Category Archives: Hyde


R. E. Bradshaw. Waking Up Gray. United States: R. E. Bradshaw Books, 2011.

waking At forty, Lizabeth is starting her life over.  Her marriage, to an inveterate philanderer, is finished and her daughter is grown.  Lizabeth has returned to school to study linguistic anthropology.  Her thesis topic is the Caroline Brogue, so she’ll be spending a few months on Ocracoke Island to do her research.

Lizabeth’s cousins have a cottage on the island, a place that Lizabeth used to visit as a child.  Lizabeth knows that she should call on Fanny O’Neal, the elderly woman who lives across the street.  Miss Fanny is an island treasure and almost kin.  But before Lizabeth can pay a call, she sees a brief romantic exchange between Miss Fanny’s granddaughter Gray and another woman.  Lizabeth is shocked by what she feels when she sees the two women, but that doesn’t keep her away from Miss Fanny’s.

Soon her visits across the street are matched by Gray’s visit to Lizabeth’s cottage and excursions around the island.  A same-sex attraction is new territory for Lizabeth, but even as she is exploring her feelings, Gray is struggling too.  Gray’s ex-wife, Dana, cheated on her and even after five years Gray is not ready to give her heart to anyone else.  Lizabeth, Gray, and Fanny survive a hurricane, but will the lovers’ budding relationship survive Dana’s unexpected visit to the island?

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Bradshaw, R. E., Coast, Hyde, Romance/Relationship

Bennett Madison. September Girls. New York: HarperTeen, 2013.

September GirlsSeventeen-year old Sam isn’t excited by his dad’s resolution to spend the summer at a quiet little beach town on the Outer Banks, but he isn’t surprised by the scheme either. Earlier that winter Sam’s mother dropped all her responsibilities and abandoned her husband and her son to spend time at Women’s Land, which the book implies is something of a feminist commune. Prior to her departure, Sam’s mother, a “frumpy kindergarten teacher,” adopted radical feminist tenants, like the SCUM Manifesto, so the act is something of personal (or self-satisfying) liberation for her.

Sam’s dad has dealt with the change by throwing himself into hobbies from yoga to knitting to cooking. Sam jokes “if there was a tear-off sheet on a bulletin board in Starbucks he was willing to give it a try.” So his latest idea to relocate temporarily to the Outer Banks is one of many distractions from the reality of his wife’s abandonment. Jeff, Sam’s brother, has returned from college recently and helps somewhat to plug the hole left by their mother. With Jeff and Sam in tow, their father packs everything up and heads for the beach, even before Sam’s school year ends.

After several months of dealing with his fragile father and pressure from his friends–and now Jeff– to “man up” and “get laid,” Sam wants to escape. He is troubled by ideas of love and manhood. The men in his life don’t exactly provide a shining paragon of masculinity. But soon Sam’s attention is diverted by another presence on at the beach, the Girls. They are blonde and beautiful and, to Sam, interchangeable. Sam watches them working menial summer jobs around town, taking cigarette breaks, flipping through magazines, lying on the beach. Yet the strangest part is not that the Girls are everywhere, but that they are all interested in Sam. They eye him with a lustful hunger.

Sam is befuddled that the Girls notice him rather than his hunky brother, or any other hunky guy around the town for that matter. He is scrawny and awkward, hardly a chick magnet. Then he meets one of the Girls, DeeDee. Normally they travel in pairs, but DeeDee seems different from the rest of the Girls. She and Sam bond, and he feels genuine affection for her. But she hesitates. There is a mystery of an otherworldly nature surrounding her and the rest of the Girls. When Sam learns the truth behind the secret, it alters his relationship with DeeDee irreparably.

Novelist Bennett Madison captures pitch-perfect the crude exchanges between Sam, Jeff, and their father, and Sam’s constant cynicism sounds like a teenager attempting jaded and world-weary angst. Madison structures the novel traditionally and from Sam’s perspective with numbered chapters, but he weaves in parallel chapters from the Girls with named chapters. The interspersed chapters from the Girls read like an echo and function similarly to a Greek chorus, summarizing background information and responding to and supplementing the story’s action. These chapters also successfully bolster the mythic quality of the story. However, Madison maintains a clean balance between the fairy tale and the reality. Madison’s treatment of Sam and his story is based the development of a boy tripping around the edge of manhood and a confused family trying to mend life’s rips and holes.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Children & Young Adults, Coast, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Madison, Bennett

Edward P. Norvell. Ocracoke between the Storms. Winston Salem, NC: Distributed by John F. Blair, 2013.

