You'll fall instantly in love with Cedar Key and this homespun knitting community. Lori Wilde
"A Southern Debbie Macomber, but with a flair all her own." Karin Gillespie
New York Times bestselling author Terri DuLong's heartwarming new novel invites you to Cedar Key, Floridaa close-knit community that offers an easy pace, gorgeous sceneryand a whole new perspective on family and forgiveness. . .
In the wake of her husband Andrew's sudden passing, there's nowhere Marin Kane would rather be than back on Cedar Key. Marin plans to run the needlepoint store next to her mother Dora's yarn shop, and settle once more into her tranquil hometown. Then a bombshell arrives: a secret daughter Andrew never revealed to anyone.
Now nineteen, Fiona was the product of a summer affair Andrew had when he was out of town teachingwhile Marin was home with their two small sons. All Fiona wants is a chance to meet her half-brothers and Marinand through them get some sense of the father she barely knew. Marin isn't sure she can ever overcome her sense of betrayal. But buoyed by old friendsand a new lovethe answers may unfold, guiding both Marin and Fiona to a true refuge at last.
"An intriguing premise, a cozy, small-town backdrop, and even the hint of some magic. . . A sweet story, set in a friendly community." Kirkus on Postcards from Cedar Key
"Tender and poignant, perfect for those who love knitting as well as the bonds between women." –RT Book Reviews (4 Stars) on Sunrise on Cedar Key
"A delightful addition to that genre of needlecraft-inspired books." Library Journal on Casting About
About the Author
Born and raised north of Boston, Terri DuLong was a previous resident of Cedar Key, Florida. She now resides on the east coast of the state in Ormond Beach with her husband, three dogs and two cats. A retired Registered Nurse, she began her writing career as a contributing writer for Bonjour Paris, where she shared her travel experiences to France in over forty articles with a fictional canine narrator. Terri’s love of knitting provides quiet time to develop her characters and plots as she works on her new Ormond Beach novels. You can visit her website at www.terridulong.com or at her Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/TerriDuLongAuthor.
Read an Excerpt
Secrets on Cedar Key
By TERRI DuLONG
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2013 Terri DuLong
All rights reserved.
I stood there, arms folded across my chest, staring at the gaping hole that separated Yarning Together from our new business venture. After the events of the previous day, I now wondered if perhaps my mother's plan to expand the yarn shop to include needlepoint might be foolhardy.
"Oh, Marin. I'm so sorry about what happened. Are you okay?"
I turned around as Chloe walked into the shop and scooped me into her arms for a hug.
"Wouldn't you know I'd be in Gainesville yesterday when all the commotion was going on here?"
I patted her back, trying to pass on what little reassurance I had.
"I'm okay, and Ned's wife called me this morning. It was a heart attack but he's going to be fine. They'll keep him for a few days at Shands and then he'll be discharged home."
Chloe blew out a breath. "Oh, that is good news. Thank goodness. But ... and I almost feel guilty asking ... how long before he can resume work?"
My guilty thoughts matched hers. "According to Eileen, the doctors have said six to eight weeks."
"Exactly. Here I was hoping that I'd be able to open the needlepoint shop by Christmas, and we're not even sure Ned will be back to work in two months."
Chloe headed to the coffeemaker and began spooning Maxwell House into the paper filter. "Hmm, true," she said before going to the back room and returning with the carafe, filled with water.
"How's Dora dealing with the news?"
"Fine," I said, settling myself on the sofa. "You know my mother. She always seems to do well in a crisis. Unlike me." The phone call from the university in Gainesville seven months before, telling me that my husband had collapsed in his classroom and had been taken by ambulance to Shands Hospital, had proved this to me.
We both turned as the wind chimes on the door tinkled and my mother walked in. "Good morning, girls," she chirped in her usual cheery voice.
Not for the first time I hoped that her health and longevity genes ran strong in me. At seventy-eight, she showed no signs of osteoporosis, her striking white hair had recently been cut into an attractive bob, and most days her energy level surpassed mine. But it was her optimism that enhanced her youthful vitality and appearance.
"You think?" I mumbled. Having our contractor out of work with a heart attack didn't amount to a good morning for me.
"Oh, Marin," she said, placing a kiss on the top of my head. "Cheer up. We just might have a replacement to finish the work."
"Really?" I sat up straighter on the sofa.
"Possibly," she replied, settling down beside me. "Well, I had a call from Worth Slater this morning, and it seems he's willing to take over for Ned."
