Author’s note: Fellow author Lance Carney’s 5-star review of The Lost Lantern on both Amazon.com and Goodreads.com came at just the right time. Less than 10 weeks after its release, reinforcing commentary goes a long way towards continuing momentum and spreading the good word.
Incidentally, Carney’s humorous first novel, Ripped Tide, is among just three other finalists for the 2017 McGrath House Indie Book Awards in the humor/comedy category. You can vote (by Oct. 31) for Lance’s book at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe7wJh5GcE90bHjJoK-y_QxUtahp7teTSBrcpxWVIBzj-i0qA/viewform
This was “Lantern’s” 11th review (4.7-rating thus far). Thanks again to Lance and to those who took me from five to 10: Pat Paxton, Sandra Rohr, Sissy Offutt, Robert (unknown), and Carla VanWyck. I appreciate you all!
Back to the Beach for a Story of Racism, Greed, Betrayal, Bribery and Murder
It’s “back to the beach” but not for a fun romp in the sand. This return to Sun Fun City and the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a blend of racism, greed, betrayal, bribery and murder, including a connected, unsolved murder from years before. John Gates doesn’t see that in his future—he is just trying for a new start on life and to reunite with three friends, all who traveled there six years earlier to work the restaurants of Murrells Inlet during college summers. Along the way, John bumps into William McMillian, an African American he worked with at Captain Dan’s for a couple of summers. William has always wanted to start his own restaurant, The Lost Lantern, and thinks his boss, Danny Rivers and his brothers are helping him when they take his down payment on a property with a rundown restaurant. John Gates and his friends pull out all the stops to try and help William realize his dream while the Rivers’ brothers on the other side will stop at nothing to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The Lost Lantern takes readers back to the 1980s when Myrtle Beach was coming of age with second and third generation tourists. It’s also a sampling of the author’s personal experiences working the seafood hot spots of Murrells Inlet. As in his excellent first book, The Long Shadow of Hope, Andy Spradling once again serves up what he knows best. As a former restaurant owner, his insight into the restaurant business adds authenticity to the story. The restaurants, bars and businesses of Myrtle Beach at the time also lend a nostalgic backdrop to the tale (one scene takes place at the popular watering hole, The Afterdeck, long before it became a strip club). The characters are vivid, complex and flawed, even the good guys, so you can’t help but fall into the story, and there are enough twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. I highly recommend it!