Category Archives: Dare

Dare

Stephen March. Hatteras Moon. New York: Köehlerbooks, 2013.

hatterasJack Delaney and Virgil Gibson became friends in high school, when star athlete Jack noticed Virgil’s dedication to the football team, even though Virgil would always be just a bench warmer.  Jack and Virgil did some dumb, crazy things together–like jumping off the bridge over Oregon Inlet.  But after high school they went their separate ways: Jack to Vietnam and Virgil to college.  Jack was injured in Vietnam and came back to the Outer Banks to be a fisherman like his dad.

But Jack remained a dare devil, and before long Jack began using the trawler he inherited from his father to smuggle marijuana.  Soon Jack has a large house on the beach, additional property, and a life that suits him, if not the government.  Meanwhile, Virgil has grown dissatisfied with his life.  Teaching undergraduates at a small college has lost its allure, and his marriage has grown stale.  More than a decade after high school, Virgil returns to Hatteras Island for the summer to re-assess his life.

Looking up his old friend Jack is among the first things that Virgil does.  Jack’s life looks attractive, even though Jack has money problems and is being threatened by one of his business associates.  Ever one to take a risk, Jack branches out into a new endeavor, one that brings him in contact with dangerous men with a different agenda.  When a simple shrimping trip turns deadly, Virgil plunges into a dangerous game of revenge.

Hatteras Moon is set in the late 1980s and some readers will be reminded of the Iran-Contra Affair by certain plot elements.  But a knowledge of Reagan-era foreign policy is not necessary to understand this dark tale of greed, loyalty, and revenge.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Coast, Dare, March, Stephen, Mystery

George Foster Leal. The Lost Colony of Roanoke. Saratoga Village, CA: Bedside Books, 2012.

As a young man, Don Robeson lived a life of action and danger.  For six years he was a Navy Seal and he honed his skills on some very dark missions during the Iraq War.  But in many ways Don’s character was set during his college years, when Professor Archibald Caulder turned him on to archaeology, and his roommate Johnny showed him how much he didn’t know about women.  Now, at thirty-five, Don is a professor at UNC, lecturing, writing papers, and looking forward to summers when he can be out in the field on a dig.

As this novel opens, Don has just received a phone call from Professor Caulder.  His mentor has been working at a dig site in Manteo, North Carolina.  Caulder has unearthed an old journal–so old that it may be from the Lost Colony.  Now that’s the kind of news that get Don in his car fastOver cognac, Don and Caulder examine the book. Could it be that this is really Ananias Dare’s journal? Caulder has not shown it to anyone working at his dig.  Instead he intrust the book to Don, asking him to get it authenticated–and to get away from Manteo.

Driving back to his beach house in Swan Quarter, Don wonders what to make of his old teacher–Is the book for real?  Is Caulder unnecessarily paranoid about the other researchers at the dig site?  Before the dawn breaks, both questions are answered.  As Don reads the journal, he sees the names one expects and observations and situations that ring true.  He falls asleep thinking about the year 1587, but he is abruptly awakened by a phone call from highway patrol telling him that Caulder has died in a house fire.  Before Don can process the news, two strange cars pull in and block his driveway. Don’s Seal training saves his life, as he slips out the backdoor before his house goes up in flames.

So begins this adventure tale.  Don Robeson will be on the run, barely one step of well-funded killers who want the journal.  He is aided in his adventure Caulder’s beautiful daughter, by his college buddy Johnny, and by a backwoods woman named Ginny Dare.  Not everyone is what they appear to be in a story that has several twist and turns.  History buff will enjoy the excerpts from the journal which reveal the challenges that the colonist faced–and their eventual fate.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Coast, Dare, Historical, Hyde, Leal, George Foster, Suspense/Thriller

Roland Smith. Kitty Hawk. Ann Arbor, MI: Sleeping Bear Press, 2012.

