Monday, June 15, 2009

What the Bayou Saw Blog Tour




What the Bayou Saw


by Patti Lacy

Segregation and a chain link fence separated twelve-year-old Sally Flowers from her best friend, Ella Ward. Yet a brutal assault bound them together. Forever. Thirty-eight years later, Sally, a middle-aged Midwestern instructor, dredges up childhood secrets long buried beneath the waters of a Louisiana bayou in order to help her student, who has also been raped. Fragments of spirituals, gospel songs, and images of a Katrina-ravaged New Orleans are woven into the story.



Take a Sneak Peek inside "What the Bayou Saw"
Prologue

Hold the Wind, Hold the Wind, Hold the Wind, don’t let it blow.

—Negro spiritual, “Hold the Wind”

August 26, 2005, Normal, Illinois

I am meteorologist Kim Boudreaux.” Clad in a dark suit, the petite woman smiled big for her television audience. “Katrina’s track has changed.” She pointed to a mass of ominous-looking clouds that threatened to engulf the screen. “She’s no longer headed for Mobile but is on course for the Crescent City.”

Sally Stevens checked her cell phone, then paced in front of the television, as if that would make her brother Robert pick up the phone. She needed to talk to him, needed to know that he’d gotten her nieces and her sister-in-law out of the death trap that New Orleans suddenly had become. Needed to have him assure her, with his balmy Southern drawl, that he and his National Guardsmen were going to be okay.

A slender hand pointed to what must be a fortune’s worth of satellite and radar imagery. “As you can see, Katrina’s moving toward the mouth of the Mississippi, toward the levees . . .” The meteorologist buzzed on, high on news of this climactic wonder.

Every word seeped from the television screen, crept across the Stevens’s den, and crawled up Sally’s spine. Louisiana had once been her home. Her heritage. What would this hurricane do to the Southern state that she still loved?

A glance at her watch told Sally to get moving. Instead, she once again punched in Robert’s number. If she could just hear his voice, she’d know how to pray later as she stood in her classroom pretending to be passionate about her lecture on the history of American music, pretending to act like it was another ordinary afternoon in Normal, Illinois, while this mother of a storm wreaked wrath and vengeance upon her brother. Her home.

“. . . the next twenty-four hours are crucial . . .” The camera zoomed in for a close-up, focusing on a perfect oval face that, for just a moment, seemed to stiffen, as if a personal levee was about to be breached. “I’m not supposed to say this.” Urgency laced the forecaster’s voice. “But I’m telling you. Leave. This is a killer.” The pulsating weather image, a mass of scarlet and violet whirling about an ominous-looking eye, seemed to confirm her report.

Growing like a cancer.

Moving in for the kill . . .

Talk turned to evacuation, log-jammed roads, but Sally barely listened. Years flew away as she studied Ms. Boudreaux’s flawless mocha complexion, the tilt of her chin. The determination of this woman to save her city, or at least its people. So like the determination of Ella, that first friend, who’d taken off for New Orleans. It was as if the lockbox of Sally’s memories had somehow sprung open. Ella, that friend who’d saved her. Ella. And her brother, Willie, if he’d gotten out of the pen. Were they digging in, evacuating—

A classical song Sally’s kids had downloaded onto her phone poured from the tiny speaker as the device vibrated in her palm.

“God, let it be—” She glanced at the readout. 504 area code. New Orleans. Robert. Her fingers suddenly clumsy, she struggled to flip open the phone. Static greeted her.

“Robert? Bobby?” She was shouting, but she didn’t care. “Are you there? Are you—”
“Ssss—got them out.”

He’s out there somewhere, right in the elements, from the sound of it.

“Where are you?” Sally cried. “Robert, what’s going on?” Sally pressed the phone against her ear until it hurt. All this technology, yet she could barely hear him, could barely—

The whooshing stopped. So did Robert’s voice. Sally stared at the readout. Ten seconds she’d had with him. Ten seconds to gauge the climate of a city. A city that might still claim as a resident that once-best friend. Sally whispered a prayer as she grabbed her briefcase and headed to class.
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The rest of this prologue can be found on Simply Said Reading Accessories starting June 16th.
Do you like what you are reading?

Purchase What The Bayou Saw at Amazon.com.

For more FREE peeks inside "What the Bayou Saw," be sure to follow the full blog tour schedule at



ABOUT THE AUTHORPatti Lacy graduated from Baylor University in 1977 with a B.S. in education. She taught at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois, until she retired in 2006 to pursue writing full time. She has two grown children with her husband, Alan, and lives in Illinois. Visit Patti online at http://www.pattilacy.com/.

7 comments:

Ty said...

Rhonda, Thanks for participating in the What the Bayou Saw Blog Tour. Let us know what you thought of the book. -- Ty

Anonymous said...

Hello Patti & Ty,

I just finished the book. Once I collect my thoughts I'll post a review.

Wanda B. Campbell

Patti Lacy said...

Rhonda, thanks for letting me visit your blog.
Happy summer reading!
Patti

Renee Williams said...

This book sounds like it's going to be a winner! Can't wait to read it.

Patti Lacy said...

Wanda,
It'll be interesting to read youro review...
Thanks for stopping by! And thanks, Rhonda, for hosting me!

Patti

PatriciaW said...

This one's on my summer reading list.

Patti Lacy said...

Thank you, Patricia! Wish Mom had given me your name instead of plain ole Patti!

I would love to hear from you when you have finished the book.

Patti