Gifts by the Shore (Part 2) by Marilyn Brant — 30 Comments

  1. This is so good! I like Vivian, I think she’s one of those friends who will tell you what you need to hear, instead of what you *want* to hear, probably at the moment when you least want to hear it. lol

    I’m guessing that Gil has a connection to that shop & that’s how he knows he’ll see her again eventually?

    I haven’t been to the beach in forever and this makes me want to go. I remember thinking the water at Grand Cayman looked fake, it was so gorgeous. Never seen anything like it.

    • Monica,
      Thank you! So glad you’re liking it!!
      I’ve never been to the Grand Cayman, but I’ve seen pictures and the waters there look unreal…
      And yes!! You’ve guessed correctly…he does have a connection to that shop! Sneaky guy, LOL. 😀

  2. What beautiful, evocative imagery, Marilyn. I have been to the Keys and know what you are writing about, but I felt as if I was there again. Walking on the beach, seeing the colors, feeling the sand, smelling the air,,,,oh, my. Absolutely amazing! Your description of the shell made me think of an ice cream sundae. Vivian…I like her….grandmotherly. She seems like someone Marianna needs. And Gil, well, good meeting…not too much or too little….just right. Looking forward to the next chapter….Thank you so much for sharing your WIP. A wonderful start to my day.

    • Deborah,
      Yay!! So glad the story is bringing back lovely memories of that Florida coast for you! I fell in love with it when I first saw it and those sites just seeped into my soul… xo
      And LOL about the “ice cream” imagery for that shell! I think I see ice cream everywhere!!
      Thanks for your sweet comments and for taking the time to stop by today 🙂 .

  3. Good morning Marilyn, I not much found of water, because I couldn’t swam, I used to know how to swam, when I was a little girl, now because I don’t have time to go to beach or swam, so I don’t know how, but I like story about beach and the picture too, they are very pretty and look like fun, also the picture of shell, especially the big golden color hold shell, and the funny cartoon drawing like Dr. suess cartoon, thank you for the exciting and interests story, have fun.

    • Linda,
      Many thanks to YOU for taking the time to read the story and stop by! I’m delighted you’re enjoying it 🙂 .
      Those Dr. Seuss characters (Thing 1 and Thing 2) have always been a couple of my favorites — I loved reading about them in The Cat in the Hat, LOL, and there are a few neighbor boys who remind me of them now!

  4. Another enticing excerpt, Marilyn!

    I adored your description of the shell (you do like ice cream comparisons, I think!) and all the lovely descriptions of what Marianna could see, smell, hear… beautiful.

    I enjoyed meeting Vivian, and you gave her a great, distinctive character – I even had a tear in my eye when they said goodbye!

    I will admit at this point I’m a little wary of the Elvis look-a-like! I am not a fan of impossibly good looking men (and never was an Elvis fan), but the whole scene, with Thing 1 and Thing 2, was hilarious and fast paced and just a perfect way to have them meet!

    Looking forward to the next one!

    • LOL, Cassandra 🙂 .
      Yes…my life-long love of ice cream is something I can’t hide!!
      Thanks so much for all of your comments!
      As for Gil, I totally understand that an Elvis look isn’t for everyone, but I was watching a few of his beach movies some years back, marveling at how young, strong, attractive and charismatic he was at that age. I only remember him during the last years of his life…and couldn’t really understand why my mom was so upset the day he died. (I was in elementary school then and wasn’t much of a fan at the time.) So, my appreciation for his charms definitely came later!

  5. You really do have a way with your descriptions and love those photos/pictures! But I agree with Cassandra – I, too, was never an Elvis fan. I found him to be too narcissistic! But Vivian sounds lovely – and the miles she walks – Good for her. I need a walking partner like her to motivate me. Marianna has a melancholy outlook at present. Hope she finds something to cheer her up soon. Thanks for this chapter. Looking forward to the next one.

    • Sheila,
      Thank you for your thoughts on the story, and especially your reflections on Marianna. You’re right! She does need something to cheer her up…and, fortunately, she’ll find it 😉 .
      As for an adoration of Elvis — as I was just saying in my reply to Cassandra — my appreciation for him hit me much later in life. It was finally seeing him at the start of his movie career that caught my attention, even though the films themselves were really just vehicles for him to showcase his crooning and for all of the actors/actresses to run around on the beach in skimpy clothing, LOL. His character in “Clambake” is my clear favorite — he sings, he teaches, he races boats, he does chemistry — that never fails to make me smile 😀 .

      • I had graduated from college and was employed in my first job when he died so I am dating myself. My father would not allow us to listen to him. He loved country music and we could listen to that. But Elvis gyrating his hips was a “NO-NO” to certain groups. LOL

  6. Oh, there is nothing like bumping head on into the heart throb of your youth, when you are the frumpy 40 something. I should know, I did it. But he was the one with the triplets in tow. You could not have described the scene more accurately. And, yes, just reading the passage, I relived it all over again — pounding heart and all.
    I love Vivian.already. She is going to be the fresh air of the story. BTW…She just had to have been a cheer leader in high school….She shouts of it already. Lol

    • Ahhhh, Karen! Lucky you to have gotten to bump into your youthful heartthrob, even with triplets in the picture! I’m not actually sure what I’d do if I ran into mine, even now… I’m sure I’d stare. Possibly, I’d babble. Although, I may be rendered completely stunned and unable to utter a sound, LOL.
      Thanks for your thoughts on Vivian, btw! I’m so glad you liked her. She, like many wonderful women I’ve met at her age, is a sparkling spirit who’ll always be young at heart 😉 .

