“The Hunting,” is my debut novel and released on Amazon.com, and Pen-L Publishing.com in December, 2013.
Addictive! From the time you meet “The Hunting’s” protagonist, Isabelle, “Izzy” Lewis until the book’s end, you are pulled into her challenges – from her online dating addiction to dealing with her creepy new boss while raising three kids as a single mom. You will find yourself pulling for Izzy and loving her!
Michele Wojciechowski – Award-winning writer and columnist (Wojo’s World), stand-up comedienne, author of “Next Time I move, They’ll Take Me Out in a Box,” and freelance contributor to Parade.com.
Izzy Lewis has problems. Some of them stem from being a single parent of three teens who are perfecting the self-conscious surly glare of the modern post-adolescent. Her high-pressure job selling retail advertising for a mid-size newspaper carries its own share of office drama, leering clients, and randy supervisors. After a pair of failed marriages, she is anxious to find a reliable mate, and her brief flings on internet dating sites provide her with just the bit of uplift and pizzazz that her burdened life truly craves.
“The men online that nurture me, accept me, want me. Never criticize or judge. Tell me I am pretty, desirable. Buy me dinner. Take me dancing. Some of them even tell me they love me. How could something that feels so good be wrong? Is it?”
Izzy’s life is the image of the duck, tranquil and well preened on the surface, kicking like mad under the water just to stay afloat. Into the mix, ladle liberal doses of creepy male pursuit, including one leering supervisor and one stalking online date gone-terribly-wrong. Like so many moderns, she is living a life built on what seems a simple dream: find a compatible mate. And, like so many, the pursuit of that dream ultimately leads to a stark realization: the answer to loneliness is to learn to be alone.
For Izzy, the journey leads inward, as she slowly notices the signs all around her of a quiet and loving power, consistent and unshakeable. Over time, Izzy realizes her madcap, frenetic life is as much about running away as running to something. When one of her children nearly dies, and another runs afoul of an online predator, she finally can’t run any longer.
Ms. Peresta has a witty and engaging style that screams along in first person, present tense, ala Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. It’s a bold, brassy style loaded with clever similes such as “My thoughts are frantic, like butterflies trapped in a jar,” and “”Mornin’ Izzy!” Birdie sings, his smile blazing like blanched bones at high noon.”
It is a story of loss, despair, the dark place, false trails, and ultimately redemption. A worthy read, fast-paced and uplifting. Congratulations on a superlative freshman novel!
Jack B. Downs – Professor at University of Maryland, Founder of Eldersburg Short Story and Critique Group, President of Maryland Writers Association of Carroll County, Author of “Buried Treasure,” “The Eden Mist,” and multiple short stories.