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by author "Kay Dew Shostak" in All Categories
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The Manatee Did It
Southern Beach Mysteries, Book 1
Kay Dew Shostak
Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
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Jewel Mantelle has never lived in the South, much less on the coast, so moving from Chicagoland to the historic North Florida coastal town of Sophia Island seems like just the adventure to fix her marriage. However, when she arrives, she finds that it’s awfully hot and humid there and that these Southern folks really like to hug. Her husband’s past on the island includes a creaky old house in the historic district and lots of nosy relatives he’d forgotten to mention.
Looking in your teenage daughter's purse is never a good idea. After all, it ended up with Carolina Jessup opening a bed & breakfast for railroad fanatics in a tiny Georgia mountain town. Carolina knows all about, and hates, small towns. How did she end up leaving her wonderful Atlanta suburbs behind while making her husband's dreams come true?
Once again, the Sophia Island Shrimp Festival is over. Thousands attended to eat shrimp, shop, and watch the pirates come ashore as usual, but this year’s temperatures were warmer than ever. Everyone is happy that the busy hot weekend is over, and everyone came through unscathed. Or so it seems. Jewel and Craig Mantelle also made it through their kids and families’ first visit to their new island home.
Aren't detours supposed to have big warning signs? So why do life's detours come out of the blue and hit so hard? It's been a year since they opened the bed-and-breakfast for Railfans in the small town of Chancey, and the Jessups feel as if they've always lived in the Georgia Mountains. After a hard summer, Carolina is looking forward to the cooler temperatures of autumn and the routine of the school year. However...unplanned detours mean more family in town, families pulling apart at the seams, and just plain ol' heartache.
What if your children are all miserable, Carolina wonders, but your life is finally coming together? Will’s new marriage and new job, are already old. Savannah’s reduced to chasing a guy and she’s playing the Southern Belle to do it. Bryan is labeled a stalker. But maybe worse, is he a world-class liar? Carolina’s friends are having kid worries, too. Laney’s finding the age gap between high school senior and newborn grows with her exhaustion. Susan’s kids too quickly get accustomed, and attached, to their new station in life in their ritzy mountain community.
Overnight, a shiny new business opens on Chancey, Georgia’s Main Street, with a manager straight from New York City, who doesn’t find the South charming, at all. Carolina’s bookstore is also opening on Main Street. If she can keep Patty’s mind on books instead of a new romance. Then, when a secret wedding catches everyone off guard, a springtime tornado in Chancey just seems like icing on the cake. (Wedding cake, that is.) Trains still run by Crossings, the B and B for rail road enthusiasts. Ruby still sells coffee and muffins. And kids still get out of school for the summer.
Carolina knew moving teenagers from the Atlanta suburbs to a small Georgia mountain town was a horrible idea. She knew opening a B&B was an even worse plan. Oncoming headlights aren’t only aimed at her family, the town of Chancey is being set up for a collision that could change everything. And as that unfolds, Carolina’s husband Jackson is smack dab in the middle of it all, his hand on the throttle, going full steam ahead.
Inviting your ex-spouse for the holidays might not be a good idea. Especially when folks don’t know you were married before. Carolina quit her job, and for the first time ever, she’s doing the holidays as a stay-at-home mom. And doesn’t all that extra time mean everything will be perfect? Then, the RV showed up. The RV with her parents, their dogs, and their obsession with Gone with the Wind. Then, the college kids showed up.
Pretty paper and bows make promises, the gift inside rarely keeps. December comes to Chancey in this eighth audiobook in the series with promises of new birth, new love, new opportunities all tied up with shiny bows. Christmas is making a comeback in Chancey with Missus Blue ribbons tied on everything that stands still. Newcomers to town gussy up the gazebo complete with magnolia leaves, tiny lights, and even a chandelier. Remembering the Christmas of 1945, the Chancey Parlor and Depot is opened with solemnity, white roses, and a renewed feud.
October arrives with Carolina holding way too many secrets...or you could say not holding them exactly. The town has barely gotten over the loss of their patriarch F.M. when one of the most stable marriages around is on the rocks, maybe completely over the cliff. Then the movie people hit town, and they don’t seem to be helping.
Jewel Mantelle is just beginning to get used to the humidity in her new Southern home on Sophia Island, when Turtle Season opens way too early. At least, it's too early according to her friends with Turtle Trackers. Is it a true sea turtle nest found on a stormy April morning? Not likely, when a body is eventually discovered buried where the eggs should be.