A compliment, especially one tied to our writing, feels a lot like the gift of a beautiful flower, doesn't it? Well, when Heavy Weather, another of my Beaufort stories, won the 2011 Marlene Award for women's fiction from the Washington, DC, RWA, the prize was a critique from author Gemma Halliday. Such a gift:
Really nice read! You are awesometastic at creating a really beautiful, vivid description. Gorgeous language without feeling forced, which is really hard to do. Your characters felt very fleshed out and real, and I felt right along with them. Seriously impressive.
~Gemma Halliday New York Times bestselling mystery author
Reading Normandie's work is like taking a highly enjoyable, lyrical
fictional trip. Her characters are filled with quirks and heart and
their stories will appeal and inspire. This talented author is going
to go far!
~Amy Alessio, author, presenter on Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts
Normandie Fischer anchors her readers so she can set them on a course full of twists, turns, and unforgettable characters. She digs into the human condition and pulls life's richest moments out, allowing the reader a chance to sail away and dream the impossible.
~Linda Glaz, literary agent
It’s a rare book that draws you in from the first page, wraps its cover around you, and warmly envelops you in its unfolding tale. This book did that for me...
~ Lita Smith-Mines, editor, Boating Times of Long Island
I did something I rarely do in a book. I savored Beclamed, by Normandie Fischer. I have dozens of books in my to-be-read pile, and I usually speed read. But when I come across one that's so good, the characters so beautifully drawn, I discipline myself to stop after about 6 chapters a night; I don't want to reach the end. What I found so interesting about Becalmed is that I wasn't sure how she was going to get Will to come around. Becalmed is truly masterfully written. Novel Rocket and I give it a very high recommendation. It's a must read and going on my Top Ten for 2013 list.
~ Ane Mulligan, President, Novel Rocket. Reviewed in Southern Fried Fiction
With a voice that sings and characters that sail right into your heart, Fischer has crafted a story that will keep the pages turning, the heart twisting, and stick with you long after The End.
~ Roseanna M. White, author of Ring of Secrets and Jewel of Persia
Normandie Fischer's spirited tale enchants in the tradition of Maeve Binchy and Anne Rivers Siddons. Her Southern charm pours over the page like warm honey on a sweet bun. Each delicious morsel leaves you longing for more.
~ D. D. Falvo, author
Normandie Fischer brings the Carolina coast alive as her characters walk off the page to become your friends and enemies. She weaves her incredible sailing experience and love of the sea through a story that captures
the reader’s heart and holds it to the end.
~ David E Stevens, author, The Resurrect Trilogy
The author manages to pull you into the life of Tadie from the very first line, and continues to hold you captive with every line thereafter. Weaving a story that is both enchanting and real to life, this is a novel that will resonate with anyone who has known heartache and loss and the sweeping joy of loves sweet arrival.
~ Susannah Friis, freelance writer and speaker
"Write about what you know" is what any good writer does. Normandie Fischer just does it better than most. On inland waterways and the open ocean, Normandie's characters chart a course for home through trials and temptations for a chance at love and redemption.
Becalmed is the story of one woman's journey to care for herself while caring for others, to be true to herself and true to another when what she hopes for will take a miracle or at least an act of God.
~ Jane Shealy, editor, Empress of All She Surveys and Maggie's Mom
Tadie became the maiden aunt in her little town of Beaufort, NC, when she wasn't paying attention. But when the handsome Will and his adorable daughter, Jilly, sail into dock, she perks up. Unfortunately, Will is not willing to be pulled into a relationship with anyone.
Fischer spins a wonderful tale with equal doses of humor and southern charm. Her writing voice is fresh and so unique, you can hear the accents in her word choices. Her characters feel real enough to be good friends or, in the case of the ex-beau, Alex, longtime enemies. When you're finished, you'll be looking forward to your next trip to Beaufort.
Now, I read a lot of Christian fiction, and if you're looking for a typical Christian read, this isn't it. No preaching, no redemption story. But what this book offers is a clean, honest, sometimes humorous look at what it would be like to be a middle-aged virgin in modern America.
~ Robin Patchen, editor and author of One Christmas Eve and Faith House
Fischer has delivered a marvelous romance set in the sailing world of coastal North Carolina that intelligently includes the sometimes challenging reality of that life. In a delightful twist, the daughter of a widowed cruiser falls in love with a recreational sailor/professional jewelry designer before her father does, and tries to bring them together. But the adults in the novel just won't cooperate. Storms, damaged boats, a delightful seven year old, unwanted advances from an old flame, and two people searching for truth in their own lives, all work together to make Becalmed a wonderful read. Well done!
~ Patti Phillips, author of the crime fiction blog, Kerrian's Notebook
Smart and sassy with a Southern twang, sailing with authentic lingo and imagery. Normandie Fischer delivers a spunky but lonely heroine who feels like she's running out of time in the love department. Intriguing characters and a timeless story of need and desire, Becalmed takes readers out on the rough seas of relationship and delivers them to a satisfying conclusion on stable shores.
