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Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1 Kindle Edition
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|Length: 422 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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If you come down to the river
Bet you gonna find some people who live
You don't have to worry 'cause you have [if you got] no money
People on the river are happy to give
Big wheel keep on turnin'
Proud Mary keep on burnin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river – Creedence Clearwater Revival – Proud Mary
Mary Margaret Devlin, Maggie to her friends, has had to be tough in her life. A horrendous marriage, the loss of her family, all have left her alone, and terrified to open herself up to others. But with her boat, the Undine, a good friend in Willow, the owner of Candle Thyme, a potpourri shop, and the home left to her by her beloved father, she live a quiet, peaceful, if isolated, life. Well, as peaceful as it can get when bill collectors are breathing down your neck. With young Billy as her first mate, mechanic and general helper, the Undine keeps her afloat, and her home makes her feel safe.
Gunnar Wolfe might be able to fix part of Maggie’s problems. Well, at least the financial woes. For he wants to canoe out into the streams and rivers of the Florida swamp, to photograph the amazing wildlife and plants. And to possibly find, and photograph, that most rare of creatures. The ivory-billed woodpecker. Though many believe the bird extinct over 100 years ago, tales still abound of swift and silent visions, there and gone. And if he can get the only nonfuzzy photo, well, National Geographic time for Gunner. A personal and professional coup of immense proportions. But to get that photo, Gunner needs a guide. Enter Maggie. Much against her will, as Gunner is scary as hell. Huge, muscled and beautifully Norwegian blond, Maggie’s blood runs fast – which scares her silly. Men are terrifying – and men who look like Gunner even more so. Wow. Soo pretty!
So. Money good. Hauling huge Gunner around the swamps in a tiny canoe when he has never even been on the water? Hum. . . So, training time. And against Maggie’s hopes and wishes (even though she really needs the money) Gunner does well. But a single discovery in a hidden stream turns their world upside down. Terror and death becomes part of their lives – lives which could be cut short at the hands of a monster.
There is so much to like about Swamp Ghosts that I really don’t know where to start. Well, actually I do. Marcia pulls you into the ambiance and beauty of her beloved Florida swamps. You can almost smell that sharp, almost bitter tang of the swamp, taste the humidity on your tongue, feel the heat against your skin. I could close my eyes and smell the hyacinth and hear the calls of the birds, the grunt of gators in the night, the cries of the creatures who call the swamps their home.
Then, there are her characters. Maggie, strong and yet so hurt. Friendly giant Gunner, with a heart as big as his body. And you can’t have a really good book (well, in my opinion) without the quirky characters who populate the best stories, the ones who fit so well into the landscape you can’t imagine the story without their presence. The cast of characters drew me in, wrapped themselves around my mind and made me laugh, cry and cheer – and yes, my heart definitely raced at times.
This is a wonderful thriller, not overwhelmed by the romances which also exist within the story. Marcia loves Florida, and you can feel it in every word. If you are looking for a book which will draw you in, making you yearn to see all the things that Marcia sees, I highly recommend Swamp Ghosts! Oh, and the next book will be out before long – she says she is working on Chapter 11, so keep an eye out – I know I am!
I received Swamp Ghosts from Marcia in exchange for a realistic review. And yes, Marcia is a friend, but this is still a marvelous book!
Please let me know if you like my review by clicking “yes” on Amazon. It helps my author friends! Thanks.
Seriously, Marcia, I enjoyed it, especially Maggie. ("Thor" is a little too perfect, naturally/typically, but not Maggs!) And, I love the St. Johns River!!!
And, Hunter seems like a great kid--so now I guess I'll have to get #2...Damn. :-)
Well written and delivered, Swamp Ghosts mixes beautifully written descriptive passages with romance and a nail-biting suspense. I enjoyed the small town setting and seeing the river scenery unfold. The author also created a nice assortment of secondary characters. I think my favorite descriptions where of Lester’s “babies” (you’ve got to read the book to learn more)—and I loved his attachment to Big Blue.
I look forward to reading the rest of the Riverbend books.
The story is set in a fictional backwoods town along the St. Johns River in central Florida, which was a wise choice. It’s unusual and captivating. The descriptions are perfect. Never too lengthy or meandering, but long enough to feel the scratch of a scrub oak and to smell the sultry swampland.
The backwater town is also captured perfectly with characters like Maggie’s new-age friend, Willow, and diffident school janitor, Lester, who has a penchant for unusual pets.
The writing employs an interesting technique. It shifts from first person P.O.V. in Maggie dominated chapters to third person P.O.V. in chapters where other characters are prevalent.
What makes Swamp Ghosts so alluring is the skill in which the different elements are woven together. Like a well-guided tour along the St. Johns River, the traveler is compelled to keep his or hers eyes open—and reading—to discover what surprises lie around the next bend.