Category Archives: Dare

Dare

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

Virginia Kantra. Carolina Home. New York: Berkley Sensation, 2012.

In Carolina Home, the first novel in Virginia Kantra’s Dare Island series, readers are introduced to the Fletcher family. Tom Fletcher, the family’s patriarch, is a former Marine and retired fishman.  Tom and his wife Tess now run an inn on the island.  Tom’s family has been on the island for generations.  Tess was a Chicago girl whom Tom met when he was in service, but she took to the island and happily raised her family there.  She is a rock to her family, always ready to share love and to adjust the family’s resources to accommodate one of her children’s needs.  As she did many years ago when her college-age son Matt came back from North Carolina State with a baby and a broken heart.

Matt’s baby, Josh,  is now a teenager, bright but indifferent to school work.  Josh’s language arts teacher, Allison Carter, a newcomer to the island, hopes to break through his indifference, but it is Matt, not Josh, who is interested in this attractive woman.  Carolina Home focuses on the romantic dance between Allison and Matt.  She’s trying to break free from her wealthy parents, be a good teacher, and not make waves at her new workplace.  Matt hasn’t had the time or the inclination to have a serious romance–he’s been raising his son, running a charter fishing business, and happily enjoying a series of summer romances with women who leave for the mainland at the season’s end.  Matt doesn’t understand Allison’s fear of gossip any better than he understands why he feels that this woman may not be like all the others.  The outline of the story is a familiar one, but Kantra fills it in in a charming way.  The classroom discussions of The Scarlet Letter will bring smiles to many readers’ faces, and Hawthorne’s old classic has relevance to the character’s lives.

While Matt and Allison are the focus of this novel, it is easy to discern that other members of the Fletcher family–mother Tess, sister Meg, who lives in New York, brother Luke, a Marine, and the newest family member–Luke’s ten year old daughter Taylor (unknown to the Fletchers until her mother died)–will play more central roles in future books in this series.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Coast, Dare, Kantra, Virginia, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship

Joseph L. S. Terrell. Tide of Darkness. Rock Hill, SC: Bella Rosa Books, 2010.

Harrison Weaver is a writer whose stories have been published in a  number of true crime magazines.  But Weaver is tired of murder and the lowlifes and psychos he meets in his work, so he’s getting away from it all by renting a house on the Outer Banks. Unfortunately for Weaver, he arrives in Manteo just as the body of Sally Jean Pearson is found.  Sally was a college student, in Manteo for the summer working as a stage hand and extra in The Lost Colony production.

Sally’s murder is eerily similar to the murder of another Lost Colony actress four years earlier.  Weaver wrote about that murder, making both friends and enemies in the process. Manteo has changed little in the past four years, and soon the investigative team that worked on the first murder is together again to work on the Pearson case.  Weaver’s buddy, SBI Agent Thomas Twiddy, is back, but so is Rick Schweikert, the county prosecutor who has it out for Weaver.  Schweikert and some other locals think it’s just too much of a coincidence that Weaver arrived in town the day Pearson’s body was found–could it be that the crime writer knows something the local police don’t?  When a sheriff’s deputy leads people to think that Twiddy and Weaver are about to break both cases open, Weaver finds himself in danger.  But before long it’s clear that the killer feels backed into a corner and that Weaver is not the only one whose life is in danger as this novel moves to a dramatic conclusion.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Dare, Mystery, Novels in Series, Terrell, Joseph L. S.

Diane Chamberlain. Keeper of the Light Trilogy.

Set in the fictional Outer Banks town of Kiss River, Diane Chamberlain’s trilogy explores love, loss, and the power our loved ones have over our hearts and mind, even after death. The trilogy centers on the four members of the O’Neill family: father Alec, mother Annie, and the children Clay and Lacey. Although Annie O’Neill is tragically murdered in the opening pages of Keeper of the Light, her presence remains a main character throughout the entire trilogy, inspiring and at times haunting those who survived her passing. Not least of these is her daugher, Lacey. Thirteen at the time of her mother’s violent death, we watch Lacey grow from a rebellious, grieving teenager into a thoughtful young artist who must eventually grapple with motherhood in her turn. Although the books are set around new characters who come into the O’Neills’ lives, the trilogy remains focused on this family, their struggles to overcome Annie’s death, and the compelling lighthouse on the fictional Kiss River.

Author Diane Chamberlain

 

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Filed under 1990-1999, 2000-2009, Chamberlain, Diane, Coast, Dare, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship, Series

Diane Chamberlain. Keeper of the Light. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

In this first installment of a trilogy set in the fictional town of Kiss River on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Chamberlain introduces her readers to the O’Neill family. A talented artist, Annie Chase O’Neill is revered by the locals. Playfully known as Saint Anne, her light, energy, and caring for others has given unfathomable gifts to the community. Dr. Olivia Simon, new to the area, has never met the famed Saint Anne, and is shocked to realize that the woman’s heart she literally holds in her hand one fateful Christmas Eve at the Kiss River Emergency Room belongs to her. Shot directly through the heart, Olivia knows immediately that the only chance to save the woman’s life is to attempt surgery, even though her staff would feel more comfortable air-lifting Annie to a larger facility. In spite of all of Olivia’s best efforts, Annie dies on the table, leaving behind a grieving husband and children. But this is just the beginning.

