Wednesday, September 9, 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Best Part of Us by Sally Cole-Misch

Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for The Best Part Of Us by writer and environmental communicator Sally Cole-Misch. Today, on our tour stop, we have an exclusive excerpt AND an author-hosted tour giveaway to share! So... Be sure to check it out and grab your copy now! Follow the tour, HERE!

Cultural Heritage/Native American Fiction
Coming of Age Fiction
Publish Date:
September 8, 2020

Beth cherished her childhood summers on a pristine northern Canadian lake, where she reveled in the sweet smell of dew on early morning hikes, the loons’ evening trills across the lake’s many bays, every brush stroke of her brother’s paintings celebrating their cherished place, and their grandfather’s laughter as he welcomed neighbors to their annual Welsh harvest celebration. Theirs was an unshakeable bond with nature, family, and friends, renewed every summer on their island of granite and pines.

But that bond was threatened and then torn apart, first as rights to their island were questioned and then by nature itself, and the family was forced to leave. Fourteen years later, Beth has created a new life in urban Chicago. There, she’s erected a solid barrier between the past and present, no matter how much it costs—until her grandfather asks her to return to the island to determine its fate. Will she choose to preserve who she has become, or risk everything to discover if what was lost still remains?

The Best Part of Us will immerse readers in a breathtaking natural world, a fresh perspective on loyalty, and an exquisite ode to the essential roles that family, nature, and place hold in all of our lives.  


[Beth’s] heartbeat quickens as the trail’s angle turns steep. She reaches for the smooth silver beech and the white birches’ curled bark to pull her along, and stops to hug the wide trunk of the rare chestnut tree still holding court in the middle of the path. “Hello old friend,” she whispers, grateful for the break to catch her breath, inhale the aroma of pine, fir, and cedar into her heart, and hear the chatter and caw of grey jays and gulls floating across the morning sky. 
Beth jogs as the trail levels out and the last turn beckons, when the darkness and quiet of trees and trail give way and the world opens up before her once again. Her chest pounds with longing and fear. As she passes the last pine, the rush of light, color, and open air blind her senses, paralyze her legs. She has forgotten the intensity of the view from the top of Llyndee’s Peak – the expansive sky in every shade of blue pressing against the horizon to meet the lake’s even deeper hues, with a million sparklers popping across the water from the morning sun. The same fingerlike peninsulas in greens and browns reach into the lake in uneven patterns on either side, the crescent bays in between. She extends her arms as if to meet the peninsulas’ grasp.  
The air is warm compared with the woods’ chill, the sky bright but sheltering. She walks slowly, taking in every familiar shrub and rock. Here is where her father’s arms cradled her against his chest, in response to her five-year-old cries of fear and wonder as he inched his way to the cliff’s edge. Her first experience with shivering terror from a race with Dylan when she was ten and he thirteen, as they’d both reached the cliff’s top too fast and only his stronger legs had stopped them both from hurdling over. The lazy haze in her early teens when the afternoon sun baked her and Maegan as they laid on a warm rock, eating blueberries they’d picked on their way up that were supposed to go back to their grandmother to make a pie. And her potent envy as she sat by herself that last summer, legs dangling over the edge, watching young eaglets practice their swoops down and multiple attempts back up the six-hundred-foot cliff to the huge nest balanced at the base of a lone pine protruding oddly out of the rock wall, where their mother had closely observed them and her.  
The waves’ metronomic rhythm against the cascade of fallen rocks far below at the cliff’s floor had once alternately wooed or dared her to jump. She takes the last steps toward the edge, so much more ominous now that she has her own family and life seems even more precious and precarious. So this is what her mother felt all those years. 

Copyright © 2020 by Sally Cole-Misch


Sally Cole-Misch’s novel is a lush and lovely homage to the natural places where her protagonist grew up. . . . The plot spanning past and present kept me enthralled and engaged throughout my reading of this exceptionally good book. The Best Part of Us is most highly recommended.” —Readers’ Favorite

“This is not just storytelling, it’s a lived experience. Sally’s description of the cold, crystal waters and magnificent landscape of the North Country is so vivid I feel as though I paid it a visit. The story’s depth and vivid characterization are unforgettable. At a time when we seem to have lost our way in navigating the human relationship with place, Sally has provided a true compass to help us find home. ” —Dave Dempsey, 2009 Michigan Author of the Year, author of ten books and renowned Great Lakes environmental policy expert

“With exquisite descriptions of Canadian lake and forest country and the Ojibway life rooted there, Cole-Misch expertly weaves the elements of those differing cultures, fraught but tightly bound family relationships, young love, old love, and the wonder of coming of age—at every age—into a luminous novel. The Best Part of Us is a beautiful story that will keep you up reading, and then keep you company for a long time afterward.” —Barbara Stark-Nemon, award-winning author of Even in Darkness and Hard Cider

“A story so evocative you can smell the lake and hear the loons. . . . The Best Part of Us draws in lyrical strokes the many shades of grief and the healing magic of place.” —Jenni Ogden, bestselling author of A Drop in the Ocean

“Place plays a key role in this novel, with an island in northern Ontario lovingly observed through the eyes of our protagonist, Beth. Troubles come in the form of her family’s attachment to the land and issues around who rightfully owns it—their Welsh ancestors or the Native peoples of earlier times—and the book raises and explores these important, contemporary questions with care and sensitivity. Their resolution is complicated—at once hopeful and messy, like all imperfect decisions. The Best Part of Us is a lovely, engrossing book about place, family, history, and cultural sensitivity.” —Angela Pneuman, award-winning author of Home Remedies and Lay It on My Heart


**About the Author**
Photo Credit: Susan Adams Photography
Sally Cole-Misch is a writer and environmental communicator who advocates for the natural world through work and play. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, a master’s degree in environmental education and international water policy from the University of Michigan, and a certificate in fiction writing from Stanford University. Throughout her career, she’s focused on communicating our essential connection with nature—particularly the Great Lakes—and the role each of us can play to restore, protect, and enjoy all that nature gives to us. Sally lives in Michigan with her husband and son and enjoys hiking, kayaking, sailing, skiing, and gardening.

Stay connected with Sally Cole-Misch


***The Giveaway***

Giveaway is Open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter
- ends September 28, 2020
Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box

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