I, Q: Kitty Hawk*This blog post highlights the third book in an on-going series. Some of the information provided for context might contain spoilers for events that occurred in the previous two books.*

Quest “Q” Munoz and Angela Tucker are just your normal, everyday teenagers – with rock star parents and inside connections to Secret Service operations, of course. This is the third book in Smith’s action-packed I, Q series. The first two books, I, Q: Independence Hall and I, Q: The White House, were set in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. respectively. For this next installment, Smith selected the smaller, but still historic, town of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. His series is aimed toward younger readers, but people of any age could find interest in Smith’s colorful cast of characters.

At the start of the series, Q’s mom, Blaze Munoz, married Angela’s dad, Roger Tucker. Angela’s mother, Malak Turner, a former Secret Service agent, is dead, and Q’s father, Peter “Speed” Paulsen, is a limelight-loving rock star. The happy couple formed a new band called Match and released a hit single, which prompted a nation-wide tour. Step-siblings Q and Angela are along for the ride, which has proven much bumpier and more suspenseful than expected. In the first book, they meet Tyrone Boone and his huge, slobbery dog, Croc. Boone, a roadie, is charged with looking after Q and Angela. But Boone is more than an old roadie; he’s a retired CIA agent with his an independent team of agents called SOS, or Some Old Spooks. And Boone has plenty of suspicions surrounding Angela’s mother’s death. Or supposed death…

By the third book, Q, Angela, Blaze, Roger, and the SOS group are in Washington, D.C. for a special concert at the White House. But a terrorist ghost cell has kidnapped President J.R. Culpepper’s daughter, Bethany; they plan to use her in a hostage video against the U.S. government. So Q, Angela, and the SOS team chase the terrorists down I-95 to rescue the president’s daughter. Unfortunately, there is a brutal hurricane headed right in their direction. SOS has help from a few other sources luckily, including Angela’s very alive mom, Malak, who is working to infiltrate the terrorist group. Yet Boone and Croc have some eerie talents and are pretty capable of taking care of themselves.

Smith sets a fast pace to the story. The book spans a single day with chapters segmented roughly into hour or two-hour blocks to keep the sense of urgency high. However, Smith cuts the tension with moments of humor, especially when Q’s father Speed shows up and almost derails the whole chase. With distractions like ostentatious rockers and violent hurricanes, Smith leaves his audience on the edge of their seats, turning page after page. Will Q, Angela, and the SOS team save Bethany in time? Or will the ghost cell succeed in their scheme?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Dare, Novels in Series, Smith, Roland, Suspense/Thriller

Katrina Thomas. Coastal Summons. Las Vegas, NV: Montlake Romance, 2013.

coastal

Laina Danvers and Ian Hamilton grew up together, not quite family but almost.  Laina’s father was the foster child of Ian’s grandparents, and when he died Ian’s grandparents took her in and raised her.  But the car accident that killed Laina’s father also killed Ian’s father and uncle.  Beatrice Hamilton made peace with that tragic accident but her grandsons never did.  They took their anger out on Laina because her father had been behind the wheel.  Even now, as adults, they are cold and cutting toward her.

Ian Hamilton was the exception among the Hamilton boys, and he is the person who Laina turns to for help when she notices that Beatrice (Gram) is beginning to fail.  The family is scattered and each sibling has adult responsibilities: Ian is an assistant district attorney in Richmond; Elliott is a partner in a large insurance company; Cal is a financial adviser; and cousin Palmer moved to California is escape his overprotective mother.

Laina is busy too as the president of an international trading company and the foster mother of a seven-year old girl.  But just as Gram was always there for her when she was a child, Laina will help Gram now.  When Laina has visited Gram in Arlington, Virginia she’s noticed that the older woman has become frail and is forgetting things, but it is Gram’s annual move to the beach house on Hatteras Island that precipitates a crisis.  The house needs a lot of work, and Gram shouldn’t be there alone.  Laina can see what needs to be done, but the Hamilton men will not accept her advice on anything.  When the family gathers at the beach house on the Fourth of July weekend a stray box of letters reveals something about their shared past that upends the Hamilton family story and allows Ian and Laina to acknowledge feelings that his brothers’ hositility toward Laina forced them to hide.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Coast, Dare, Romance/Relationship, Thomas, Katrina

Scott J. Toney. Hearts of Avon. United States: Breakwater Harbor Books, 2013.

