Long’s ‘Dying to Dream’
continues psychic theme
Among Uniontown author Kathryn Long’s previous books are the comic Lilly M. mystery series about a sort-of clairvoyant woman who lives with her meddling extended family in a town that very closely resembles Barberton. Long’s new novel Dying to Dream carries over the psychic theme into darker intrigues with a deep southern flair.
The main character is Marin Seurat, who’s relocated to Quebec but has been fetched home to Louisiana by her cousin, Charlene. There’s a curse on their family and a possible hidden treasure that Marin may be able to find by watchful attention to her dreams and the occasional visits of ghosts. A more immediate issue is the apparent suicide of Marin’s former flame’s father, who was despondent after his fishing business was destroyed by the Gulf oil spill. Was it really murder, and can Marin and Trent recapture their romance?
The cousins’ wily, interfering Tante Louise, who practices voodoo and usually is mixing up a gris-gris, and a stranger who’s competing with Trent for Marin’s attentions work into the plot. The narrative is sprinkled with French Creole expressions.
Dying to Dream (243 pages, softcover) costs $15.95 from Mainly Murder Press. Long will discuss and sign her book at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Green branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, 4046 Massillon Road.
‘Around the World’ witty, articulate
Richfield resident Florence Heckel Russell has, with her father Harry L. Heckel Jr., co-authored Around the World in 80 Years: The Oldest Man to Sail Alone Around the World — Twice!
The memoir of Heckel’s voyages recounts the construction of Idle Queen, his 32-foot sailboat, which he built from a fiberglass hull, and, briefly, the trips he took with his wife, Faido. Together, they cruised the Caribbean and intended to cross the Atlantic, but Faido died of breast cancer.
At 74, Heckel found himself with little to do, and decided to make the Atlantic trip alone. His witty, articulate narrative tells of exciting seamanship, exotic ports of call and the many friendly people he meets in a community of sailors.
Russell introduces passages written by her mother during the couple’s previous voyages, in which Faido describes the sleep-deprived tension they experienced in close quarters, but also the generosity of the people in French Polynesia, like a Marquesas Islands policeman who loaned them 5,000 francs for groceries when the banks were closed.
Heckel started his second circumnavigation at 79, going west to east this time, and this story is equally lively and entertaining. It includes a chapter by 23-year-old granddaughter Martha, who catches up with now 83-year-old Heckel in Malaysia for a leg through Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar and Laos, where the locals eye them as a sugar daddy and his “trophy wife.”
Heckel’s in no hurry to finish his voyage, taking a year in Japan before he aims to continue to Washington, but runs into serious trouble, off course and out of provisions. His rescue by the Coast Guard is hair-raising. He finally stepped off the Idle Queen in June 2005, at age 89.
Around the World in 80 Years (220 pages, softcover) costs $9.99 from online retailers. Harry Heckel, now 96, earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, and lives in Virginia.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Beachwood branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd.) — The Northeast Ohio chapter of Sisters in Crime presents “Killer Heat: Cool Off with Hot Mysteries,” an afternoon of panels and talks by mystery authors, with special guest Hank Philippi Ryan, president of the national organization and bestselling author of The Other Woman; 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. today. See www.cuyahogalibrary.org for the schedule.
Mac’s Backs (1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights) — Mike Faloon and Steve Reynolds, authors of Fan Interference: A Collection of Baseball Rants and Reflections originally published in Zisk, the baseball zine; Scott Longert, author of The Best They Could Be: How the Cleveland Indians Became the Kings of Baseball 1916-1920 and Addie Joss: King of the Pitchers; and baseball blogger Susan Petrone appear from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
Akron Zoo (500 Edgewood Ave.) — Author P.J. McLean and illustrator C.S. Jenkins will read from and sign their storybook The Bears and the Baby at the Grizzly Ridge attraction from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Dover Public Library (525 N. Walnut St.) — Mary Ellis talks about Love Comes to Paradise, second book in her New Beginning Amish series, noon Saturday. Call 330-343-6123 to register and to reserve an optional $5 brown-bag lunch.
Visible Voice (1023 Kenilworth Ave., Cleveland) — Matthew T. Vinning signs his novel Bloodlines, about a man who learns he is descended from notorious pirates, 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or email@example.com. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.