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Spinning Forward (Cedar Key) Paperback – November 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

DuLong's debut reads like an unintentional parody of Southern hen lit. After 52-year-old Sydney Webster's husband dies in a car accident, she discovers he was a compulsive gambler, and his habits have left her penniless. She heads to Cedar Key, Fla., where best friend Alison takes her in. Sydney decides to open a knitting shop in Cedar Key and meets a gorgeous artist named Noah, who falls in love with her. Adding to the nonurgency is Sydney's decision to search for her biological birth mother; conveniently, Sydney looks a lot like 80-something local spinster Sybile Bowden. The narrative lacks tension and originality, and its banal predictability won't do it any favors in a crowded field. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • Series: Cedar Key (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; Original edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758232047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758232045
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of the acclaimed women's fiction Cedar Key Series and NY Times/USA Today best seller, Terri DuLong is the author of Spinning Forward (Kensington Books, November 2009).
Born and reared in the Boston area . . . Salem, the Witch City, to be exact, DuLong was an only child, who relied on imaginary friends for playmates. All these years later, she believes those playmates (and her love for books) led her to her passion for writing.
Married young, with three children, then divorced, Terri went to college to become a legal secretary. After remarrying, with the children getting older, she decided to pursue a career as a Registered Nurse. She also continued her love for reading women's fiction. As for her own writing, well it was limited to extremely long letters to friends and keeping a journal. After working in Critical Care as an R.N., the thought of writing "seriously" became stronger, and Terri took a creative writing class at college. Encouraged by the professor, Terri began writing with the hope of publication.
With the transfer of her husband's job to the Tampa, Florida, area, she began to work part-time as a home health RN and devote more and more time to writing. She began attending writers' conferences to not only improve her craft of writing but also to understand the complicated world of publishing.
Attending more and more writers' conferences, networking, reading, always working on her writing, Terri never gave up. She couldn't. Writing was her passion and filled her soul. Queries went out; rejections came back. But she noticed the rejections were now not form letters but very nice personal correspondence. Believing there had to be an agent, editor or publisher out there who would love her work, she kept writing.
When Terri's husband retired in 2004, the couple relocated two hours north to Cedar Key, an island off the west coast of Florida. They knew from many previous visits that the small town, surrounded as it is by Mother Nature, was the perfect place for them. And Terri's muse went into high gear . . . lots of quirky characters, people who actually waved to you and knew your name, a place that touched her soul. She was in her element.
She wrote a women's novel set in Cedar Key, and then she attended the Romance Writers of America Conference, summer 2007. Upon returning home, she sent off a query to Kensington Books with the required first three chapters, promptly forgot about it and got on with life . . . until December 11, 2007.
That was when Terri received an e-mail from her editor's assistant, requesting the full manuscript. And on Feb. 26, 2008, Terri was offered a two-book contract from Kensington. Her debut women's fiction novel--the first in her Cedar Key series--was released Oct. 27, 2009. Now in its second printing, Spinning Forward has been named a finalist for "Long Contemporary Novel" in the 2010 New England Reader's Choice Bean Pot Awards. And Reader's Digest has bought the rights to release Spinning Forward in a Condensed Special Edition in December 2010.
Book 2 in Terri's Cedar Key series, Casting About, was published by Kensington Books Oct. 26, 2010. Readers can also catch Terri's first novella for Kensington--A Cedar Key Christmas--in the Fern Michaels holiday anthology, Holiday Magic, released November 2010 and a NY Times & USA Today Best Seller. Book 3, Sunrise On Cedar Key, was released November 2011 and Book 4, Postcards from Cedar Key, will hit shelves in November 2012. Books 5 and 6 will follow in 2013 and 2014.
Meanwhile, Terri's motto remains the one that has made so many of her dreams reality: "Believe in yourself and make great things happen."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Crystal Fulcher VINE VOICE on October 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read this book during the read-a-thon and it was a true joy to read. I enjoyed the character of Sydney. She's a fifty-something that has just lost her husband and her house and has to start over completely. Who wouldn't be floundering after all of that? Add to it that she was just going through the motions of life and doesn't really know what to do and you have a great character who struggles to grow and change through the book.

