On an island off the Southern coast of Louisiana, Native Americans tell the story of how, in ancient times, their island caught fire. The people prayed, and just before the last village was burned, a wild-haired woman appeared in the clouds and wept over the island. Her tears extinguished the fires and spawned the legend that, should the island ever be troubled again, the woman would return with her magic tears to help those in need…
Two hundred years later the same island—Douces Larmes—is home to The House of Seasons, an elegant, boutique hotel built at the edge of a wildlife refuge in the bayous. One March day, the hotel proprietress, Becca Fletcher, walks away without a word of warning, leaving behind her business, her husband, Liam, and her inventive son, Garrett.
On the very same morning the pilot, who shuttles hotel guests, rescues a bewitching young woman from the NOLA docks and brings her to the island. Although she has no memory of her identity, this woman names herself Mardi Lagniappe and settles into a blank space that seems made for her to fill.
When seven-year-old Garrett meets Mardi and tells her how his mother is missing, she empathizes immediately. As she makes cookies to cheer him up, her compassionate tears fall into the dough. After sweets and sympathy, Garrett feels better, and he imagines that the wild-haired woman of legend has reappeared to help them all.
Although Mardi denies any such powers, the question grows larger with every passing day because, coincidence or not, each person she touches is left better for knowing her. Even stranger, Mardi prepares a signature dish for each person in need. Without fail, solutions occur even in the most unlikely cases.
A spectrum of personalities comprise the family, staff and guests of The House of Seasons. All intertwine human imperfections with the wildlife of the wetlands, Creole mystique, a triple murder unsolved, and the ascending question—who is this pervasive woman who emerges at the center of them all?
SAGE OF SEASONS is the first book in the SEASONINGS series. A distinctive addition to the novel are the recipes included—each created by Mardi for a character in the story, complete with herbal history and health benefits of the chosen ingredients.
A confection of culture, cuisine, passion and the spirit of giving, SAGE OF SEASONS is a tale as random and alluring as the black water bayous from which it came.
GOOD TO GO
From the moment his eyes open in the morning, Gideon Graham is a boy on the go. This morning, however, there’s a problem of majestic proportions. His super-charged blue boots have scuff marks! How can Gideon possibly save the world from evildoers in scruffy old boots? Momsy acknowledges the crisis, then leads her boy through a day of encounters that changes his view and his heart. Gideon Graham learns that being good is not as valuable as doing good and that good doing is possible with whatever you have.
GOOD TO GO is an upbeat and provoking picture book (ages 4 and up) in which a wise mom uses humor, compassion, and his beloved, scruffy boots to open her son’s eyes to the adventure of helping others. The resonance of this story makes it the perfect read-aloud adventure. GOOD TO GO will be released soon… join Toni’s mailing list for updates.