"The Worth Slater?" Chloe's excitement caused me to sit up even straighter.
"Who's that?" I had relocated from Gainesville after my husband died to move in with my mother on Cedar Key, but I still didn't know everyone in town.
"Worthington Slater," Chloe explained. "Rumored to be one of the richest guys in Marion County. His family owned horse farms in Ocala. Not to mention he's pretty darn good-looking and quite the eligible bachelor."
I laughed and looked at my mother. "You're joking, right? Why on earth would somebody like him even want to get his hands dirty?"
My mother shook a finger in my direction. "Marin, how many times have I told you not to be such a quick judge of character. It just so happens that Worth owned his own architecture business, and that included refurbishing a lot of older homes and apartments. He knows we're in a bind and has offered his services."
"Oh. Well, good. So when can Mr. Rich Guy start?"
"I'm not sure. He's coming by later today to look at the work we need done. He said he'll honor the estimate that Ned has given me, which is very nice of him."
"That's encouraging," I said, getting up to walk toward what was supposed to be the new archway separating the shops. Instead, what greeted me was an uneven hole in the wall that led into a dark and dusty room.
"God! It's such a mess. We'll never have that turned into anything decent."
I wasn't sure if the tears I felt stinging my eyes were more from the residual grief about the loss of Andrew or from the fact that something positive in my life was on hold.
"Of course we will," my mother said as her arm went around my shoulder.
"Right. It's just a little setback," Chloe said. "What we all need is a cup of this freshly brewed coffee." She held the pot in the air and then proceeded to fill three mugs.
I fished a tissue from my pocket, blew my nose, and settled back on the sofa. "I feel so selfish. Poor Ned could have died in this very shop yesterday, and I'm worried about opening the needlepoint section."
My mother patted my hand. "He's going to be just fine. Might be a while before he'll be back to work, but it was a mild heart attack, so he was lucky."
"Unlike Andrew," I said and heard the tinge of envy in my voice.
Chloe passed us the coffee before sitting down. "Gosh, he was lucky he wasn't alone when it happened. You must have been frightened, though, Marin. There wasn't anybody else in the shop, was there?"
I took a sip of the strong brew and shook my head. "No, I'd just come back from lunch. Mom had taken Oliver home for the afternoon, and I'm glad she did, what with the paramedics arriving and everything. Ned had already returned from his lunch when I got back, and he was working away. A few minutes later he came over here to sit on the sofa, and I knew something was wrong. He was white as a ghost, sweaty, and looked terrible. Said he was just having some mild pain in his upper left arm. Thought it was from the work he'd done earlier breaking through the wall. But I didn't want to take a chance. It could have been a muscle pull and exertion, but he was also having classic signs of a heart attack, so I called 911 just to be on the safe side."
"Thank goodness you did," Chloe said.
I nodded. "I'm just glad he's going to be okay."
"Eileen said he'll be home in a few days, and if all goes well, he can return to work in a couple months."
I got up to go look at the wall again and shook my head. "Geez, we didn't even really get started, and there's so much to do in there. Putting in the bay window in the front wall, redoing all the walls and floor, wallpaper, painting ... I sure hope this Worth Slater will be willing to take it over."
"Yeah, I know what you're saying." Chloe joined me at the wall and peered into the dark room.
"So does the yarn shop have to live with that ugly hole in the wall until Worth or somebody can begin to work on it?" I heard the whiny tone to my voice, which made me sound more like a teenager than a fifty-six-year-old woman.
"I think we should be able to find a sheet or big piece of plastic to cover it. It'll be fine," my mother said in an attempt to reassure me.
"Are you still thinking of adding on a patio out back and taking over the old carriage house?" I knew my mother liked how Chloe was able to push a conversation toward a different subject rather than focusing on the negative. That was one of the reasons they worked so well as partners at the yarn shop. When my mother had purchased the shop from my cousin Monica a few years before, one of her best decisions had been asking Chloe to be her partner. She was a joy to work with. Not only had she gotten a degree in textile design many years before, acquiring an exceptional knowledge of fibers and colors, she was also a great asset for the shop, always ready to pitch in and do that little extra for customers, staying late if it was required, doing everything she could so that the shop would be a success. And now, due to my mother's desire to expand the shop to include needlepoint, I would have the opportunity to work there as well.
