While I could go blue in the face trying to convince you of all the wonderful reasons to read Black Bear Lake, I thought, in fairness, I should be honest about why you should NOT read it. And believe me, there are plenty of reasons.
- There are NO vampires in Black Bear Lake. None. Not a one. No Werewolves or Zombies, either. The only remedy I could come up with would be to make the Walleye morph into Vampires but it got tricky. I mean, how did they become like that? Usually, when you bite a fish, it’s already been fried up in a pan, so how do they get turned in the first place? And what if they transformed into bats when they were still underwater? Instant drowning! I even thought about maybe turning them into Werewolves until I realized how much shedding would be taking place in the lake and it just freaked me out. I can’t even handle hair in a bathtub drain.
- It’s SAD! People die, animals die, baby deer get left alone in the woods without its mother, there’s cancer, there’s divorce…I mean, come on! Who wants to read that? Isn’t there enough pain and suffering in the world??
- There are typos. I mean TYPOS! No matter that I read through the manuscript a bajjilion times. No matter that my editor, bless her, read through my manuscript a bajillion and one times. No matter that I had many, many friends, family and colleagues read through the manuscript. NO MATTER. At the end of the day, you can read through Black Bear Lake and still mark it up with a red pen. I’m smacking my forehead every other page.
- It’s dated, old, practically the Dark Ages…there are no cell phones in my book. No iPods, no Kindles, no laptops. None! You might think it’s because the story takes place in the middle of the Northern Wisconsin woods. No service, right? Wrong. There are no personal devices because the bulk of the story takes place in 1983. No personal devices invented yet! In fact, 1983 was the first year cell phones (which were huge and weighed a ton) were commercially available. So, forget about the characters texting each other. They actually had to trudge around in the woods searching for lost kids! How boring is that…
- There’s no soundtrack CD in the back of the book. But there should be!! There’s so much great music mentioned in Black Bear Lake! Like “Helpless” by Neil Young and “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd. Not to mention all the other great songs referenced! “Jack and Diane”, “Edge of Seventeen” and “Everything She Does Is Magic”… If you grew up in the 80’s, they will rock you! And if you didn’t, look them up…they will rock you!
Now, if all of these reasons aren’t enough to put you off reading Black Bear Lake, then by all means, go pick it up and read away. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Black Bear Lake
Adam Craig, a forty year-old stock trader in Chicago, finds his marriage teetering on the rocks and his life at a standstill. Desperate and on the edge of personal collapse, Adam takes the advice of a therapist and travels to his childhood family compound on Black Bear Lake with hopes of making peace with his past.
Stepping onto the northern Wisconsin property, he relives the painful memories of the summer of 1983, his last summer at the lake...
In August 1983, a self-conscious fifteen year-old Adam carries a world of worry on his shoulders as he arrives at Black Bear Lake for a month long family reunion. Between anger and fear of mother’s declining health as she quietly battles a quickly spreading cancer and his cherished cousin’s depression over her parents’ bitter divorce, Adam is swept up in smothering familial love among the multiple generations and heartbreaking misunderstanding and betrayal.
The arrival of a sensual but troublesome babysitter throws the delicate balance of his family into a tailspin. Blinded by his attraction to the newcomer, Adam fails to see his cousin's desperate cries for help and the charged electrical current running through his family's hierarchy. Crushed in the middle of it all, Adam is forced to learn that there's a fine line between self-preservation and the strength of family blood, all the while unaware of the impending tragedy that will ultimately change his life forever.
Leslie Liautaud is the author of Midnight Waltzes (2006), He Is Us (2008), The Wreck (2009), SALIGIA (2011), The Mansion (2012) and Summer Nights and Dreams (2012). She is also the author of the coming-of-age novel, Black Bear Lake (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2014).
Leslie is originally from Kansas City, MO where she worked in the performing arts.
Currently, she divides her time between between Key Largo, FL and Champaign, IL with her husband, three teenage children and three rambunctious dogs.