Olivia’s journalist husband, Paul, has been obsessed with Annie ever since he and Olivia moved to Kiss River from Washington, DC. Olivia thinks that his fixation began with an interview he did with Annie for the local paper, but as this story unfolds through present revelations and past reflection, we find that Paul and Annie’s relationship went much deeper than Olivia knew. Olivia’s marriage in ruins, the situation is further complicated when Annie’s handsome widower, Alec O’Neill, comes looking for answers about that night in the ER. Soon a complicated love square forms between Olivia, Alec, Paul, and Annie’s shade. In the center of it all is the Kiss River Lighthouse: a symbol of all that Annie loved and was. The lighthouse is scheduled to be moved in order to make way for construction, and both Alec and Paul throw themselves into the committee dedicated to saving it. Meanwhile, Olivia slips further and further into Annie’s life, becoming obsessed with understanding what made this woman so special. As the three adults circle slowly around Annie’s memory, it becomes increasingly clear that Annie and Alec’s troubled 14-year-old daughter Lacey, the spitting image of her murdered mother, is the one they should be watching.

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

 

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Filed under 1990-1999, 1992, Chamberlain, Diane, Coast, Dare, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship

Joyce and Jim Lavene. A Spirited Gift. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2011.

October 15th is always a hard day for Dae O’Donnell because it is the anniversary of her mother’s death. Although she makes time for her annual séance in an attempt to make contact with her mother, Dae has pressing matters to attend to. This is also the first day of the Mayors’ Conference Weekend, Dae’s brainchild that brings twenty mayors to Duck, North Carolina, to discuss issues that affect their coastal communities.

Things are off to a great start at the Blue Whale Inn (which, incidentally, Dae’s boyfriend Kevin Brickman runs) with the politicians happily mingling.  But Mother Nature has a different plan. What started as a little bit of rain has suddenly turned into a full-force hurricane, wrecking havoc all along the Outer Banks. Although everyone is supposed to be safe and sound at the Blue Whale, one mayor is missing: Sandi Foxx, Manteo’s flirtatious leader. When Dae finds Sandi’s diamond and ruby ring and thanks to her psychic abilities “feels” Sandi’s fear right before she lost it, she begins to worry for Sandi’s safety.

The next day, Dae discovers Sandi’s body in a shed, and in the midst of the clean-up from the hurricane, the town of Duck undergoes a murder investigation. As mayor, Dae tries to stay involved, and she has help from an unusual source: the ghost of Rafe Masterson, a distant relative and a pirate. With Rafe’s insight and prodding, Dae is able to find out who is disrupting her quiet community and to right some centuries-old wrongs.

This is the third Missing Pieces Mystery.  To start the series at the beginning, read A Spirited Gift.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Coast, Dare, Lavene, Jim and Joyce, Mystery, Novels in Series

Joyce and Jim Lavene. A Touch of Gold. New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2011.

Life in Duck, North Carolina, during the off season can be slow for the residents of this Outer Banks hamlet. Although the town is fairly small, its history, lore, and spirit more than make up for its size. The quiet of the off season suddenly changes when the Duck Historical Museum explodes. All of the relics–some centuries-old–are destroyed, but that is not the only loss to the community. The greatest tragedy in this strange event is the death of Max Caudle, museum curator and Duck expert, who perished in the blast.  Dae O’Donnell, mayor of Duck and close friend of Max is heartbroken – and oddly affected. Dae, who had been helping Max with a program for school children just before the explosion, was very close to the building before it went up in flames. Now, in addition to her ability to help people find lost objects just by touching them, Dae can “see” the history of things.

Law enforcement officials in Duck think that they have a solid suspect in the arson and the murder of Max until that person is found dead. Later Max’s widow’s home is destroyed. Using her powerful gift, Dae, with the help of ex-FBI agent and beau Kevin Brickman, tries to discover who is wrecking havoc on the coastal village. Their investigation takes them into many aspects of Duck’s past, including long-buried family secrets and gold.

A Touch of Gold is the second novel in the “Missing Pieces Mystery” series.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Coast, Dare, Lavene, Jim and Joyce, Mystery, Novels in Series

Mary Flinn. Second Time’s a Charm. New York: Aviva, 2011.

 

The title removes any suspense that this novel might have had, but Second Time’s a Charm is nonetheless an engaging, enjoyable read.  Stacie Edmonds was burned by her first husband, Rick, a good-looking runaround with a cocaine habit.  Stacie came out of that marriage with her restaurant, the Sound Side, but also with a fear of betrayal and a disinclination to trust her heart to another man.  Tyson Garrett, the chef at the Sound Side, loves Stacie and wants her to see that he is not like Rick.  The novel follows the development of their relationship through a series of challenges–a vengeful former employee, a hurricane, a fragile pregnancy, and a meltdown by Rick, who still lives nearby.  A large cast of characters populate the novel–friends, family members, local characters, and staff from the Sound Side.  The Sound Side itself is almost a character; readers will get a sense of the varied work and the camaraderie  that make a restaurant successful.

Kyle Davis and Chelsea Davenport, the main characters in Ms. Flinn’s first book, The One, have minor roles in this story.  The two will be back as the main characters in the author’s next book, Three Gifts.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Coast, Dare, Flinn, Mary, Romance/Relationship