Book Reviews - April/May 2023

April 2023
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
courtesy of the Publishers

Southern authors worth reading

Sunsets After the Storms  
By Yvette Kilgore
Published by Here I Am Publishing LLC
Release Date: November 21, 2022, $18.99

If anyone has experienced a sunset after a storm, you know the sense of peace and hope that washes over you under streaks of gold and orange across the horizon that promises a better tomorrow. 

That’s the inspiration of Yvette Kilgore’s Sunsets After the Storms, a journey through many of the storms she battled throughout her life, how she survived to see the sunsets, and how readers can do the same. 

“Writing this book gives me the opportunity to share my belief and faith in God,” says Kilgore. “I hope it will be an encouragement to readers as they travel along their life journeys.”

Kilgore’s journey began in Ohio, where she met and married her high school sweetheart, Gary Kilgore. From there, their home base traveled to Ankara, Turkey, where Gary served as an airman with the U.S. Air Force, then California, North Carolina, and now here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 

Along the way, Kilgore shares how the family lost their home and savings to fraud, and battled superfetation, hurricanes, organ transplants, and more. She does so in an honest, heart-wrenching, straightforward way, like sharing a 320-page journal into 40 very private chapters of her life with the world. Kilgore shows readers how she was able to see the sunsets after the storms through the strength of God – and that they can, too. 

Faux Finished
By Dawn Dixon 
Published by CLASS Publishing
Release Date: 2021, $20

The first mystery novel by Dawn Dixon, Faux Finished is a fun, quirky puzzle comprising creative pieces, characters, and details rooted in the South – specifically in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina.

Faux Finished is a play off of main character Bridget O’Brien’s decorative painting business, Faux Finish. We learn that Bridget is a successful career woman, but flawed in her personal life, which converges at the scene of the crime: the Magnolia Blossom Country Club, where she’s working late on the job, hears noises in the deserted country club, and stumbles over a body in the men’s locker room. Bridget quickly becomes entangled in the thick of the mystery, as her estranged teenage daughter confesses to the murder. 

You’ll have to keep up with the fast-paced, reckless investigation that unfolds alongside Bridget’s first person account of her mission to clear her daughter’s name: clues, more suspects, family secrets, personal demons, and redemption with loved ones—all amidst the backdrop of an ultimate rivalry UNC vs. Duke game during March Madness. 

“Faux Finished delivers what makes a cozy mystery fun: interesting characters to spend time with, a peek behind the scenes of a decorative painter’s life, loads of true Southern zaniness during a college basketball season, and a puzzle worth solving,” says author Cathy Pickens, winner of St. Martin’s Malice Domestic Award for Best Traditional Mystery.