Finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Awards for 2012! Won the Eric Hoffer Award for Sassy Sweetwater for 2013 – Honorable Mention Best ebook Fiction!
After thirteen years on the run Violet McLaughlin returns to Carter’s Crossing, South Carolina, in 1962, with her young daughter, Sassy. The Crossing is right outside of Beaufort and the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement will forever leave its scars on the young and impressionable girl. As Sassy stands before the imposing white farmhouse for the first time, with no knowledge of her history but that the McLaughlin’s are her kin, Sassy begins a journey that will tear her apart before it heals her. Growing up among secrets that will forever damage her relationship with her mother, she attempts to make sense of her past. But will her passion for art and her love for Thomas Tierney be enough to sustain her future? Will the puzzles she must solve to discover who she is be worth the journey?
Praise for The Story of Sassy Sweetwater:
“An extraordinary second in the southern fiction genre, Vera Jane Cook explores the bonds of family and the fragility of love. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater is a sparkling debut novel.
Cook has penned a sweeping coming-of-age saga that is sure to appeal to fans of romance and drama. Sassy, an assertive, observant protagonist, gains the reader’s sympathy at the outset; in the manner of Jane Eyre, she survives the hand fortune has dealt her through sheer will, rising up to meet every challenge.
It is not just the gripping love story that will hold the audience’s interest; it is also Cook’s nuanced portrayal of Sassy’s positive relationships with people whom others are prejudiced against.
Drama lovers will be pleased to note that Sassy faces lies, cover-ups, violence, murder attempts, and the rediscovery of loved ones once thought dead. None of this descends into soap opera, however, because Cook skillfully grounds these events in her protagonist’s emotions. Those who know the agony of a family rupture will feel Sassy’s pain as she wishes for Violet to return, yet hates her for leaving. Along with the main story, as Cook delves into the lives of Sassy’s family (particularly those of Violet and Edna) she paints a haunting portrait of physical abuse filtering through multiple generations. Despite its violence, though, The Story of Sassy Sweetwater is an uplifting read.”- 5 Star ForeWord Clarion Review
“The Story of Sassy Sweetwater” by Vera Jane Cook was an excellent read. This story was one that I couldn’t put down until I had finished it….so I read all nite long … (smile).
Sassy (meaning….attitude and Sweetwater..a stream…. was a very strong, desirous, and daring person. How this author was able to present such a well written novel was simply amazing….dealing with a young Sassy trying to understand the grownups in her life….mainly her mother…going from one relationship to another…then returning home… to Carter’s Crossing, South Carolina…..where Sassy remained there until the end… then it was France.
Ms. Cook worked her magic in bringing out Sassy emotions to the audience. The writing was well written and each of the characters were brought to life in this great read. I know you will find it a great read. These characters really made this a well understood novel.
The Story of Sassy Sweetwater” is a real journey that while you are on it, you will find out just what Sassy needed most in her life. Will Sassy be able to get this in the end? I found this novel an excellent novel and I would recommend this for the Adult audience.”- Arlena Dean, GMTA Literary Community
“Vera Jane Cook has quickly become one my favorite writers. Her stories are always interesting and lively and The Story of Sassy Sweetwater is no exception.
In this book we follow the journey of Sassy Sweetwater as she grows and matures from a child to a woman. What a ride it is! Sassy’s life is full of ups and downs but through it all she stays sweet and endearing. She is a strong and passionate character and she always seems to find a way to prevail.
If you love strong, character-driven stories you’ll love The Story of Sassy Sweetwater.”-Sweet Tea, Amazon.com Reviewer
” I really enjoyed how the author brought Sassy Sweetwater to life. You can almost hear her southern drawl as you read her words. The characters are richly created and bring the story even more to life. Other than Sassy, my favorite character was Grandma Edna. This woman starts out as someone who seems untouchable, and turns out to be Sassy’s greatest champion. She has so many facets, like a true southern lady who married young and to a very volatile man, she finds her own way of taking control of things and people around her and still keep her charm.
Anyone looking for a solid story of life, its ups and downs with great female characters would really enjoy this book.”- Kmusings
Vera Jane Cook, writer of Award Winning Women’s Fiction, is the author of The Story of Sassy Sweetwater, Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow, Dancing Backward in Paradise and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem.
Jane, as she is known to family and friends, was born in New York City and grew up amid the eccentricity of her southern and glamorous mother on the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan.
An only child, Jane turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. Some of her favorite authors today are Nelson DeMille, Calib Carr, Wally Lamb, Anne Rice, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. Her favorite novels are too long to list but include The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Wuthering Heights, Look at Me, Dogs of Babel, The Bluest Eye, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Body Surfing, Lolita, The Brothers Karamazov, She’s Come Undone, Tale of Two Cities, etc., etc., etc.,
The Story of Sassy Sweetwater is a finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year Awards for 2012. Her first novel, Dancing Backward in Paradise won the Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence and the Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction, 2007. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater and Dancing Backward in Paradise received five stars from ForeWord Clarion Reviews. The Story of Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem is her first paranormal novel.
The author works by day for an education publishing company as an account manager and lives on the Upper West side of Manhattan with her long term partner, her Pomeranian, Daisy, her Basenji/Chihuahua mix, Roxie, her Chihuahua, Peanut and her two pussy cats, Sassy and Sweetie Pie.
Vera Jane Cook’s Website: http://www.verajanecook.com/