"Yes," she told Chloe. "I've been giving that a lot more thought, and I think we should do it. Having a screened patio built between the shop and the carriage house will give our knitters a wonderful place to sit outside during the nice weather. And I think we'll be almost forced to remodel the carriage house. Once that archway is finished, we're going to lose that entire corner over there," she said, pointing to where the credenza held our coffee supplies and the old-fashioned desk that served as our checkout area. "Everything can be rearranged in here, and a lot of the stock can be put in the carriage house. We could get really creative with displaying the various yarns, rather than just in cubbyholes and cubicles."
"Oh, I agree," Chloe said. "Besides, I think knitters love to wander around, browsing, touching all the different yarns. If a shop is too small and cramped, I think that takes away from the experience. It'll be a lot of fun getting it all put together."
"And your needlepoint shop will become a reality, Marin." She patted my hand again. "We just have to be patient."
"I know. You're right, Mom," I told her. "Like you've always said, it'll happen in its own time. I'm sorry for being so childish about all of this. I guess I was really counting on being a needlepoint shop manager by Christmas." I blew out a breath and turned toward the boxes of yarn that UPS had delivered the day before. "Well, I need to get to work and get those unpacked. And you have the morning off, so go. Chloe and I can handle things here."
"Lucas told me the book I ordered would be at the shop today, so I'm going to stop by and get it. Oh, and it's my turn to do dinner, so you don't need to rush home. Lasagna and salad. Is that okay?"
"It's wonderful," I told her before giving her a hug good-bye. Living with my mother these past seven months had been good for both of us. Although I was ashamed to admit it and it was probably unknown to others, Andrew and I had evolved over twenty-six years of marriage to a bland and stagnant relationship. I had been looking forward to his retirement this past summer, hoping to recapture some of the spark that had been missing. But his death had prevented that from happening. Despite the lack of passion, I missed him. I missed the day-to-day conversations and routine we had shared. So I welcomed the company and companionship of my mother. We also seemed to be in sync as far as housemates. She respected my quiet time, we shared chores around the house, and overall, I was happy that she had invited me to move in with her after Andrew died.
"I'll see you at home about five," she said before leaving.
Chloe gathered up the mugs to take into the back room to wash. "Moving in with your mother seems to be working well for you. I know Dora is thrilled to have you there."
"Yeah," I said as I cut open one of the boxes of yarn. "She's always been easy to get along with. I'm fortunate."
Chloe laughed. "You've got that right. Many adult daughters would cringe at the thought of moving back with their mothers. I'm sure I couldn't have done it."
I fingered the new sock yarn that had been made in Germany before I arranged each skein in a wooden cubbyhole. With the vibrant pinks, greens, blues, and lavenders, I knew we wouldn't be keeping this yarn in the shop for long.
As I continued unpacking yarn, rearranging various skeins, and making a sign to place on the front table for yarn that would be discounted, I allowed my mind to wander and couldn't help but wonder what the rest of my life had in store for me. Was this all there was? Married at age thirty, the mother of two grown sons, a retired professor of English ... and now a widow at fifty-six, living with her mother and soon to run a needlepoint shop. I let out a sigh. It could be worse. Certainly, it could be much worse.
Chloe was still at lunch when he walked into the yarn shop. When I first looked toward the door and saw the good-looking older man enter, I assumed he was here on a knitting errand for his wife or to purchase a gift certificate.
"May I help you?" I asked, walking toward the front of the shop.
"Yes, I'm looking for Eudora Foster."
It was then that it hit me that he was Worthington Slater, and in a heartbeat I realized Chloe hadn't been exaggerating when she said he was pretty darn good-looking. At least six feet tall, he wore a casual short-sleeved shirt tucked into khaki trousers. A deep bronze tan and silver hair complemented his good looks. He appeared more likely to be sitting behind the desk of a successful company than swinging a hammer as a workman.
"Yes," I said, clearing my throat and extending my hand. "I'm Dora's daughter. Marin Kane. Nice to meet you. She's at home this afternoon but told me you'd be stopping by to take a look at the project."
I felt his hand grip mine as a friendly smile crossed his face.
"Nice to meet you." His gaze moved to the hole in the wall. "I take it that's the area to be remodeled?"
I nodded. "Yeah, it looks more like a bomb zone at the moment," I said, walking toward the wall. "It's hard for me to visualize what my mother keeps saying will be so nice."
Worth laughed. "Oh, you don't trust my abilities?"
"Oh, it's not that," I stammered. "I mean ... it's just a dark, dingy area right now. And so much needs to be done to transform it into a needlepoint shop."
He produced a flashlight from his pocket before stepping into the adjoining room.
