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WHIMSEY: A NOVEL [Kindle Edition]

Kaye Wilkinson Barley
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Here's what people are saying about WHIMSEY - - -

- Margaret Maron, New York Times Best-Selling Author. Winner of the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity Awards, and 2013 Mystery Writers of America Grand Master

"Kaye Barley is a treasure and a delight. Her wit, wisdom, imagination--and yes, whimsy!--shine from every page."
- Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award-Winning Author

WHIMSEY is a novel of southern fiction with a splash of magic and a touch of fantasy, topped with a sprinkling of humor.

The magic was already there when cigar-smoking matriarch Elizabeth Calhoun established an artist’s colony on an island off the coast of Georgia and named it Whimsey.

Elizabeth’s ghost still drops in from time to time to make sure things are going as she planned.

There’s also a wicked pixie named Earlene who fancies tight-fitting designer clothes and Louboutin stilettos.

Elizabeth’s grandniece, Emma Hamilton Foley, a once-promising jewelry designer who moved away from the island, now fears her talent has deserted her.

Along with her four best childhood friends, she has been invited to be a resident artist at Whimsey’s new upscale gallery, Les étoiles. To join them, she’ll need to regain her talent, face the demons from her past and her feelings about Eli Tatnall, whom she loved as a girl.

Will moving back to the Island of Whimsey bring the magic back?

WHIMSEY is a story of hope and affirmation, about families and best girlfriends, connections and feelings. It’s about the things in life that make us happy and the things that scare us to death. And the people who walk through life with us.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

WHIMSEY is Kaye Wilkinson Barley's first novel. She lives with her husband, Don, in the North Carolina Mountains along with their Harley Doodle Barley, the Wonder Corgi. You can follow news about Whimsey here - Kaye is Blog Mistress of Meanderings and Muses, which you can follow here - She also steps in as "Oh, Kaye! once a month at Jungle Red Writers - She was a contributor to two Western North Carolina regional anthologies - "Clothes Lines," and "Women's Spaces Women's Places." Both edited by Celia H. Miles and Nancy Dillingham

Product Details

  • File Size: 715 KB
  • Print Length: 346 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BC3GZJ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,820 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Pure Fun to Read February 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dean Koontz said, in a recent article where he gives seven tips to new writers: "Minimalist writing, in the tradition of Hemingway, has been taught for so many decades that much of what is published these days lacks character and color. Metaphor, simile, all kinds of figures of speech have evaporated from much modern fiction, and many new writers have no interest in using the language in vivid and inventive ways."

Well now, hold the phone!!! There's a new kid on the block who has successfully ignored all the old rules about Keeping It Simple, and for her debut book takes us back to a time and a place that, like Brigadoon, never really existed except in some minds, but is wonderful to think and write and read about. Kaye Wilkinson Barley obviously had fun writing this book, and because of that, I had fun reading it.

The world she has created is so much more than it looks like at first glance because it is a world we all wish we could live in, where days are slow, you have time to sit and watch the sunrise over the ocean in the morning, and everybody loves everybody else. In Whimsey, there is no street crime and the folks all take the time to speak in complete, complex sentences, because in Whimsey, there is all the time in the world to do so. This is the world of the Old South and it all rings true.

Rather than take you through the whole plot, I'm going to tell you about some of the things that charmed me, once I got the hang of the slower manner of the Whimsey folk and began to love them for it. That would be about three or four pages in, when I was hooked for life and sat back to enjoy this read.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Want to Go There. February 17, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Whimsey is an island and also a place in your heart, and in your mind. It is the story of the many people who live on Whimsey and how they support their lives. They overcome hardship and old hurts to become what they are best suited for. There is humor, heartache, commitment, and yes some magic that helps these rather lovely people find the happiness they seek. This is a charming parable like story of what finding your truth and making your dreams a reality. As I said, I want to be there.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsey A Novel February 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Whimsey, A Novel has a cast of unforgettable characters. The Wicked Women of Whimsey, a naughty little pixie, kindly ghosts and, notably, Aunt Zoe. Romance abounds and secrets are afoot. I found this novel enchanting, entrancing and absolutely delightful. I was sorry when it ended and I'm hoping for a sequel. A wonderful read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite a Novel January 4, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've never one-starred a book before, and I hate to do it to a first-time author, but someone needs to counteract the gushing over this one.

Quickly, we have a youngish female artist returning to her home, which is both an artists' colony and an enchanted island complete with pixies off the Georgia coast. She has to find her lost creativity and deal with the presence of the lost love of her youth. Any guesses about how either one will turn out?

A work of prose fiction has four things going for or against it; style, plot, characters and setting. The prose here will neither make nor mar. The plot was a leftover from a cliché romance--or possibly a half-hour sitcom. I saw the ending a quarter of the way into the book, and it was only that long because we were so long meeting some of the characters. Which brings me to them. The thing about characters is that they're imitation people--individuals, who should feel capable of doing other things than what the plot requires. Not this time. The main character's four closest friends are the "wicked women of Whimsey." I defy any reader not taking notes, to be able to tell one from another by speech, career, appearance or behavior by the end of the books. That they have four names seems to be a courtesy and not a necessity.