I was captivated by the small town of Cedar Key. I live on the coast myself and even though my area is growing, it once had that small-town feel, so I felt right at home. I adored the supporting characters. Allison, her best friend. Dora who ends up being a big help and even the eccentric characters in the story really make it. Everyone plays a role in Sydney's new life and they are all interesting characters themselves, who I look forward to reading more about.

There are several things that contribute to the storyline and I don't want to give away anything about the plot. But suffice it to say it's very engaging and interesting the whole way through. I couldn't put it down and I enjoyed every minute I read. Sometimes you get bogged down when reading a book straight through during a read-a-thon, but that did not happen with Spinning Forward. When I finished I immediately wanted to go back and hear more about the characters which since this is book one in the Cedar Key series, I guess I will get to and I look forward to it.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Ami on November 5, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a quick read, mostly due to lack of depth as far as character development or plot goes. It makes for a nice story, but oftentimes seems to be very fairy tale-ish in which there is the predictable plot twist, the heartbreak, and then the happy ending. Maybe it's because I've read too many books of this genre that I'm slightly disappointed in this debut. One HUGE editing mistake is near the end of the book, when something happens at the time of Sydney's birth: the time noted at the end is vastly different than the time mentioned earlier in the story.

If you're looking for a "fluff" read and a happy story, go for it. Personally, while I liked it ok, I'm still glad I got it when it was free for Kindle.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lynn McNamee on January 20, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Plot/Storyline: 1 Star

If you enjoy a well-thought out plot with an intriguing or interesting storyline, I suggest that you skip over this tedious, predictable offering. I must admit that I was only able to get through about 70% of the novel. I didn't see any point in boring myself any longer to try to get to an ending I no longer cared anything about.

Even though the entire story was told from the viewpoint of the main character, Sydney, I was still able to ascertain every event prior to it happening, with the notable exception of some idiotic things that had no bearing in real life. For instance, Sydney, being adopted as a baby, decides to start searching for her birth mother. From her own observations and some dialogue with others, it is obvious who her mother is, yet she takes months to figure it out. I won't even go into the absurd coincidence of her finding her mother on a small island with minimal population that is nowhere near where she was born.

Sydney decides to start a rather intriguing business of weaving animal fur. Even though her business set up was unrealistic, even to the point of ending up with an unpaid employee, the concept was interesting. At one point, Sydney's brand new computer breaks down. It never seems to occur to her to call the company, or a computer repair person, or even to return it under warranty. She also rents a newly built building for her business, which seemed rather extravagant and unnecessary for a starter business of that type.

The `romance' portion of the storyline was unrealistic and without any real spark. It especially surprised me when Sydney was showing interest in men only two months after her husband passed away. It's not as if they had a bad marriage, or her husband had been abusive.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By MSEreads on October 30, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I do not read a lot of women's fiction but I am very glad I read this wonderful book! I would love to have a half dozen copies to give to family and friends!

Sydney has discovered that she is lost when her husband dies. As she learns the true extent of his gambling addiction she learns that even their house is gone in foreclosure. She discovers that not only did she never really know her husband but she doesn't really know herself. She is feeling defeated by fear and doubt.

The story proceeds to follow Sydney through the next year as she grows from a depressed, abandoned, helpless woman to a joyful and assured business woman! Her business has a uniqueness that is charming - I have to check to see if they really do use that source for yarn!

The story includes a group of really wonderful secondary characters who are instrumental in their own ways in making Sydney face reality and find her own inner strength. There is best friend and B&B owner, Alison; determined and independent daughter Monica; sweet, helpful friend Dora; the very strange and eccentric elderly Sybile; and the elderly and oh so sweet Saren Ghetti! And of course a sexy male friend, Nick!

The setting is a beautiful place, Cedar Keys, in Florida but it is background to this character driven story. Although the story includes the male and female romantic relationship, with ups and downs, I found this to be a romance of spirit. This book celebrates life and a woman finding her own center and contentment. The writing is easy and flows. I did not want to stop reading and kept wanting to find out what would happen to Sydney next - what she would uncover or learn about others or herself. Will Sydney learn to fully soar? Read this wonderful book to find out!
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