By Heather Bennett
Author Deborah Rine is finding success with her 5th book, The Girl on 30A, a mystery set along the white sand beaches of The Emerald Coast. The book was released in November 2017, and has become a local favorite.
The book follows Claire, who, despite having a loving supportive family, a steady relationship and successful career, wants to escape the feeling of pressure from her controlling fiancé and demanding boss. She leaves everything in Atlanta behind on Christmas Day to start her new life in Lemon Cove, along 30A. Everything falls into place for her – new job, new friends, new love interest – but she soon starts to question and suspect everyone around her, as a mystery begins to unfold and her life starts to unravel.
As you read, you will notice some local hot spots mentioned in the story. Rine and her husband spent a month’s vacation here last year enjoying some of the perks 30A has to offer. She went to Zen Meditation at Monet Monet, took a yoga class at Watercolor, went to a book club meeting at Sundog, and attended a Bible study at Rosemary Beach. “I wouldn’t say I was researching, but I was having all these experiences and I rolled them into the book,” says Rine, who contacted the businesses mentioned for permission. “They were all thrilled.” It’s free advertising for them, but also a way to pay homage to the beautiful place we call home, and the wonderful people here.
Rine began creative writing in response to stress in her personal life. She took an online class and realized the positive affect it had on her. “I found that when I was writing this one short story, I completely forgot about my life,” Rine said. “They always say to write a journal, but I think escapism is great.”
She has had several pieces published in the Chicago Tribune. Rine’s other books include A Banner Bluff Mystery trilogy, and Raw Guilt, which was set in Key West after her visit there. Rine has traveled all over. In high school she studied in France and Sweden before returning to the states to study at Northwestern. She then lived across Europe for 12 years in Milan, Verona, Brussels, and just outside Paris. She has a blog dedicated to her time in Europe. She is a retired French teacher and now lives in Illinois with her husband.
The Girl on 30A is a fun read. It kept me guessing, and eager to turn the pages to find out what was going to happen next. I also enjoyed reading about some of my favorite restaurants that popped up in the story. Rine captures the landscape and spirit of South Walton very well. If you love 30A and enjoy a mystery, pick up a copy of The Girl on 30A at Sundog Books in Seaside or at The Hidden Lantern in Rosemary Beach. It is also available for Kindle Edition through Amazon.