~ Nicole Petrino-Salter, author of The Famous One and Breath of Life
Sailing out of Darkness
Normandie Fischer's latest, Sailing Out of Darkness, includes some of my favorite things: sailing, travel, mystery, and even a bit of fantasy thrown in. Fischer's latest novel seamlessly melds multiple genres--romance, Christian fiction, women's lit, and literary--without settling entirely within any one. Don't think that's a criticism. For me, I found the balance just right: the romance never gets sappy, the thread of faith/Christian fiction runs through subtly, never pounding the reader over the head with it as so much of that genre does, the mystery and conflict over Samantha's past coming back to haunt her kept me on edge without becoming melodramatic, and her literal and figurative voyage of self-discovery moves at an engaging pace that never falls over the line from relatable introspection to banal self-absorption. Sam, Teo, and all of the characters' personalities come through clearly and their interactions and dialogue flow smoothly. Fischer is a master at transporting the reader into the scene. The beauty and foreignness of exploring new places is captured pitch perfect in Sam's ponderings as she makes her way through Italy. I could picture the Italian countryside, feel the rhythm of the boat on the Mediterranean Sea, and my heart ached and pulse raced when Sam confronted...well, read it to see what and how she overcomes the ordeals she faces.
~Lynne Hinkey, marine scientist and author
Sailing out of Darkness gave me what I like most, a book that is written in a literary style, with a unique setting (Italy) and intriguing and unique characters you want to know more about after the book ends. Normandie Fischer wove her love of sailing with her knowledge of living in Italy to create a book I could not put down. I found myself savoring her use of words while being held by the plot. I could actually taste the food!
~Regina Smeltzer, author of Deadly Decision
A painful opening to this novel delivers a gut-wrenching punch - but not enough to keep one from moving on. With distinctly designed prose that continually draws the reader forward and deeper into the hurt, Normandie Fischer takes the reader on a tumultuous voyage to redemption.
~Nicole Petrino-Salter, author
If running away actually solved anything, I'd go to Italy, too. Samantha tries it and finds her troubles weigh just as heavily on her mind beside the cobalt waters of the Mediterranean as they did along the Atlantic coast. However, when she meets Teo, she begins to find some healing. Unfortunately, more consequences of her bad decisions are on the way.
I love the way Fischer deals with her heroine's poor decisions and the results of it. The fact that much of this book takes place in a small town in Italy--that makes it that much more fun to read! In Fischer's unique style, she takes her heroine--and her readers--to a quaint Italian town with writing so real, you'll smell the flowers and hear the surf.
If you're looking for a traditional Christian novel, this isn't it. Fischer doesn't preach in her work. But you will see her faith shine through in her characters in a real and beautiful way.
~ Robin Patchen, editor and author of One Christmas Eve
Five Stars is not a high enough rating for this marvelous book – quality writing of this caliber calls for at least a double rating of 10. It was breathtaking. I adored every sentence of this meticulously crafted story, and there was not a wasted word on the 403 superbly written pages. The narrative was so descriptive and enthralling, I could hear the dog’s bark, see and feel the lightning in the sky, and smell the water in the bay. Ms. Fischer’s characters are appealing, knowable, clever, enticing, and expertly developed and detailed. The story was deeply moving if not intoxicating, with numerous tragedies and losses that fathomed my emotions in a manner that had me in tears several times – a remarkable achievement given my rather cold heart....
~Honolulubelle on Amazon
Normandie Fischer's Heavy Weather is Southern fiction so vivid the humidity dampens your skin and the characters breathe into life amidst its pages.The writing is lyrical and lovely, touching on human emotion and hurt and, at times, the dark places we don't want to acknowledge....
~Candidkerry on Amazon
For More Reviews of other works and of these three, head over to the Media Page!
This novel has it all: suspense, romance, small southern town charm, and a very real depiction of the dark side of family life. Normandie Fischer is a wonderful voice in southern women’s fiction. Having read her debut, BECALMED, I knew this. What I didn’t expect was the raw and honest portrayal of domestic violence that sucked me into the story. Normandie didn’t sugarcoat the abuse, but she gave us such hope in what could have been a hopeless situation. Her portrayal of the abuser, Roy, was utterly compelling. When I discovered he loved to feed birds, I actually began hoping he could be redeemed. If you want to get lost in a page-turner with characters you’ll love (and hate!) this is the book for you. I became so invested in the wellbeing of Annie Mac and her children that I found myself carrying the book around and reading in stolen moments, often with my heart racing. I think this would be a great choice for a book club. There’s much to discuss.
~Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author
"In Heavy Weather, Normandie Fisher has created a coastal Carolina setting so palpable you can almost smell the plough mud, as well as a cast of characters so touchingly authentic you'll want to invite them over for a barbecue. Fisher takes the reader on an emotional journey that is both heartfelt and richly written as her characters stumble, sometimes grudgingly, toward healing and forgiveness. A deep and lovely story about the unshakable bonds of friendship and the healing power of love."
~Barbara Davis, acclaimed author of Summer at Hideaway Key and other books
"Heavy Weather is like a tall glass of sweet tea: utterly refreshing, quintessentially Southern, and perfect for the beach. Normandie Fischer tells this story of loss and acceptance, shame and forgiveness, with skill, warmth and compassion, and makes you wish every troubled soul had the folks in Beaufort to lift them up."
~ Sonja Yoerg, author of House Broken