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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hungry Mother Creek by Heather Cobham, Review and Guest Post

To the outside world, it looks like Maya Somers lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, her husband, the bungalow they shared and her job. But inside Maya knows Katrina gave her the gift of a fresh start. She and her yellow lab, Doodle Bug, leave the destruction of the Gulf Coast for North Carolina and settle in Oriental, a quaint fishing village on the Pamlico Sound. 
In her new home by the water, Maya begins to rebuild her life. She knows she needs to heal from her abusive marriage and the trauma of Hurricane Katrina but isn’t sure where to start. It isn’t long before teachers appear to help her: Hazel, her elderly but spirited neighbor who has secrets of her own, Travis, a handsome kayak guide to whom she immediately feels a strong attraction, Buster, a crusty old fisherman who always seems to show up just when she needs him, and Bay Witherspoon, the much younger wife of a wealthy attorney who becomes a close friend despite their initial differences. Maya finds the most profound help when she is welcomed into a women’s circle that meets on the banks of Hungry Mother Creek. Gathered with these women, Maya learns that becoming vulnerable and sharing her pain with others is the first step of her healing journey. 
But what is the second step? Maya isn’t sure but with the help of her loyal yellow lab, her new friends and the peace of living by the water she stays the course. Ultimately Maya finds the healing journey to be messy, tangled and unpredictable, and the end result is nothing she could have ever imagined.

Buy the Book!

My Review:
This was a riveting story of one woman's journey to find herself.  Maya is a victim of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and has a lot of things to overcome, when she takes a trip to Oriental, NC, she has an instant connection with the place.  She moves to Oriental and makes a new life for herself.   Heather Cobham has written and enthralling story of Maya's journey and I really enjoyed and I really connected with all the characters.  The writing was so good, I felt I knew the characters personally and I feel that I know the area of Oriental, even though I have never been to the area.  I say great job Heather, and I look forward to your next novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About the Author:
Heather Cobham grew up in North Carolina and now lives in Oriental with her husband and yellow lab.  Heather has always loved to write and has written poetry and short stories since she was a child.  Seven years ago she consciously created more time and space to write a novel and the publication of Hungry Mother Creek is a dream come true. Heather is a licensed clinical social worker and works as a counselor in a private practice in New Bern, N.C.  She writes on Wednesdays, Fridays and the weekends and is currently working on the sequel to Hungry Mother Creek.  Heather fights writer’s block by running, paddle boarding and kayaking. 
Connect with Heather!

Guest Post:

Into the Wild
     One of the blessings of living in Oriental, the setting of my novel Hungry Mother Creek, is being close to nature.  Our home is at the end of a road, on a point, surrounded by water on three sides.  The homes on our road take up less space then the marshland, overgrown vacant lots and forest.  On a regular basis I see rabbits, squirrels, turtles, deer, sea gulls, and osprey.  On a less regular, but consistent basis I see fox, owls, snakes, and raccoons. 
    The common factor in all my wildlife sightings is they occur at the edge of the river grasses or undergrowth or as the animal is moving quickly from one wild area to another.  I have never seen an animal linger long on the manicured lawns or open roads of our neighborhood.  Back in the unkempt, overgrown tangle of grasses, wildflowers and young trees, they sleep, eat, find safety, give birth and die.  If you sit quietly at the edge of a wild area you hear it teeming with life.  The leaves crunch and crackle under the feet of the mice, rabbits and deer.  The bees and crickets create a low hum.  The cat tails sway and collide as birds fly from one to the other.  Meanwhile the lawns are neat, uniformly cut and pretty, but quiet and empty of any wildlife. 
     As I reflect on this phenomenon, I see the same can happen in our lives. We often spend large amounts of time and effort creating a persona that is neat, organized and visually pleasing, just like my neighbors spend time and money maintaining their yards.  But too much attention to our surface presentation and we risk becoming as quiet and void of life as the well manicured lawns.
    If your life feels empty with limited passion and purpose, then you may be lingering too long in the well manicured persona you have created to please others.  For change to occur you must dive into the undergrowth and create time to go to your own wild place.  You don’t literally need to go into the wild, although some may, to find your wild place.  The most important ingredient is to remove yourself from the influence of society, friends and family so you can connect with your heart and mind and find the courage to be honest with yourself. Maybe this is meditation in the corner of your bedroom, maybe it is a vision quest in the desert, or maybe it’s ten minutes of truthful journaling every day.  Whatever feels right for you, DO IT.
     I regularly visit my wild place during pre-dawn solitary runs, time on my paddle board and by journaling, time in nature and occasional silent retreats. Writing a novel and moving permanently to Oriental, were both inspired by time in my wild place.  I have never felt more happy and fulfilled and attribute this to having the courage to follow the inspirations I’ve received.
   How do you connect with your “wild place” and where will time in your wild place take you?