Daffodils and Fireflies by Claudia J. Taller
BETSY’S FORGOTTEN HER WAY HOME. When her mother is dying, Betsy Kramer makes the uncharacteristic decision to return to her home at Windy Hill to work on her tattered relationships and spend time gathering driftwood with her mother Margaret. Before she dies, Margaret admits to Betsy that she knows about the treehouse, but she doesn’t reveal anything about who Betsy’s father is. At her mother’s funeral, Tom, the only man Betsy ever loved, returns and reminds her that daffodils were once her favorite flower, but she avoids him. Lingering at Windy Hill, Betsy finds letters from her estranged father hidden in a hatbox and realizes the enormity of the lie perpetrated by her mother. Her mother could have saved her from sexual harassment, from being fatherless, and from making the worst choice of her life, if she’d not kept secrets. As Betsy and Tom start spending time together, picking peaches and antiquing, Betsy faces her biggest demon, and even the fireflies hovering over the Magical Pond can’t help her. With vivid imagery and deep feeling, Daffodils and Fireflies chronicles one woman’s journey home again. “‘Daffodils and Fireflies’ is written with style, power and grace…An emotional voyage that hurts and enlightens.”-Les Roberts, author of the “Milan Jacovich Mysteries.” “…a thoughtful and moving novel…vivid detail and emotional depth…”-Trudy Brandenburg, author of the “Emma Haines Kayak Mystery Series.” “Claudia is a superb writer with an authentic voice…”-Betsy Muller, Artist’s Way study group leader, author of “Energy Makeover.” “Compelling characters drive this well-written novel. Clever. Vivid. Claudia pulls you right into the story.” -Christine Benedict, author of the mystery thriller “Anonymous.” “…tragedies as well as the triumphs. You’ll be moved by this touching book of women’s fiction.”-Deanna Adams, author of “Peggy Sue Got Pregnant.”
“A well written-tale of forgiveness, love and healing”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Betsy Bartter Muller
I loved Daffodils and Fireflies for many reasons. First, the characters are interesting, complex and smart. As you get to know them all, in spite of their secrets and flaws, you find yourself wanting them to find peace and happiness. I especially liked the main character, Betsy, who shares my name and also so many of my interests, including nature, travel, long walks and being by the water. She’s a mature and complicated woman who is haunted by a decision of the past, mourning the loss of her mother and in search of a lost father as well as fulfillment beyond her work. Even if you don’t relate to all that Betsy is, you will find a piece of her in you. As the plot unfolds, the book steers clear of cliches and ends with a peaceful pause rather than “happily ever after.” giving a nod to how complicated relationships and family matters can be. Readers should also know that the city of Cleveland and the beautiful span of Lake Erie to both east and west play a big part in the unfolding story. Claudia Taller’s first novel is a the kind of book you can escape with on the beach or by the lake for a well-written tale of forgiveness, love and healing.
About the Author
Claudia Taller is a lifelong writer and received her BA from Kent State University where she received a BA in English and Writing and was editor of The New Kent Quarterly. Editing skills honed at the Kent State University Press landed her work in the legal world, and her first published magazine articles were with legal publications. Since then she has written lifestyle and travel articles for a number of magazines and news sources, including Yahoo!, Cool Cleveland, Northern Ohio Live, and WineBuzz, always encouraging readers to seek out rich experiences. Her first book, “Ohio’s Lake Erie Wineries,” released in 2011, was inspired by the passion of local winemakers and vintners and Ohio’s rich winemaking history. Her book “30 Perfect Days, Finding Abundance in Ordinary Life” is a reflective memoir in which she shares how to live well in an imperfect world. A second wineries book and a novel are scheduled for publication in 2015. During the last seven years, Claudia has hosted fourteen Word Lovers weekends during which she brings writers together for fellowship and encouragement. She created and facilitated writing workshops for the Cuyahoga County Library System, Lakeside’s Chautauqua, the Western Reserve Writer’s Conference, Skyline Writers, and the Society of Professional Journalists, Cleveland Chapter.