The Wishing Tide

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Release Date: September 2, 2014
Pages: 415



Five years ago, Lane Kramer moved to Starry Point, North Carolina, certain the quaint island village was the place to start anew. Now the owner of a charming seaside inn, she’s set aside her dreams of being a novelist and of finding love again. When English professor Michael Forrester appears on Lane’s doorstep in the middle of a storm, he claims he’s only seeking a quiet place to write his book. Yet he seems eerily familiar with the island, leaving Lane wondering if he is quite what he appears.

Meanwhile, Mary Quinn has become a common sight, appearing each morning on the dunes behind the inn, to stare wistfully out to sea. Lane is surprised to find a friendship developing with the older woman, who possesses a unique brand of wisdom, despite her tenuous grip on reality.

As Lane slowly unravels Mary’s story and a fragile relationship between Lane and Michael blooms, Lane realizes the three share a common bond. But when a decades-old secret suddenly casts its shadow over them, Lane must choose between protecting her heart and fighting for the life—and the love—she wants.


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“Phenomenal. Davis writes hauntingly beautiful prose. I was enraptured from the moment I began reading it. The Wishing Tide sucks the reader in, making them continuously wonder what she's going to tell them next. This is part ghost story, part love story, and part story of family and friendship.”
Book Junkie

“This beautifully written novel tells a tale of epic romance, one that lasts through the decades and centuries….It’s a beautiful story, and Davis does an amazing job telling it.”
—Romantic Times, 4 1/2 stars

The Wishing Tide is a cozy and comforting read, with outstanding characters, an intriguing storyline, and a magnificent setting. Beautifully detailed, this book wraps you up in a warm, homey cocoon. Don't miss it!”
—Elizabeth, Silver’s Reviews

“Set on a desolate, storm-tossed North Carolina barrier island, The Wising Tide is lush with family secrets and ghost stories. A story about fighting for the life you want and daring to believe that happily-ever-after can exist outside of fairytales. I can't recommend it enough.”
—Barbara Claypole-White, Bestselling author of The Promise Between Us

“There are twists and turns in this book that will keep you reading page after page. A satisfying ending and an excellent story.”
– Night Owl Reviews

“Davis has a talent for making a story sing with passion and unstoppable action. This one’s a must-read.”
- Dishmag


Chapter 1


Through my fault.

Through my fault.

Through my most grievous fault.

The sea, it seems, has become my priest, the punishing, faceless thing to which I confess my sins, silent witness to my self-inflicted wounds. We’re alike in many ways, a restless beating of water and salt, a shifting and seething of secrets, of treacheries. Reckless. Dangerous.

The tide, you see, is a fickle thing; stealing in, sliding away, always, always turning. She comes while you’re not looking, a silent, liquid thief, only to rush away again, retreating from the shore like a coward. She gives sometimes, too, though, in fleeting, unexpected moments, yielding up her treasures and her dead—but never ever her secrets.

And so, here I sit on the dunes in my carefully mismatched clothes, hour after hour, day after day, frozen in my looking back. Do not look behind you . . . lest you be swept away. That is what scripture says. Only there is nowhere for me to look but back. No future. No redemption. Like Lot’s wife, I am turned to salt, my tired eyes trained on the blue-gray horizon, where sea meets sky, where my yesterdays meet my tomorrows, a ragtag eccentric, watching and waiting for something that never comes.

Oh, I’m quite aware of how ridiculous I am. I’m called Dirty Mary by the locals, though Crazy Mary would be more appropriate. I’m not dirty, but I am crazy. I have the pills and the scars to prove it. I don’t mind the name. It keeps people at a distance, which is exactly how I like them—the more distant, the better. I have no wish to share myself with anyone, you see, to unwrap either the then or the now, the before or the after. I move alone through the world. It’s better that way—safer.

There are more like me—many, in fact—who hide behind masks and write their own fairy tales. Bright or dark, it makes no difference. We would not have our true selves stripped bare, would not have cold eyes peering between our emotional blinds. Our sins and follies are ours alone, to mourn or rewrite as we choose.

I have chosen the latter.

I pay no attention to the buffeting wind, or to the sand gusting up from the dunes. Mother Nature, it seems, is bent on pitching a bit of a blow. Penny. They’re calling her Penny. High time too, I’d say, for that good lady to show what she’s made of. We should all do that now and again, unleash a bit of ourselves—a flash of lightning, a growl of thunder—just to prove to the world and the White Coats that we haven’t been beaten, that beneath our cool, glassy surfaces we are still forces to be reckoned with.

I know about reckoning. I have lived through the reckoning.

I think of that time now, that other time, that other storm, and the day my life took its final, irrevocable turn toward disaster. I let my eyes wander briefly down the narrow strip of beach, down to Starry Point Light, hazy and chalk white in the windy distance, startled, as I always am, by how little things have changed since that awful day. And I wonder, how this can be—after all that has happened, after all I have lost. It matters little now, I suppose. And so I say let the storm come, with its wind and whipping sea. Let it take what it will. For me, the sea has already done her worst.