Monday, July 25, 2022

Book Watch: Seeking Tranquility: Chincoteague Sunsets Trilogy Book 1 by Amy Schisler #bookwatch

Title: Seeking Tranquility: Chincoteague Sunsets Trilogy Book 1
Author: Amy Schisler
Publisher: Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing
Pages: 345
Genre: Inspirational Fiction / Romantic Suspense

Christy McLane and her child prodigy sister, Molly, are alone in the world. Alone, until they arrive on the island of Chincoteague, Virginia. Like the famous ponies that roam the area, Christy and Molly flee to the island to take refuge after a tragedy leaves them marooned and unanchored. To stay afloat, Christy will need to make unforeseen sacrifices as she navigates the waters of life. 

Against the beautiful backdrop of the Virginia shoreline, caring islanders and shy, aerospace scientist, Jared Stevenson, help Christy find the faith and tranquility she seeks. However, just when everything seems perfect, Jared’s hidden past disrupts their peaceful existence, plunging the entire island into a sea of lies and danger that will change their lives forever. 

Book Information

Release Date: June 16, 2022

Publisher:  Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN: 979-8985223217; 345 pages; $15.95; eBook $7.99


Christy handed the police officer a bag containing a Pony Pork doughnut, a glaze-covered creation baked with brown sugar and bacon. Personally, Christy thought the mere idea of that combination was revolting, but it was a popular choice among their male clientele. 

“Have a great day, ladies.” Nick, a regular at the Sugar and Sand Donut Shop, tipped his hat as he walked out.

“He’s really cute,” Christy said in a matter-of-fact tone, watching the twenty-something in the crisp, blue Chincoteague Island Police uniform smile and wave at a couple passing by.

“And taken,” Diane said. She nudged Christy out of the way and placed a tray of fresh doughnuts on the counter.

“Story of my life.” Christy said with a smile and pulled a sheet of wax paper from the box to transfer doughnuts to the display case. 

“What are you, twenty-three? You’ve got plenty of time.” Diane smiled at the next customer and took their order. 

Christy bit back a sarcastic retort that she was twenty-four and had zero time in her busy days for men or anything else and finished unloading the tray of hot, fresh pastries. She could feel her hips expanding just from inhaling their mouth-watering aroma. Cinnamon, blueberry, chocolate, and lemon scents escaped from the case in a mixed wave as she closed the door and hefted the large tray back to the kitchen. When she returned, after making a stop in the staff bathroom, adjusting her ponytail, and washing her hands, a lull had fallen over the Sand and Sugar.

“What a story, huh?” Diane asked, wiping down a table.

“About the boater?” Christy asked. “Does stuff like that happen a lot around here?”

“Not usually with locals, more often with tourists who rent boats without any knowledge of how to use them. Just wait until summer. All kinds of crazy things happen once the island is crammed with people.”

“At least it keeps things interesting,” Christy remarked dryly. Though she liked the island well enough—it was pretty, and the people were nice—she missed the fast pace of life in and around D.C. 

“Any plans for the weekend?” Diane asked, moving to another table.

“Besides working?” Christy took a deep breath and blew it up, sending a stray hair flapping in front of her eyes. “All I ever do is work.”

“Things picking up at the store?” Diane walked behind the counter and tossed the rag into the basket under the sink and rinsed her hands.

“Yeah. It’s getting crazy. I must have made two dozen shirts on Saturday afternoon, and it’s only mid-May. That giant iron thingy scares me to death.”

Diane laughed. “Custom shirts are the most popular item sold here on the island other than toy ponies.”

“And doughnuts,” Christy said.

“And doughnuts.” Diane nodded and straightened the napkins, coffee stirrers, and smoothie straws on the counter as she talked. “Are you going to keep both jobs through the summer?” Diane glanced toward the door once the straightening was finished, and Christy wondered if she was avoiding her gaze. She knew that it was hard on Diane if Christy had to run out before everything was tidied and ready for the next business day, but Diane was willing to work with her—so far.

“Unfortunately, I have to. I don’t really have a choice.” Christy bit her lip and looked down at her hands. “Now that I’m Molly’s guardian, I’ve got to support us both. I’m going to make sure she has a good childhood and then goes to college. She’s so smart, and she has the ability to make more of her life than I have.”

