oregon, other battles wage. Anna McDowell continues to fight old fashioned stereotypes as she runs a newspaper committed to truth. Despite opposition, she’s determined to expose ongoing rum-running and prohibition lawlessness.
Adding to Anna’s frustrations, her good friend Dr. Daniel seems to run hot and cold. He loves Oregon, and maybe Anna too, but he’s pulled by his East Coast family responsibilities. Even the lure of a new modern Sunset Cove hospital doesn’t seem enough to keep him in Sunset Cove.
Meanwhile, Anna’s strong-willed daughter Katy continues to develop her dress shop by inviting family friend Sarah Rose to help out. But the woman’s presence tests the small town’s tolerance. And Anna’s concern that her daughter is growing up too fast is confirmed when Katy’s romantic life takes an unexpected turn, which Anna fears is influenced by the pressure of a devastating war that is not only changing the entire world but Sunset Cove as well.
Click here to grab your copy.
About the Author
Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.
More from Melody
My favorite way to learn history is through historical fiction—both by reading and by writing it. And I’ve discovered that World War 1 (previously known as the Great War, since WW2 had yet to happen) is quite fascinating. As well as incredibly sad. But I’m amazed at how science and technology evolved so quickly in this era. Whether it was advancement in automotive, communication, medicine . . . the culture was rapidly changing. And the war pushed it along at an even faster pace.
Another factor that makes this era interesting is prohibition. Oregon, my home state and where I set my series, was one of the earliest states to adopt prohibition of alcohol—in 1914. As a result, Oregon became ripe territory for bootlegging and rum-running along the coastline. And because my series involves a small town coastal newspaper that’s run (gasp!) by a woman, it gets even more interesting—and exciting!
Speaking of women, the suffrage movement was approved in Oregon in 1912—also well ahead of the rest of the nation (and the main reason that prohibition passed). My theory on why this happened is that the brave women who’d made the arduous journey West (via perilous wagon train or long hard voyages on clipper ships) were strong and opinionated and tough. And many of them were sick and tired of drunken slacker husbands. Also, thanks to Oregon’s amazing land donation act of 1850, many of these women were equal landowners to their husbands—and land equaled power.
Of course, what these suffragette-prohibition supporters didn’t realize is that banning alcohol would make matters worse because bootlegging and rum-running suddenly became a very lucrative business. The crime rate soared and the booze continued to flow freely. But all this makes for good newspaper stories, keeping our female editor in chief rather busy. In the first two books of the series, Anna McDowell has her hands full with trying to run her ailing father’s newspaper, restoring family relationships, and staying ahead of the growing crime element in Sunset Cove.
By book three, Surf Smugglers, Anna has her feet under her and doing a good job of standing up to the criminal element in their region. But by now the Great War is really heating up and the United States must get involved. Of course, this means that many young men, as well as Anna’s very good friend Dr. Daniel Hollister, are being shipped overseas to serve. Meanwhile, there is plenty of trouble at home. And the rum-runners, who despise the newspaper’s support of prohibition, target Anna’s good friend Sarah Rose because she’s a woman of color who’s sought refuge from the big city . . . and naturally things get dicey.
I’m currently finishing up the fourth and final book of the Legacy if Sunset Cove series, and I’m sad to think my ‘history lesson’ in this interesting era is drawing to an end. Not only have I learned a lot, I’ve really come to love the McDowell family . . . and I’m getting worried that not all the men from Sunset Cove will survive the brutal war. Of course, this is fiction . . . but the war was very real and the losses were great. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the war to end all wars like they’d hoped, but I appreciate the sentiment . . . and continue to pray for world peace.
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Just the Write Escape, September 3
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Maureen’s Musings, September 6
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Moments, September 9
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11
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Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 12
janicesbookreviews, September 13
A Reader’s Brain, September 13
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To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize of three of her books: Harbor Secrets, Riptide Rumors, and Surf Smugglers!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.