Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I take much pride in the book because, firstly, my granddaughter, Tori Ferris, did the cover photography. The story is set on Georgia's Cumberland Island, called Sago Island in the novel. The back of the print edition is just as gorgeous as the front cover. I predict an artful future for my lovely high-schooler.
I set the love story on Georgia's gorgeous Cumberland Island, no better place for an historical romantic mystery. The late John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his fiance Caroline were married in the little African church you'll read about in Whispering. (More about Cumberland in a later essay, but much is published on the web.)
It's 1921. Cleo Snow travels with her cousin, Neill Connolly, to Sago Island, Ga. to lessen the sadness of her fiance's death in The Great War (later called World War I). He'd been missing, presumed killed in France, and his body recently returned home.
America's victory celebration is in full swing. The Flapper Era has begun. Cleo is poised between her Victorian raising and post-war liberal ideas. Women got the vote in 1920. They work – Cleo’s a nurse. Hemlines are rising. Jargon is spicier. Songs are racier. The fox trot is the cat’s meow. Everyone smokes coffin nails. The great experiment, Prohibition, has ushered in an epoch of fascinating gangsters and illegal speakeasies. Drinking and dancing go together like bathtub gin and painted dolls.
On Sago Island Cleo meets fly-boy hero Graham Henry, the dazzling son of a steel magnate. They fall in love dancing to "Whispering", the rage song of the year. Complicating their love-at-first-sight is Shafer and Josie Drake. Shafer is Graham's cousin. He lost his liquor business and knows he's about to lose his money-loving wife, Josie.
The morning after the dance, Josie is missing. A note she purportedly wrote says she's leaving the island to get a divorce and marry Graham. Graham swears the note's a lie and that he and Josie were nothing more than "boozing" companions.
Where did Josie go and when? Did she return to New York where she once danced in the Ziegfeld Follies? No one saw her leave the island. But Cleo knows Graham had nothing to do with her disappearance because Cleo was with him in the lighthouse the night Josie vanished. Cleo vows she will never confess to making love with a man she's known only two days. But Will Graham compromise Cleo to clear himself?
Island resident, the enigmatic Doc Holliday, who is said to be related to the infamous gunslinger, is a veterinarian and a falconer. His falcon, Billy, captures Cleo’s severely crushed heart. Cleo captures Doc’s heart, but she’s reeling over her gullibility. Will he win her with his darkly sensuous charm?
Everyone on Sago, it seems, has something to hide, even villagers who distill homemade "hooch" - and it all pivots around Josie and Graham. With her spirit firmed by shame and outrage, Cleo vows to uncover the truth and thus keep her own secret.
After writing The Ghost Ship, partially set in the early 1920s, I'm calling this my historical writing period. The sequel to The End Game (titled The Last Temptation) will be relased in July 2012. These novels represent my contemporary writing period, which exists alongside my historical writing period. :-D
On sale at: http://amzn.to/vnkv7u
Gerrie Ferris Finger