What the Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy,
Back Cover: Since leaving Louisiana, Sally Stevens has held her childhood secrets at bay, smothering them in a sunny disposition and sugar-coated lies. No one, not even her husband Sam, has heard the truth about what happened to her and her best friend, Ella Ward, when they were twelve years old.
Now a teacher in Normal, Illinois, Sally has nearly forgotten her past. Then Shamika, one of her students, is violently attacked, and memories of segregation, a chain-link fence, and a blood oath bubble to the surface like a dead body in a bayou. Lies continue to tumble from Sally’s lips as she scrambles to gloss over the harsh reality of a betrayal that refuses to stay buried.
Finally cornered by the Holy Spirit and her own web of lies, Sally and Shamika embark on a quest to find Ella in post-Katrina New Orleans. With the help of friends, family, and God, Sally can glimpse a life free of the mire of deceit and truly begin to live with joy. Will she pay the price for a lifetime of deception? Can she save Shamika?
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Patti Lacy is one of my critique partners, so I had the privilege of critiquing What the Bayou Saw early on. It's a beautiful read with a lesson regarding secrets for us all. Patti has one of the smoothest, richest voices I've ever read. So very distinct. You're sure to love it, as I do.
For an inside look at the wonderful author behind the story, please read on for a short interview with Patti Lacy.
1) What influenced you to write What the Bayou Saw?
Sigh. It all started with a memory, just like An Irishwoman’s Tale. A woman named Sheila shared the saddest story of growing up in 1960s Alabama and yearning to play with the girl next door. Only the girl next door was the wrong race. The image of two hands, one dark, one light, reaching through a chain link fence to share toys gripped my gray matter and wouldn’t let go.
What the Bayou Saw also draws on several coming-of-age stories in Monroe, Lousiana—one of them my own.
2) What do you hope your readers take away from reading What the Bayou Saw?
The insidious nature of racism and lying. However, even these nasty sins can’t escape God’s grace when we seek forgiveness and repent (a la turn around and walk the other way.)
3) A typical writing day for you would go like what?
Oh, dear. Since God has blessed me with more speaking and teaching appearances, typical has blown out the window!
I like to rise along with Mr. Sun and spend some time in prayer and Bible study. If time permits, I tap away on a new WIP, which right now is called Reclaiming Lily. The to-do list includes book reviews, blog articles, workshop lesson plans, thank-you notes, treat sack stuffing—lots is going on in good old Normal!
4) What do you view as essential tools for writing?
No matter how clogged the Daytimer gets, I find time to READ, READ, READ books that will help me write better! I just finished Samson’s Embrace Me. That woman paints the most vivid characters!
Another is Piccoult’s My Sister’s Keeper. Talk about amazing. Piccoult juggles SEVEN points of view! What a case study!
Then there’s The Help by Stockett for killer dialogue, Scared by Davis for multiculturalism—Too many books, too little time!!
A critique group (or two) provides WONDERFUL feedback. I learn as much from editing other folks’ work as I do from writing my own!
5) What are you currently working on that we might soon be able to read? Any release dates set?
No release dates are set—yet—but I hope to have an announcement soon about Book Number three!
6) Any words of wisdom for those awaiting publication?
First of all, write for that wonderful Audience of One.
Second, print cards, put on a writer outfit, like a wild shawl or frilly jacket, or whatever it takes to convince yourself that you are a writer. Then do things that writers do! Write. Read. Edit. Blog. Support other writers. Go to conferences. Craft books…like all professions, the training never seems to end. But you can do it…because He did it.
Book Giveaway Info: If you would like to be entered into the drawing to win a copy of What the Bayou Saw, please leave a comment in this post with a way to contact you. I'll draw the winner on Sunday, November 8th, and leave an announcement on this blog. Be sure to check back next Monday for the opportunity to win another of Patti Lacy's books, her first published story, An Irishwoman's Tale.
Surrendering to Him,