"Hmm," he said, shining the light toward the ceiling, walls, and floor. "Well, yes, it does need extensive work, but like Ned told me, it's certainly doable."
"Really?" I could feel my excitement building. "You're willing to do it for us?"
Worth nodded, and I followed him back into the yarn shop.
"I am," he said. "I'll get with your mother to confirm, but when do you think she'd like me to start?"
He laughed again. "In a bit of a rush, are you?"
"Well, a little. I was hoping to be able to have it open by Christmas."
"It's early October. That gives me about ten weeks. I don't think that'll be a problem."
In addition to his good looks, I liked this man's enthusiasm.
"Oh, that would be great."
"Okay, then," he said, heading toward the door. "Tell your mother I'll give her a call at home this evening, but I should be ready to begin on Friday."
"Thanks so much."
The moment Chloe returned from lunch, I shared the good news with her.
"Terrific. Then everything is back on track. Oh, and by the way ... what was your opinion of Worth?"
I was surprised when I felt warmth creeping up my neck. Damn hot flashes. "Oh ... he was nice. Very nice. And friendly. Very businesslike too."
Chloe laughed. "In other words ... I wasn't lying, huh? Pretty hot?"
"Yeah ... I guess so. I mean, I really didn't notice. He wasn't here very long."
"Right," she said, and I saw the grin that crossed her face. "You know, Marin, just because your husband passed away, it doesn't mean your life is over. You can still appreciate a good-looking and pleasant guy."
All of a sudden I felt flustered. "Yes, of course. I know that," I said and was grateful when Berkley walked in the door, putting an end to further discussion.
I spied the basket of hand-dyed yarn she was carrying. "Oh, good," I said. "You spun more yarn for us."
"Yup, another ten skeins."
Chloe reached over to touch the soft greens, yellows, blues, and lavenders. "Gorgeous. Jill did another great job with the dyeing."
Berkley had relocated to Cedar Key the previous year from Salem, Massachusetts, opened up the chocolate shop on Second Street, and provided us with yarn from her alpacas, which were kept at her friend's farm in North Yarmouth, Maine. She had also fallen in love with Saxton Tate III, a British mystery author who lived on the island.
"Thanks," she said, and I saw her gaze take in the hole that dominated our wall. "Geez, I heard about all the excitement here yesterday with Ned. Is he okay?"
I brought her up to date on Ned's condition while she walked over to take a peek into the room on the other side.
"I'm glad he'll be all right. But what a shame about the delay in the work."
"Not exactly," I told her and explained about Worthington Slater taking over.
"Oh, that's great. So maybe you'll have the needlepoint shop up and running by Christmas after all."
"Here's hoping. Do you have time for coffee?"
"Yeah, a quick cup would be nice. Oh, I have some news. Saxton's daughter, Resa, and her husband arrive here next week."
"That's great," Chloe said. "Do you think they'll really end up purchasing the bed-and-breakfast?"
"I think there's a pretty good chance. Resa's husband, Jake, has been doing a lot of research about opening a pediatric practice in Gainesville, and it seems he's found another physician who's interested in being his partner. So that will enable them to relocate here. They have an appointment with Alison next week to look at the B and B, so if they like it ... who knows? They could end up making an offer on it."
Excerpted from Secrets on Cedar Key by TERRI DuLONG. Copyright © 2013 Terri DuLong. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thoroughly enjoyed the Cedar Key story of new starts, love and forgiveness. Strong, brave women and caring, romantic men.
Marin learns that life often throws us an unexpected curve ball when her husband dies suddenly. She undergoes major life changes and learns some new shocking facts about her husband that she did not know. With the support of her family, the Cedar Key community and her new found girlfriends Marin moves forward and regains her love for life and spontaneity. She vegans to take risks in business, life and fines newfound love. This makes you think of your own life choices. Can you say you live without regrets?
I enjoyed this book so much! I was such a pleasant read. Lessons learned about life. Can't wait for her next book!
