The Eastern Shore of Virginia is a real and very dear place to me. Many of the businesses and landmarks in Coast Guard Courtship can be found in the real life hamlets of Quinby, Onley, Wachapreague and Onancock. Fictional Small Boat Station Kiptohanock is an amalgamation of Stations Wachapreague and Cape Charles. The bravery and courage of these Guardsmen make the Eastern Shore a safer and better place to live.
I visited the Eastern Shore for the first time at the age of twenty-one. The summer I lived there getting to know the wonderful people and unique culture of the Shore was transformational. I revisit this splendid and unique Tidewater destination as often as I can with my family. Like Amelia, here I find peace, tranquility and safe harbor in the Eastern Shore sanctuary of life.
For me, it was an incredible place of fun, nature’s beauty and firsts. Here this city girl first went fishing; first went clamming in a mucky tidal marsh; first learned to eat crab which is a labor-intensive endeavor; and fell in love with life attuned to the rhythmic cycle of the moon and tide.
Here, too, I took my own moonlight cruise—the first time I ever really saw the Milky Way—one night on the Chesapeake Bay.
The two main characters in Coast Guard Courtship, Amelia and Braeden, grapple with fears throughout this story. Sometimes things in our past make it difficult to love and trust others. Even God. Especially God. But this story is about learning to launch out hand-in-hand with God to the deeper waters where overflowing, abundant blessings await. Coast Guard Courtship is about a journey of faith.
Writers are often told to write about what you know. And for years, people asked, “Why don’t you write a story about the Eastern Shore?” Good question. Why didn’t I? So I did with Coast Guard Courtship.
I wrote this story as a tribute to people I’ve known and loved—who’ve known and loved me for almost 3 decades now. My Onley, Virginia family continues to welcome me back into the peaceful harbor of their beautiful Eastern Shore world.
Coast Guard Courtship is also to thank the men and women of the often overlooked United States Coast Guard for their dedication and sacrifice in serving this country on CG vessels and at CG stations. Retired United States Coast Guard Captain Jim Umberger and Chief Petty Officer NyxoLyno “Nick” Cangemi patiently answered this civilian’s seemingly endless questions about rank, rating and protocol. CG guys are the best.
I hope readers will enjoy Coast Guard Courtship. Maybe even plan a trip there. And, if they can, hug a Coastie to thank them for their service.
For more behind-the-scene photos of Coast Guard Courtship, visit https://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/coast-guard-courtship/.