"This book for me was pure escapism and an absolute joy to read, a simple story with observations told in a fun and at times hilarious way. I can honestly say I really did not want this to end. I would love to think the author is considering a follow-up to this book as I would buy it in a heartbeat." Yvonne, Goodreads
Peg Savage has contractually agreed to move to Key West, Florida. The smudged signatures on the damp cocktail napkin are irrefutable proof.
“An adventure…” her husband Clark says.
Peg can’t swim; she’s afraid of bridges (there are 42 of them); and she doesn’t want to leave her friends. However, after a bottle of Cabernet, a move from Chicago to the southernmost city in the United States seems like the best decision ever.
But now Clark has taken a long term job in Cuba and she’s on her own.
Neither her dog Nipper, nor the ghosts in the attic, offer up any good advice. But how hard can it be living in paradise?
Peg dives into island life but the more effort she makes, the wider her wake of catastrophes. She is tortured by a paddle board, a giant poisonous toad, the local Conservation group, and the patron saint of hurricanes. Not to mention the persistent sweat rash under her left breast.
A tropical depression descends on the island – one that can’t be cured with medication. Peg must gather her strength if she has any hope of surviving the storm.
Humor as Medicine
“You’ll be able to laugh about this in the future.” How many times have we heard that? Well, what if I need to laugh about it now? There are so many life events I can’t control, but I can control my attitude. In making the situation relatable to others through humor, I’m also healing myself. I’m facing the sadness/worry/pain and morphing it into prozac. For me, there is therapy in writing and when the words amuse my brain (honestly though, it doesn’t take much), it improves every thought I have for the rest of the day.
For example--as we were driving around the neighborhood, my middle son informed me that he was definitely going to smoke cigarettes but he would wait until he got older. As a goal oriented individual, I applauded his planning skills, however since he was four years old, I also appreciated his restraint. I had this image of passersby looking into the backseat window of the family Suburban, only to see a kid in a car-seat blowing smoke rings. It made me laugh and then I felt better about my poor parenting. Hence, the birth of my first book, Motherhood is NOT for Babies
When we relocated to Key West, Florida from Chicago, I experienced major culture shock. It’s a beautiful landscape, but it’s hot (so hot) and closer to Cuba than a Target store. When my dog almost died by licking a poisonous Bufo Toad, and I learned that there are more ghosts per capita in Key West than any of the city in the US (who takes the census?), and fish crimes drew a longer prison sentence than highway robbery, I knew some crazy evolution had taken place on this island. It’s like the Galapagos of the United States. This move was the catalyst for the creation of my second book, Island Life Sentence.
I like to laugh. I like to hang around people who like to laugh. Humor is my drug of choice...although I’m not opposed to a giant glass of Sangiovese red.
About the author:
After raising three boys in the suburbs of Chicago, Carrie Jo Howe now lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and her dog. Her latest novel, Island Life Sentence, is a fictional account of an American Midwestern woman who feels like an alien in the “one human family” of Key West. Carrie Jo’s first book, Motherhood is NOT for Babies, received a rave review (thanks Mom), and works wonderfully as a form of contraception. Her blog Florida Keys Crime Report, tells of all the goings on in the Keys, where bank robbers get away on bicycles, and perps caught with undersized, pinched, out-of-season lobsters get more jail time than drug runners. She is currently working on the sequels to Island Life Sentence.