Tightly Knit Secrets Terri Dulong brings us back to the small seaside community of Cedar Key, Florida with installment number 5 - Secrets of Cedar Key. The highly anticipated expansion of the popular knitting shop, “Yarning Together” meets with an unexpected delay but the ever- positive co-owner “Dora” Foster thinks she has just the answer to seeing the needlepoint addition completed. Dora, whose 56-year-old daughter, Marin Kane, a retired English professor and mother of 2 grown sons, has returned home to Cedar Key and is beyond excited to become manager of the new department scheduled to open just before Christmas. Marin, recently widowed, lost her husband, also a professor at the university in Gainesville just 7 months ago from a heart attack, which took his life right in the middle of a classroom lecture. Marin is now determined to find something positive in her life. However, just days into the store’s renovation project Marin is the sole witness to the unforeseen heart attack of the village handy man. While concern over his health is present, selfish thoughts run through her mind that all will be lost for her hopes to have the shop ready before Christmas. How soon Marin will find that the furthest thing from her mind will be her new needlepoint department. A long ago secret, something beyond her wildest imagination soon surfaces which forces Marin to reflect on all she has known. Knit within this story are also secrets kept by those Marin holds both close and not so close, but will she chose the “right” path or the path of least resistance? You will need to read for yourself and find out!
I really enjoy Terri`s books, they are more like things happening to real people. I enjoyed going back to Cedar Key. Love to move there, if it was real. Some books you are reading and you think did I read this before, but you didn`t it is just like another you have read, with Terri`s you don`t feel that way. She has a warmth with her writing and each book makes you want to read more of them. I can`t wait for her next one. Wish they would make a tv show of her books. Once you read her books you are hooked on them.
This was a new author for me and I couldn't be more happy that I found her. The story takes place in a small seaside town in Florida, Cedar Key, and centers arounds a small tight-knit group of friends and family, with a strong focus on knitting. The way the knitting theme was woven through the story, pardon the pun, was wonderful. The story speaks to the themes of friendship, family, forgiveness and compassion. There are also strong themes of love and the strength that gives us to be better people. After reading the story, I wish I had originally settled in with a cozy, soft blanket and large glass of wine for this literary journey. This was a beautiful story with endearing characters and I just felt happy after finishing it. This book was written with a soft warmth that makes me want to read all of Terri DuLong's stories. I am very much looking forward to her next book, due out in 2014. I received this title from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review
Secrets on Cedar Key by Terri DuLong Love this series and know even without knowing who the book is about that it's another keeper. It involves knitting, a city in Florida and a sense of good community feelings. Marin has lost her husband Andrew and moved to Cedar Key with her mother now that the boys are grown and set in their locations with work. She helps her mom and others run the yarn store. She wants to run a needlework area and when the contractor has a heart attack, Worth Slater takes over. She finds out some money was being sent to two people who she has no idea who they are and will investigate. The part I love about this book is the atmosphere of the yarn shop to everybody who walks in the door. The weekly meeting is also a time for great food, sharing and others with a similiar need to bond with one another. As island life goes on Marin is getting closer to knowing the truth about her husband and arrangements are made for the funeral of a friend. She confides in others who are not sure what to believe and they are there for her regardless of the outcome. If you have not read the other books in the series you are told of the important things that happened in the past-just NOT everything so the books can be read out of order. There are a lot of characters but you tend to remember who goes with who (names and careers are mentioned) and the story is easy to follow. Marin takes things slow and gets acquainted with Worth. They have dinner a few times and she's able to go with him to his house where he claims he and his wife, now dead, had met her and Andrew at a charity function for the college. He had left an impression on her back then... and likewise... Love all the charity work in the book: locks of love hair cuts, and fund raisers. Funny how the gossip travels around town and the concept of a movie being filmed in town have some scurrying to shape up their shops. Love all the chat about the shops and changes that have occurred and new owners with other ones. Marin learns neither of the boys will be home for Thanksgiving but her BFF will come for Christmas. She does have to face what to do with the account and tries to find some answers on the internet. Many stressful days and she books a flight to Paris which Andrew and her were to return to. Her mother tells her why she was against her buying the house and she hopes she can forgive and move on with her life and that the trip to Paris will help. So many details besides booking the flight and she's grateful to have the offer of a place to stay while there. Travel in Paris is breathtaking, many details and I feel as if I'm there, I've always wanted to go with my daughter. She recalls things that bring up images of Andrew and their sons and how they interacted with one another and thought he did deserve forgiveness. Symbolism of the afghans during the war was enlightening to listen to and so much needed then. Sparks of romance and love in Paris. Marin feels good about herself and her decision, is it the right one? Love how the book got it's name and this series just keeps getting better and better. I'm not sure how the author can put so much into 300 pages. If another wrote it, it'd have to be 600 pages. Prefer the 300 page myself. She's got a way with words, the right ones together. What I also really like is having many generations of families so you see how the author is able to solve the current day problems with any age group. I received this book from Kennsington in exchange for my honest review.