“A promising tale of redemption and perseverance.” Publishers Weekly — Illumination Book Award Winner — Winner of the Prismatic Prospects Favorite Read AwardQuicker than you can say “downsized, unemployed, and divorced,” Ally Cervantes finds herself with the Pacific Ocean in her rearview mirror as she and her two children head to Lake Surrender in rural Northern Michigan to live with her aunt. The dry hills of California are a metaphor for her empty soul, but she can’t afford to wallow in self-pity with an autistic son who can’t make eye contact and a precocious twelve-year-old daughter counting on her to get it together. With no other available jobs, Ally steps through the only open door for employment, working as head cook at a dilapidated Christian camp. Problem is, she doesn’t cook and doesn’t like religious fanatics. But despite everything, she finds herself strangely hopeful as she learns her journey ends where the lake begins.Inspirational content (I): Content of an inspirational/religious nature.
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I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and lived in the Midwest most of my married life. In my first novel, Lake Surrender, I use my love of Michigan lakes to tell a story of a woman struggling with abrupt change and difficult circumstances to see a greater hand at work. With slices of humor, I write of hardships many face as a single mom, a parent of a disabled child, a displaced employee, a lonely widow and a once homeless young man.My characters, flawed, live through unnerving stress, like a barefoot water-skier hanging on to the boat connected with one strand of yarn to life. While hanging onto the boat for dear life they find the unwavering patience of God in the most unusual places.Using my degree in Recreational Therapy I have worked with autistic children, In this novel I wanted a story that would lift their value in the world while at the same time highlight the difficulty raising such a special child.My first book, Changing Zip Codes: Finding Community Wherever You’re Transplanted is a devotional for movers, anecdotes pulled from 22 moves. I have a passion to help families move reminding them they will have a life and community at the other end. A foot loose and fancy-free freelancer for fourteen years I’ve now settled down to a regular gig as a reporter for the Mooresville Weekly in Davidson, North Carolina.Words define me….I love to speak to women’s groups such as MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and at national writers’ conferences. Family defines me more. I have a great husband, four grown children and five grandchildren. As far as hobbies I love music and favor bluegrass. If prodded, I will produce a mandolin.My secret dream was to become a lounge singer. But realizing that dream is a little late to happen, I’ve found great contentment writing stories to encourage and inspire women. So actually I’ve chosen the better path.Please check out my blog on my website: carolgstratton.com