Ocracoke between the StormsFour months ago, Luke Harrison lost his wife of four years, Karen, in a fatal car accident. Without Karen, Luke cannot find much purpose in his life. Luke’s father died when he was a baby and his mother was incarcerated following her addiction to drugs, so he spent his adolescence drifting through foster homes. Karen was Luke’s closest and only true family. Wracked with grief, Luke drives from his home in Kannapolis to Ocracoke Island where he intends to end his suffering by drowning himself. But just as the rough whitecaps are dragging him under, an unexpected bystander rescues Luke from the freezing water. Hank Kilgo, a retired Coast Guard officer, is Luke’s savior. After Hank pulls Luke to safety, he insists that Luke rest for the night at his home with him and his wife, Cora.

Luke continues to stay with the Kilgo family much longer than his initial invitation. The natives welcome Luke unconditionally. Before he knows it, Luke is immersed in the area’s island culture and takes on odd jobs. Novelist Edward P. Norvell portrays the intimate community of Ocracoke with painstaking detail. Norvell’s Ocracoke is a vibrant small town brimming with special traditions such as the Ocracoke Festival, volunteer efforts like a radio station-sponsored bachelor auction, and of course, local politics concerning the invasive Park Service and their protection of the loggerhead turtle population. The most colorful town character is Thomas Michael Joiner or TMJ for short. TMJ and Luke are a union of opposites. Where Luke is humble and modest, TMJ is gregarious and brazen. Despite the pair’s differences, Luke and TMJ become close friends, and TMJ helps Luke feel at home in Ocracoke, particularly amongst the other single twentysomethings on the island.

Slowly but surely, Luke forms a lasting attachment to Ocracoke. At first he tries to keep the situation casual–from his living arrangements, to his employment, to even his love life. The fact that Luke develops a love life only a few months after Karen’s death confuses him. During the night, he dreams of Karen and copes with his guilt over her accident and what he might have done to prevent it. The idea of replacing Karen so quickly strikes Luke as callous. Whether Luke is aware or not, Ocracoke and its people restore meaning to his life and help Luke survive his heartbreak. Ocracoke between the Storms is a tale of redemption and moving past tragedy in life. Norvell has written three other novels, Southport, Shadows, and Portsmouth, all of which occur in coastal locations around the state. Clearly, Norvell derives a large amount of inspiration from the beaches of North Carolina.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2013, Coast, Hyde, Norvell, Edward P., Romance/Relationship

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

Sandra Robbins. Shattered Identity. New York: Love Inspired Books, 2012.

Scott Michaels is a veteran with PTSD.  His faith is helping him heal, and as this novel opens he is settling in to his post-military life as a sheriff’s deputy on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.  Scott has kin on Ocracoke; uniting with them has given him a family he never knew he had.  After his mother died, her sister kidnapped Scott, so he grew up never knowing his father or his half sisters who now give him love and a feeling of belonging denied to him as a child.  He is both grateful and angry.  With these issues on his plate, Scott knows he should stay away from Lisa Wade, the attractive young woman who is the dispatcher at the sheriff’s office.

Lisa seems to have a more settled life and a secure place in the tight-knit island community.  But Lisa’s backstory is just as troubled as Scott’s.  Lisa’s father died when she was young, and her mother committed suicide a short time later.  With little love or guidance from her cold grandmother, Lisa nonetheless grew into a kind and sensible young woman. She did, however, make a mistake when she fell for the easy charms of Calvin Jamison, a local lady’s man and corrupt cop. When Lisa learned about Calvin’s illegal activities, she turned in him.  Calvin, now in prison, blames Lisa for his imprisonment.  When Lisa is attacked and her house ransacked, everyone assumes that Calvin is taking his revenge.  Scott is one of the deputies assigned to protect Lisa.  Against their wills, Scott and Lisa are drawn to each other as the violence against Lisa escalates and she discovers disturbing things about her community and her family.  In fits and starts they learn to trust in each other and in God as the novel moves to a dramatic climax.

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

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Filed under 2010-2019, 2012, Coastal Plain, Hyde, Religious/Inspirational, Robbins, Sandra, Romance/Relationship

Maddie James. The Quest. Edgewater, FL: Resplendence Publishing, 2010.

This third novel in The Legend of Blackbeard’s Chalice series finds Jackson Porter traveling through time to fulfill his mother’s dying wish–that he search for what is rightfully his. His quest takes him from eighteenth century Ocracoke Island to twenty-first century Ohio–the land of his birth. There he will find that his mother’s well tended farm is imperiled–by government sanctions and by The Cult of Teach, in the person of the cult leader’s son, Tye Gentry.  Will Kari Upton, the woman who now owns the farm, marry Gentry, or will she and Jackson have another one of the passionate, adventure-filled romances that are a feature of this series?

