Monday, November 4, 2013

Book Cover & Blurb: The Grace of Crows

sayles shawn
October release of a contemporary fiction novel deals with anxiety coping issues
The Grace of Crows (Cherokee McGhee, October, 2013) is set in the fictional California towns of Breakers Point (an oceanfront community at the northern end of Malibu) and Dune Beach (which is
inspired by several seaside towns along the Central Coast of California). Author Tracy Shawn, a life-long Californian, takes the reader on an outer journey along these beach towns in which her
protagonist's inner journey from fear to happiness unfolds.
The Grace of Crows is the story of Saylor Crawmore, a woman tormented by anxiety. Saylor tries every cure from self-help books and therapy to medication. Nothing has worked. Desperate for an answer, she must also navigate the ongoing rip current between the troubled generations of her family. Her aging mother’s narcissism, her teenage children’s compulsions, and even her husband’s need to pretend everything is okay compound her debilitating fears.

Saylor discovers her childhood friend Billy, homeless and ignored since his teens, and her world begins to shift. This encounter sparks Saylor’s journey to gain insight into her strange fears and forge the power to overcome them. Armed with her new awareness, Saylor summons the courage to help her family.
"When I read the manuscript," says publisher Greg Lilly of Cherokee McGhee, "I could feel the tension and dread Saylor experienced when confronted with the harsh scrutiny of other people. Most of us can let it go, but Saylor seems smothered by the judgment. Readers will connect with Saylor, especially those who are contending with anxiety, or know someone who is, and will find strength as well as empathy in the story," Lilly said.
The book explores how one person’s unsettling fears affect not only her own life, but the lives of those around her. When Saylor reconnects with her long-lost childhood friend, she’s able to see herself through his resigned eyes.
Author Tracy Shawn explains the draw of the subject matter. "At the height of my own long-term battle with anxiety, I couldn’t stop thinking about a long-lost friend from childhood. Then one day I found myself crying, thinking back about how vulnerable this boy had been beneath his surfer-tough bravado. I called a friend who still lived in our hometown; she told me that she had just seen him the previous week and to her astonishment that ‘quiet surfer boy had turned into a deranged homeless man.’ She never saw nor heard about him again—and neither did any-one else I knew. But he stayed with me. For so long, the anxiety had caused me to feel like an outsider to my own life and happiness—and now I knew that my old friend was not only an out-sider to his own sanity, but also to the whole of society. So when I set out to write this novel, there was no question that I had to include a fictitious characterization of him in Saylor’s journey. For what are stories if they do not make real life more meaningful?"
About the book:
The Grace of Crows
By Tracy Shawn
Pub Date: October, 2013
Price: $14.95 softcover
ISBN 978-1-937556-04-4
Published by Cherokee McGhee,
Williamsburg, Virginia
About the author:
Tracy Shawn lives and writes in Santa Barbara. She's worn many work hats (including waitress, floral designer, receptionist, vocational rehabilitation counselor, and core counselor at a psychiatric center for schizophrenic adults). Her educational background includes a master's degree in clinical psychology. Tracy enjoys incorporating her educational background and eclectic work history to heighten character development in her short stories and novels. Her writing has appeared in literary journals as well as print and online newspapers and magazines.
For more information, visit her website:

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