  7. I love Vivian! She reminds me of my mother-in-law (89) who is so full of energy and life! It is also how I picture my older sister being…in another 10-15 years! She loves Siesta Keys and will always chat with people. She isn’t from Florida but spends 1/2 the year down there.

    It was a good way to meet Gil and his comments are not taken as well as they were from Vivian, which makes sense. I think it would be harder hearing it from a good-looking man than an older woman! Loved Thing 1 and Thing 2!

    I’m looking forward to Marianna’s evolution and rebirth…

    • Oh, Carole, thank you!
      I love the way you described Marianna’s journey as her “evolution and rebirth” — that’s how I’d been thinking of it, but hadn’t put it into words that way. It’s definitely a story of the rediscovery of self…
      So glad you loved Vivian, too!! When I was just finishing college, I did a teaching internship in a town of 657 people (or something like that…the population was under 700!) and I lived in the upstairs apartment of a woman in her late 70s who was SO FULL of energy and verve! She asked me one weekend if I wanted to go square dancing with her and a few of her buddies (all in their 70s or 80s), and I agreed. They totally wore me out! And I’d even been in a touring dance group during college, LOL. I hope I have half that much spunk in a few decades 😀 .

  8. I really enjoyed the chapter and getting to meet her new friends. Love Vivian and I agree with others that she will be good for Marianna. I think she will pull her out of feeling sorry for herself and show her how much there is to enjoy in life if you take the time to open your eyes. Meeting Gil was perfect! So funny with Thing One and Thing Two (though also terrifying to read as the mom of a fearless four year old). Your descriptions of the beach ere spot on and really brought me there. I am sure I won’t look at a shell again without comparing it to ice cream! Looking forward to the next post!

    • I’m so pleased you enjoyed the chapter, TLeighF!!
      Thanks for reading it and for sharing your impressions of Vivian, Marianna, Gil, and Thing One & Two! My baby brother was like those Dr. Seuss terrors *combined* when he was a preschooler, LOL — so much energy and always running! (Even now, he’s still very athletic and does triathlons and marathons…not at all like his bookworm sister. 🙂 ) Maybe your fearless 4-year-old will grow up to be a track star in a few years?!

  9. This was so descriptive, the whole chapter, from the scenery to the people, and very enjoyable to read. On the Elvis question, I admired his talent, and I think he seemed charming even in the really awful movies he was in! So evoking Elvis as a main character was OK for me! Vivian definitely sounded like someone Marianna needed to meet, so she could make friends and get the perspective of someone sensible and sympathetic (and a native Floridian to boot — apparently very important there!).

    I think I’m also intrigued because this is a story about a woman in squarely approaching middle age and having some life history behind her. It’s a nice change from all the stories about women who are not all in their 20s (much as I like the whole P&P universe).

    • Kathy,
      Yessss! Thank you for giving a thumbs up to young Elvis!! 😀 You are so right about some of those movies being awful… As I said in prior comments, I’ll always love him in “Clambake” (though that film had an especially strong cast — Shelley Fabares and Bill Bixby were in it too), but there were others — “Harum Scarum” comes to mind, LOL — that were kind of painful to watch. Still, when he would start singing, I could see why legions of girls fell for him! I’m going to have to dig out a clip of him singing one of my favorite songs — “You Don’t Know Me” — for next time!!
      And thanks as well for your kind comments about the story itself. I’m truly glad you’re enjoying it 😉 .

  10. Took me a while to get to this but what a fun read. I lived in Naples, FL for 2 years and love justy being able to walk the beach. Best in winter when the “snowbirds” were not there. Your description was perfect! Made me homesick. I love Vivian…she reminds me of my husband’s Aunt who was kind and sweet but tough and let you know what she was thinking. A true “Southern Lady”! I thought Gil rolled the directions to the beach shop out too easyily not to have a connection. I am interested in the next part about Ellen. Will she be a big sister or an older sister. There is a distinction…I know I have one of each. Thanks for the excerpt and I am looking forward to the 22nd.

    • Maggie,
      I’m thrilled you’re enjoying the story so far and that the description of the setting resonated for you and read true. Thank you! I’m so glad you like Vivian as well. The way you described your husband’s aunt is similar to the way I see Vivian, so they must be much alike 🙂 . And, yes! Gil definitely had an ulterior motive in directing Marianna to that shop…LOL. More on that to come!!

  11. Wow, that Elvis lookalike is Gil! I wouldn’t peg him as a Willoughby-type when he was described in Part 1. I actually thought he was more like Brandon. How my conjecture is totally wrong but I love the two excerpts nonetheless.

    Hm, Vivian seemed like Mrs Jennings to me but I could be wrong since you say it is not a contemporary version of S&S. She seems a good influence to Marianna. I would love to know more about her and all the other characters already mentioned like Ellen and her husband, daughter Kathryn and so forth.

    • Lúthien,
      LOL!! No, Gil isn’t at all Willoughby-like! (And thank goodness for that!) I’ve definitely changed things around in this story. The sister dynamic was inspired by Sense and Sensibility for sure, but the romantic relationships in the novel are completely original 😉 . I can’t tell you how delighted I am that you’ve loved the excerpts so far, though. Thank you so much for taking the time to read them!!

  12. Pingback: Gifts by the Shore (Part 4) by Marilyn Brant |

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