Which leaves setting. And this really is a pity, because it's not a bad idea. An artists' colony is a decent setting for a story since at least Tey's TO LOVE AND BE WISE, and an enchanted island seems workable. But compare it with that Tey: I never believe in the creative people of Whimsey the way I believe in Tey's dancers, novelists and painters. I never really see them create; I seem them celebrating their creativity, which sometimes comes off a little smug.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical Entertainment February 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I began this book, Whimsey, not sure of what exactly to expect. I knew that without a doubt, it would be a trip. Never did I imagine that it would be such a great one!
Whimsey is full of a cast of characters as unique as the island upon which they live, work, and love. The very same island for which the book is named. It's an artists retreat, home for generations of artists to nurture and develop their talents of all types. From painting, pottery, weaving, and photography, and everything in between, the island is brought to life by the people that inhabit it and share their talents.
The main character, Emma (don't call her Emmaline!) has left the island of Whimsey to follow her husband. We are dropped into her life, and her unique head, after that marriage has failed. She's despondent with her life, unsure of who she is and where she belongs. Her aunt and an old friend visit her in Atlanta, to tell her of a new venture they want her to participate in. But she doesn't have the heart to tell them that her jewelry designs just don't have the life they once did.
Suffice it to say, we follow Emma on her journey to rediscover herself, where she belongs and where her heart has always been. She's aided in this journey by her lifelong friends, "The Wicked Women of Whimsey," the ghost of her Great Aunt Elizabeth, and her Aunt Zoe. There is even a little pixie magic to help her along the way as well.
The island of Whimsey is a place where eccentricities are not only accepted as the norm, but encouraged and nurtured. I'd like to find the island of Whimsey for myself!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved the book, magical story.
Published 22 days ago by Clara Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars I love a good story.
I enjoyed the book very much. It was an easy read. The characters were well thought out. And it ended on a happy note. A little something for everyone.
Published 23 days ago by Bobbie Lutz
1.0 out of 5 stars ... say I thought much of the book was very boring. I kept reading it...
I am sorry to say I thought much of the book was very boring. I kept reading it because I thought it would get better but it didn't so I just skipped alot of the boring stuff. Read more
Published 2 months ago by jean m holzapfel
5.0 out of 5 stars I want to live in Whimsey
I want to live in Whimsey! This book proves not only can you go home again but that you should. Emma tried to leave Whimsey in the past but when things go wrong in her life and her... Read more
Published 4 months ago by MissSusie66
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Camelot, a place where magic is possible -
Whimsey is an island/artist colony, and, like Camelot, a state of mind, where magic is possible and friendship and loyalty run deep. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sandra Cody
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy!
The story works, overall, as a story about a woman finding herself again. However, the characters were shallow, trite, and predictable. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Veronica M.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rarity
It is a rare book that makes you wish you were really right there at any given moment and then makes you feel as though you really are ... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars magic
Lifted my spirits!
A reminder that magic is real when you don't have to have all the answers. Answers to the child in all of us.
Published 8 months ago by Deborah Friend
5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsey
The title caught my eye. The description caught my fancy. Whimsey is a private island with magic. Creative people in extended families evolved from the matriarch who became rich... Read more
Published 8 months ago by marsha briggs
4.0 out of 5 stars Whimsey
I liked how the author wove a bit of magic through all her characters. I love how Aunt Elizabeth watched over and guided Emma.
Published 9 months ago by Ronnie Oliver
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

WHIMSEY is Kaye Wilkinson Barley's first novel. She lives with her husband, Don, in the North Carolina mountains along with Harley Doodle Barley, the Wonder Corgi.

You can follow news about WHIMSEY here -

Kaye and her husband Don are also co-authors/co-photographers of the new book "My Name is Harley and This is My Story," a 94 page photobook written by Harley about his life in the North Carolina mountains, his travels and escapades with his Mom and Dad.

Kaye is Blog Mistress of the popular Meanderings and Muses, which you can follow here -

She also steps in as "Oh, Kaye!" the first Sunday of every month at Jungle Red Writers - where the regulars (Rhys Bowen, Lucy Burdette, Deborah Crombie, Hallie Ephron, Susan Elia MacNeal, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Julia Spencer-Fleming) allow her to rattle on about "whatever."

Kaye was also a contributor to two regional Western North Carolina anthologies - - - "Clothes Lines," and "Women's Spaces Women's Places," both edited by Celia H. Miles and Nancy Dillingham.

When she's not writing she might be traipsing around with her camera, or searching for THE perfect pizza with her husband. Besides pizza, she also has an undying love for ice cream.

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