Caroline Lilly made a mistake getting involved with John.  She was in high school when they met; John was a bit older and Caroline was flattered that he would take an interest in a young woman like her.  At first he was gallant and loving, but then he turned controlling and even violent.  To get away from John, Caroline and her mother leave Pittsburgh and head to the Outer Banks for a long vacation.  Caroline’s Aunt Suzie has a house on the beach at Avon.  The women are going there to paint the house, talk, and just enjoy some time together.

Ben is a different kind of painter. He and his father, Mason, are landscape painters who make a good living selling their artwork up and down the coast.  A chance encounter on the beach brings Ben into Caroline’s world, as he protects her from John and helps her to heal after Hurricane Irene tears up the Outer Banks and upends both their worlds.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Coast, Dare, Toney, Scott J.

Katrina Thomas. Island Sojourn. Las Vegas, NV: Montlake Romance, 2012.

islandsojournDelaney Sutton used to love her job. A professional firefighter living in Richmond, Virginia, she has been passionately dedicated to saving lives for years. Now, at twenty-six, she’s reached a crossroads. Firefighting has always been her dream, but with the death of her friend and co-worker, Hal, in a fire that also injured her severely, Delaney is unsure and worn out. Her chief decides she needs a forced vacation at the same time that her sisters are planning their annual Sisterhood Sojourn to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Delaney gives in and goes with them.

Her four weeks in Avon on Hatteras Island are supposed to be relaxing. Unfortunately, her three sisters have other ideas about what she needs– well, one idea. A man. Luckily for them, Gareth Collins arrives almost within a day of the four women, and the Sutton sisters waste no time in hounding their youngest about how cute he is. Delaney has to agree, but she just doesn’t know if she wants a relationship right now. She hasn’t been able to sleep properly since Hal’s death, about which she keeps having post-traumatic flashbacks. Gareth realizes something isn’t entirely right with the pretty youngest Sutton sister, so he tries to take it slow, encouraging her to open up to him a little at a time. Is love really the medicine Delaney needs?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Coast, Dare, Romance/Relationship, Thomas, Katrina

Janice Sims. Escape with Me. Toronto: Harlequin Kimani, 2013.

escapeLana Corday has made a good living as a decorator in San Francisco but when her husband is accused of an enormous financial fraud, she is pursued by the media and her business dries up.  Both the media and the police badger Lana because he husband, Jeremy, is nowhere to be found.  Did Jeremy die when his yacht exploded, or did he fake his death so he could start a new life?

The FBI thinks that Jeremy is still alive and that he will come back for his beautiful wife.  Believing that Lana is the bait to catch Jeremy, the FBI enlists Lana’s father’s help. When she hears that her father has a touch of heart trouble, Lana returns to Hatteras Island to be by his side.  The FBI follows, in the person of handsome special agent Tennison Isles.  Jeremy’s deceptions have caused Lana to doubt her ability to judge people, but she can’t help but notice how her father trusts Tenn and enjoys his company.  Could she let herself fall for this upright, handsome, sexy man?

Janice Sims does a nice job of interweaving Lana and Tenn’s romance with the business of catching Jeremy, but what will set this book apart for North Carolina readers is the author’s familiarity with the Outer Banks–its geography, its beauty, its heritage.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Coast, Dare, Romance/Relationship, Sims, Janice

C.K. Volnek. Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island. United States: Spark Books, 2011.

ghostdogofroanokeIt feels like fate when Jack Dahlgren’s family inherits his great-aunt Ruth’s home on Roanoke Island in North Carolina. His dad has lost his job, and all the family’s savings are gone. But twelve-year-old Jack doesn’t want to live on Roanoke Island, especially in a house that the kids at school say is haunted. He also feels responsible for his little sister’s accidental fall off of a nearby sea cliff, which put her in a hospital in Raleigh. On top of everything, a hurricane is bearing down on the Outer Banks, howling like a monster.