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Hyde, James, Maddie, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller

E. B. Alston. Hammer Spade and the Merchants of Death.Timberlake, NC: Righter Publishing, 2007.

In this, the third novel in the Hammer Spade Series, Spade is asked to join a law enforcement operation against a large drug organization that hopes to set up headquarters on the North Carolina coast.  The money is good, but the mission is extremely dangerous–Spade and his crew are to hunt down and kill members of an international criminal organization who murdered six federal agents and a high-ranking DEA official just outside Bath, North Carolina. It’s meant to be a long-term assignment because the DEA wants to lull the organization’s kingpin into thinking that the locals are too dumb and inattentive to know what he’s up to.  Once the new organization is established–and they’ve knocked out all the local dealers–Spade and his crew will make their move.  But there are complications–an attractive DEA agent who may have a personal motive for the killings and the need to make Mr. Big’s death look as though it was something other than a government hit-job.  This is not an easy assignment.

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

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Alston, E. B., Beaufort, Coast, Hyde, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller, Tyrrell

Toby Tate. Diablero. Norcross, GA: Nightbird Publishing, 2010.

The Death Defier, or Diablero, is a creature who once was human but who acquired magical powers that allowed it to escape death.  But maybe death is a better fate than to live as a death defier–a collection of bones and will, memories and hate. The diablero is a creature who takes its energy from the living things it kills.

When some strange deaths occur on Ocracoke Island and in the Great Dismal Swamp, newspaper reporter Hunter Singleton is assigned to the story. Investigating the murders brings him back into contact with his estranged wife, Lisa, but also with his old friend, Jason Summerfield, a museum curator in Pasquotank County.  Summerfield tells Hunter the legend of Blackbeard’s involvement with the black arts and the strange circumstances of the pirate’s death.  Meanwhile, in Virginia, an antiques dealer makes a pact with a diablero that sends the creature back to the Carolinas where Hunter and his allies try to end the killings. This is a tale of magic, greed, betrayal, and revenge.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Horror, Hyde, Pasquotank, Suspense/Thriller, Tate, Toby

Fern Michaels. Wildflowers: Sea Gypsy. Toronto: HQN, 2010.

After spending a few years working as a publishing editor in New York, Cathy Bissette wants a lazy summer at home. She’s just received a promotion–she’ll be the editor working with Teak Helms, a novelist who specializes in sea adventures. She has his latest draft to review over the summer.

Swan Quarter, North Carolina, seems like the perfect place to relax and do some quiet work, with the calming sound of the Pamlico Sound and the picturesque landscape against blazing sunsets. However, Cathy’s plan hits two snags. Helms, who is her favorite writer, has written a terrible galley, and she and her father have unexpected guests. An out-of-towner, Jared Parsons, wants her father to fix his yacht, and Cathy is quick to judge the wealthy gentleman and his seemingly flawless “secretary,” Erica. Despite Cathy’s repeated rejections, Jared, handsome and charming, continues to make grand overtures to her during the time it takes her father to repair the boat. When it becomes clear that Jared appreciates her for her simplicity and wholesomeness, Cathy slowly begins to allow herself to fall for him. Before they can make their romance official, however, Jared’s true identity – and shocking connection to Swan Quarter – must be revealed.

Wildflowers is a reprint of two romance novels. Sea Gypsy (1980), set in North Carolina, is the first story; Golden Lasso (1980), set in Arizona, is the second.

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

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Hyde, Michaels, Fern, Romance/Relationship

Nora Roberts. Treasures Lost, Treasures Found. New York: Silhouette Books, 1986.

Kate had always done what her father wanted.  Edwin Hardesty was an educator and he pushed Kate to excel in school.  Excel she did, becoming a professor of English at Yale when she was still in her twenties. Kate’s mother died when she was young so she had only her father’s values to guide her.  They lived together and traveled together, at least until recently.  Four years before this book opens, Kate and her father spent the summer on Ocracoke Island. Mr. Hardesty was searching for the remains of an English merchant ship that wrecked off the island in the eighteenth century.  To help her father in his work, Kate learned to dive.  Her diving instructor was a good-looking  local, Ky Silver.  Ky awakened in Kate feelings she didn’t know that she had, but Kate saw that Ky didn’t meet the standards her father had instilled in her, so she broke off the relationship and vowed never to return to Ocracoke.

As Treasures Lost, Treasures Found opens, Mr. Hardesty has just died.  As Kate sorts through his papers, she sees how much her father wanted to locate that shipwreck.  To complete his work, she makes herself return to Ocracoke.  She know that she will need Ky’s help.  But why would Ky help her now–out of charity, to enact some revenge, or because he still harbors hope that she will see that they were meant to be together?

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

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Filed under 1980-1989, 1986, Coast, Hyde, Roberts, Nora, Romance/Relationship