Friday, 1 December 2017

A Daffodil for Angie by Connie Lacy

Connie Lacy worked for many years as a radio reporter and news anchor after dabbling in acting in college and community theater. Those experiences show up in some of her novels.

Her passion for human rights prompted her to write “A Daffodil for Angie,” a historical novel set in the 1960s. Her interest in climate change led her to imagine a not-too-distant future when oceans have risen fifteen feet. That's the backdrop for "The Shade Ring Trilogy." And her fascination with time travel and the paranormal are on display in "The Time Telephone" and "VisionSight: a Novel."

Growing up, she lived in Japan and Okinawa where her Army dad was stationed. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a degree in Journalism and Creative Writing.

She and her husband live in Atlanta.

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About the Book

1966. A tough time to be a teenager, especially for Angie Finley. Her dad’s in Vietnam as antiwar protests mount. School integration is underway. Bullies target the first black girl in her class. Her mom’s pushing her to be a cheerleader. Women are pressing for equal rights. Oh, and a good-looking football player can’t keep his hands off her.

Looks like ditching her glasses for contacts and frosting her hair might not make life at Lafayette Senior High as successful as she imagined.

Set against a backdrop of the Sixties, A Daffodil for Angie is a compelling coming-of-age story about a girl on the cusp of womanhood facing tough choices during one of the most tumultuous decades in American history.

Angie comes face to face with growing antiwar sentiment and racial violence as rising social consciousness transforms American society with a little help from the likes of Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Aretha Franklin.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

It was Miss America pageant weekend, something I used to love when I was little. We’d gather in front of the TV and pull for our favorites. But, somehow, watching young women try to out-pretty each other didn’t seem romantic anymore. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to take part when it came time for our school pageant either. Although I knew my mother would be jazzed up about it, just like she was when Deedee was in high school. Of course, beauty was Mom’s business. She started out as a beautician and now owned her own salon.

Ever since the divorce, she held a Miss America Hen Party, complete with beer, chips and dip, deviled eggs and a roomful of jabbering, smoking women. All of them were former beauty pageant contestants who matured into plump, middle-aged, self-appointed beauty experts. They ranted and raved about each and every contestant’s legs, hair, teeth, makeup, evening gown, bathing suit, choice of shoes and breast size.

I sat on the front porch, trying to keep my distance as the ladies passed judgment, turning our house into the Beer Hall for Catty Women.

The two yellow maples in the front yard were still green, but their leaves were getting ready to morph into that brilliant golden color that made our house look kind of charming in the fall. It was thanks to Dad that Mom didn’t have them chopped down when we moved in. She argued they killed the grass with their shade. He convinced her they’d increase the resale value someday.

It was a modest house – three bedrooms and one bath – but Dad also planted pink azaleas and blue hydrangea bushes in the front yard, which made me get my camera out every spring to take pictures. And he set out a big patch of daffodils by the mailbox that poked their pretty yellow heads up every January, like beacons of hope reminding me, even in the dead of winter, that spring really was just around the corner. Mom had to concede Dad’s gardening did actually “enhance our home’s curb appeal.”

A huge guffaw wafted through the door.

The porch was my refuge after failing to come up with a better alternative. I’d called Janet, but she said Dottie and Craig’s sister, Sherry, were coming over to watch the pageant with her. She said I could come too, but you know how it is when someone only invites you last minute like that. And, besides, I wanted something better to do. Like have a date with a boy? Like Craig, maybe?

Unfortunately, a squadron of mosquitoes used me as their evening field rations, forcing me to retreat to my room much sooner than I’d hoped. I slipped inside by the carport door, snagging a Coke as I tiptoed through the kitchen.

The clucking from the living room got louder and louder.

“Lord-a-mercy! That one’s way too busty.”

“She just needs a better bra!”

“Judges don’t want giant, bouncing boobs.”

“But men do!”

“Har har har!”

They didn’t notice me at all, glued as they were to our new TV.

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