novel, publishing, writing

Sidetrack Key – Book 2 in the No Name Key series

After eight years, I finally finished the sequel to No Name Key and I hope it was worth the wait! Here’s my description:

A twisty, complex tale of one woman’s fight for survival on the Florida Keys.

After disposing of her vicious husband in the Great Depression, Elle Woodman returns to No Name Key, a crumbling house, and a woman who knows exactly what she did.

The 1935 Labor Day hurricane ushered Elle into a new life on No Name Key, safely washing Billy’s remains out to sea where he can never hurt her again. But Blanche loved Billy and suspects Elle of murdering him. And Blanche owns the lodge where Elle works.

Blanche teams up with Nathan Foreman, a powerful man who controls the WW1 veterans building the Overseas Highway. Now Elle has two powerful enemies: one with the power to take her freedom and the other with the power to take her life.

So when a desperate woman asks for help, will she agree or does she have more in common with her enemies than she would like to believe.

Here’s the cover – designed by Sean MacGuire who combined my paintings to come up with something I would never have imagined!

After painting multiple versions of Elle, my protagonist, this face kept emerging. So here she is: Elle in 1936 in the yellow blouse she wore at the scene of the crime in No Name Key. It’s okay, she washed it. Elle is practical.

Much of the story takes place on Big Pine Key at the Sidetrack Diner.

Two gas tanks in 1936 in the Florida Keys

The journey to completion was almost as twisty as the tale in Sidetrack Key but nowhere near as exciting. I was terrified of the second novel curse, something I might have imagined, but it haunted me throughout the writing of this novel. But sometimes Sidetrack Key was pure joy to write and had me chuckling and shaking my head alongside the characters within these pages. And those times sustained me through many edits and more doubt.

Sidetrack Key has multiple settings, as Elle searches for a home base in her beloved Florida Keys. The 1930s was an era of tremendous expansion and ushered in tourism in the Keys brought about by the controversial visionary, Julius Stone, whose legacy is as sketchy as the terrain the Sidetrack Diner sits upon.

Release date is the end of December.

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10 thoughts on “Sidetrack Key – Book 2 in the No Name Key series”

  1. Connie Turgeon says:

    Can’t wait for book 2 !! I am sure it is wonderful, anticipating Elle’s continuing saga.

    1. jessica says:

      Thanks, Connie. It was a long time coming!

  2. Deedee Cuddihy says:

    If it’s anything like as good as No Name Key, it’s going to be brilliant!!!!!

    1. jessica says:

      Dying to find out what you think of it!

  3. Kathy Peel says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this! So excited.

    1. jessica says:

      Thank you Kathy!

  4. Andrea Haley says:

    I’m excited about this–winning the book on my birthday(the 29th!) would be AWESOME!

    1. jessica says:

      Good luck Andrea!

  5. Peg Gregory says:

    You know I’ve waited for this book since the exciting first one about that part of the Keys I love and where I was privileged to live with John and Lenore Lohr for the first six months of my retirement, while finishing my debut novel. I can’t wait for the next one to be available the end of the month! It sounds fantastic! Hoping Elle comes out without a scratch, Jessica!

  6. Jennifer Juniper says:

    Every noble work is at first impossible. ~Thomas Carlyle
    Good on ya! Can’t wait to read it.

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