About the Book:
“He’s a gambler at best. A con artist at worst,” her aunt had said of the handlebar-mustached man who snatched Ella Wallace away from her dreams of studying art in France. Eighteen years later, that man has disappeared, leaving Ella alone and struggling to support her three sons.
While the world is embroiled in World War I, Ella fights her own personal battle to keep the mystical Florida land that has been in her family for generations from the hands of an unscrupulous banker. When a mysterious man arrives at Ella’s door in an unconventional way, he convinces her he can help her avoid foreclosure, and a tenuous trust begins.
But as the fight for Ella’s land intensifies, it becomes evident that things are not as they appear. Hypocrisy and murder soon shake the coastal town of Apalachicola and jeopardize Ella’s family.
About the Author:
A fifth generation native of Perry, Florida, Michael Morris knows Southern culture and characters. They are the foundation and inspiration for the stories and novels he writes.
Michael started his career as a pharmaceutical sales representative and began writing in the evenings. The first screenplay he penned is still someplace in the bottom of a desk drawer.
While studying under author Tim McLaurin, Michael started the story that would eventually become his first novel, A Place Called Wiregrass. The debut book won the Christy Award for Best First Novel.
Michael’s second novel, Slow Way Home, was compared to the work of Harper Lee and Flannery O’Connor by the Washington Post. It was nationally ranked as one of the top three recommended books by the American Booksellers Association and named one of the best novels of the year by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Michael is also the author of a novella based on the Grammy-nominated song “Live Like You Were Dying,” which became a finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. His essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News and the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In addition, his short stories can be found in Sonny Brewer’s Stories from the Blue Moon Café II and in Not Safe, but Good II, an anthology edited by Bret Lott.
A graduate of Auburn University, Michael also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. He lives in Alabama with his wife, Melanie.
Ella is a smart woman brought low by a no good man. Her aunt had high hopes for her and she was hoping to study art and hopefully go to Europe some day but she fell hard for con man Harlan and his smooth talking ways. Soon she finds herself alone and trying hard to pay off a mortgage Harlan took on her land by forging her name. A mortgage he took with the help of a local shady, sleazy banker who wants Ella’s land for himself.
Just as things seem to be at their worst a box arrives from the Blue Moon Clock Company. It’s fully paid for and Ella figures she can just sell the clock and put the money towards the mortgage but that box brings her much more than a grandfather clock! The contents of the box will change her life in more ways than one.
Oh, what a fantastic book. Finally, after a string of “eh” books this was one I could lose myself in and just enjoy the magic of the writer’s words. Mr. Morris brings WWI era panhandle Florida to hot, humid life. The characters are so well defined as to be recognizable in people I know and their quirks and manners bring the town of Apalachicola to life. You really want to root for this woman who has been beaten down by life, her useless man and her supposed friends. You want her to succeed.
The writing is simple, almost spare but it is perfect for the story and what a story! Built upon a tale spun to the author by his grandfather and constructed into a novel of complexity and depth with traveling preachers, false healers, real healers and strong women. All woven together in a tale that was very hard to put down.
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You can purchase Man in the Blue Moon on Amazon.com
Be sure to come back tomorrow for a special Guest Post from Author Michael Morris!
Disclosure: I received a disappearing e-copy of Man in the Blue Moon from Netgalley. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of basically nothing. I received no monetary compensation for this post.