Diane turned toward Christy and tilted her head, giving her a sympathetic smile. “You’re smart, too, and you’re still young. Don’t count yourself out yet. Your ship will come in someday.”

“Hmph. You mean the Titanic? It already sank.” Christy crossed her arms and leaned back on the counter. Behind her were an array of blenders used to make healthy, and not-so-healthy, smoothies. She wasn’t this pessimistic by nature, but today was one of those days. She felt the stress of their situation riding her like one of those mermaids with a whole ship perched on her back, taking the brunt of the wind and waves. And the ship that Christy carried on her back was in distress.

Diane gently laid her hand on the young woman’s arm. “Honey, you’ve got a big, happy life out there waiting for you. Anybody who’d do what you’ve done deserves only the best in life, and the good Lord is going to see that you’re rewarded for it.”

Christy sighed and shrugged. “I didn’t really have a choice, did I? Molly’s my half-sister, and I’m all she’s got with Mom and Fred gone.” She looked up and blinked the tears away. Even after two years, the reality of their deaths still stung. She supposed it always would.

“I know it doesn’t seem fair, but somewhere in this mess, God has a plan for you. Molly’s lucky to have you, and your mom’s watching over the both of you.”

The bell chimed, and both women looked up at the opening door.

“Good morning, Paul. How are things on the island today?” Diane asked, giving Christy a chance to turn away and wipe her eyes.

“Quiet, just the way I like it.” Paul took off his police cap and pointed to the coffee pot. “Could you make it a double, please? Stacey’s the best assistant the department’s ever had, but her coffee is like drinking brown water.”

“Why don’t you just tell her that she needs to add more grounds to the pot?” Diane asked, pouring a large cup of steaming coffee.

Paul shook his head. “I have. She says it’s the maker and keeps saying we ought to get one of those fancy pod things.”

“No!” Diane gasped, her hand over her heart. “Not one of those ‘fancy pod things’!”

Paul smiled. “Laugh all you want. There’s a reason half the town comes here for their coffee, with or without a doughnut. Everyone else has switched over to those machines, and the fine art of brewing a good cup of Joe is dying faster than those machines can spit into the cup.”

“Well, you don’t have to worry about me switching over to a Keurig or any other fancy kind of coffee maker. I’m a little too old-fashioned for that.”

Christy rolled her eyes, wishing they did have a Keurig so that she didn’t have to clean out the giant, metal coffee maker every day. She hated that chore.

As usual, Paul tried to pay Diane, and Diane shooed him away. When the door closed behind him, Christy said, “You give half your inventory away to the local police and firefighters. Oh, and the Coast Guard, too.”

Diane lifted her shoulders and let them fall. “They deserve it. It’s the least I can do. Their jobs aren’t easy, especially this time of year and running through the fall. They make a lot of sacrifices in the line of duty.” She turned to Christy. “And we take care of our own around here. You remember that.”

Christy nodded. It was a nice sentiment, but she had to rely on herself. Nobody else was going to pay the bills or buy the groceries or make sure Molly was taken care of. Christy was on her own for all that.

Amy Schisler is a novelist, poet, children’s book author, spiritual writer, blogger, reader, and avid traveler with years of professional experience in all manner of writing-related endeavors. Whether she’s writing novels filled with faith and inspiration, books that children will love, or her weekly blog devoted to family life and faith, she loves connecting and resonating with her readers. Amy’s first novel, A Place to Call Home, a romantic suspense, debuted in 2014, and her much-loved Chincoteague Island Trilogy has won numerous literary awards. Amy lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband, Ken, their daughters, Katie and Morgan (and sometimes their daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Anthony), and their dogs, Rosie and Luna. When she’s not writing, Amy can usually be found on a boat in the Chesapeake Bay or hiking in the Rocky Mountains, most often with a good book in her hand.

Her latest book is Seeking Tranquility: Chincoteague Sunsets Trilogy Book 1.

You can visit her website at  and connect with her at TwitterFacebookGoodreads and Instagram


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