…Or is it a hurricane? There’s definitely some stormy weather, but there’s also something dark and scary living in the woods near the Dahlgrens’ new house. When Jack investigates, he finds a mysterious, vanishing mastiff, and something much wilder. Later, Jack meets and befriends their Algonquin neighbor, Manny Braboy, who explains it all– the evil living in Jack’s woods is a Witiku: a demon summoned by the natives of Roanoke Island in the sixteenth century to rid the island of all invaders. Incredibly, Manny tells Jack that he, Jack, must be the one to defeat the Witiku. The twelve-year old is skeptical, but when Manny takes him back to the sixteenth century to observe the events of the Lost Colony unfold, he begins to believe. Will Jack defeat the Wikitu? Will Roanoke Island finally be at peace? Will Jack ever be happy in his new home?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Dare, Historical, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Volnek, C. K.

Antony John. Elemental. New York: Dial Books, 2012.

In the future, there will be a plague so great that it almost wipes the entirety of the human race off the planet. Sixteen-year-old Thomas lives with a small band of fourteen survivors, including his father and his brothers, Ananias and Griffin. This post-apocalyptic world is all Thomas has ever known, but like many teenagers today, Thomas feels as though he doesn’t belong. While everyone else in their small colony on Hatteras Island can control the four elements in some way, Thomas has no power. The others even seem afraid to touch him, as though his lack of power is contagious. Then, one stormy day, everything changes.

The adult Guardians (as they call themselves) have failed to predict a terrible storm. Quickly, Thomas and the other children flee to a shelter on the abandoned wasteland of Roanoke Island. But when they try to return, they discover something far more horrifying than a storm’s damage– their families have been kidnapped by pirates. Vowing to resist, the youngsters retreat back to Roanoke Island. With each passing day, they discover that their powers grow stronger and stronger, and that they possess more and different abilities than they ever thought. Spying on the pirates reveals still more– there is something special about Griffin, Thomas’ younger brother, and the pirates want him enough to kill. Although Thomas knows he doesn’t have a power, he has also been feeling stranger and stranger the longer they stay on Roanoke. Is it possible that the Guardians lied as well when they said he didn’t have a power? And if he does, what could his power be?

A gripping take on the legend of the Lost Colony, this dystopian novel brings the past to life in a future just as haunted by pirates, disease, and mysteries as the 16th century.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Dare, John, Antony, Novels in Series, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Douglas Quinn. Swan’s Landing. Elizabeth City, N.C. : White Heron Press, 2012.

In this the third novel in the Webb Sawyer mystery series, Webb’s son Preston has moved from the Outer Banks to New Zealand, but Preston’s ex-girlfriend, Sunshine Bledsoe, still keeps in touch with Webb.  Sunshine is aptly named–she’s a pretty, cheerful young woman whose sunny nature belies her difficult family life.  When Sunshine’s parents divorced, her dad moved to Richmond, but her mother, a recovering drug addict, remained in the area.  Isabeau and Sunshine’s relationship is a reverse of the traditional mother-daughter one: it is Sunshine who checks in on Isabeau, a waitress with a tenuous hold on financial and emotional stability.

As this novel opens, Sunshine is convinced that her mother is in trouble.  Isabeau’s employer, restaurant owner Amy Overton, has a note from Isabeau saying that  she’s taking a few weeks off for a vacation, but Sunshine doesn’t think her mom had the money for a trip.  Initially, Webb is not inclined to take Isabeau’s disappearance very seriously. Webb is more interested in working on his off-again, on-again relationship with pub owner Nan Ftorek, which is now back on.  Still, Sunshine is someone he is fond of and when he learns that another of Ms. Overton’s employees is also missing, his investigation kicks into high gear.  Webb follows a twisted trail that involves a shady minister, a local developer with a past, and a sadistic cop.  The body count gets high before Webb and the local sheriff bring the bad guys and their enablers to justice.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Coast, Dare, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Quinn, Douglas