Book Review: “A Chasing of the Wind”

“When will we see the sequel?”

Hey Andy, you may be wondering why you haven’t heard anything from me about your book. WELL, I just read it! Started when I was in Gulfport last week for the Gulf Park College reunion. Started it at Chuck’s, almost finished it, but finally made it through Hurricane Cecile last evening, your handling of which is close to brilliant! I was absolutely engrossed, and am waiting for little Bailey to reappear… your next novel, maybe? The conclusion of your story was wonderfully disturbing. I was not quite ready for that! I’d forgotten about those missing items… that part at Chuck’s. Kinda liked it that way. Double impact, if you know what I mean. Really, the book is wonderfully put together and especially intense if you know the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I, of course, associated old Mrs. Sternberg with you know who……whether that was the intention or not! I was hoping I would really enjoy the book, because if I didn’t, what the hell would I say to you??? BUT, never fear, I was right there with it the whole way. Congrats! When will we see the sequel?????


“I crave more and the cupboard is bare.”

OMG, I just finished “A Chasing of the Wind”! Its wonderful! A great read! Now the problem being, I crave more and the cupboard is bare. Having lived in New Orleans and having visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it brought back so many memories of days gone by! I was born in the ’40s, not the ’30s, but there are so many things I can relate to. I’ve rode on the Crescent Limited so many times when it was still on its run along the Gulf Coast, when L&N ran the line as far as Mobile, and then it switched to Southern R&R. I too rode out Betsy, Camille and Katrina in New Orleans. I grew up hearing the story of my mom’s aunt who died in a hurricane, trapped in the eaves of a barn. Thank goodness I know nothing of murder! The ending was a shocker! Who’d a thought? As Bogey said at the end ofCasablanca, I hope this is the start of a beautiful friendship — that is, I hope there are many more novels to come from your clever mind! YOU HAVE TO WRITE MORE. You did not answer my question – do you have your own publishing company? Who actually printed the book? Its beautiful! My late Uncle Hank was a printer and he taught me that a book that has the stitching on the spine is a very good book. I’m so proud of you! Hugs, Jeanie (a.k.a. Old Aunt Pittypat)


“I found your descriptions a bit flowery”

I read your book today and I loved the story. My only criticism would be that I found your descriptions a bit flowery. I could tell that you searched for the right words to get your message across, but sometimes you may have gone a bit overboard. Otherwise, it’s terrific and I’m very proud of you. Anthony, I must admit that I almost didn’t tell you what I thought, because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings, but I remembered your saying it was how you could learn. I really loved your story and found tears in my eyes several times throughout the book. Also, I got a real kick out of Wyn and Dee. As a southern girl I have known several “Dees” and even though they have aged, they are still the same cute airheads. My hometown of Clinton, TN was a hotbed of racial riots in 1958 when our high school was integrated. I was in the eighth grade then and when the school was bombed our house windows rattled. We lived about a half mile from the school. That was a really awful time, and I can only imagine how scary it was for the black kids who had to attend school. We have a museum dedicated to them now. They are known as the Clinton Twelve. You can read all about it on the internet if you wish. Once again, I want to stress that I enjoyed your book very much.
Big hug to you.

Gretchen Morrison

“Never saw that coming!”

“I finished A Chasing of the Wind! Loved every page, character, and so identified with the events of the hurricane! And the murderer! Never saw that coming! Well done and hope there is more from you! Bravo!!”

Kande DeGrasses Steele, Executive Assistant with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Move over Faulkner, Williams, Welty and Grisham…”

“This weekend I read A Chasing of the Wind. Move over Faulkner, Williams, Welty and Grisham—Mississippi has new Southern writer. I give it TWO thumbs up! When you finish you will feel like you really know all the characters—and you love, hate, feel sorry for, identify with, or resemble them. There are even a couple that will repulse you and many that are so familiar you will feel like you know them. Like a good novel, the characters are revealed little by little—and there are some surprises. Of course, there is hardship, trouble, tragedy and conflict (It wouldn’t be a novel about the South without those, right?), however, balanced with a few good hearts of the best Southern folk. Maybe it’s because Port Haven is “close to home,” but the imagery conjured up vivid pictures in my mind. One suggestion– don’t read it while hungry because the coastal, southern cooking descriptions will “have your naval gnawing on your backbone” (one of my favorite quotes from the book). I will be sending a private note to Mr. Kalberg with a few more comments, but don’t want to spoil the book for the rest of you. Congratulations Andy! It’s a successful adventure—can’t wait for the movie!”

Carol Szymanski – Fine Arts Chairman Duchesne Academy Houston TX

“It will go on the shelf next to my other 5 favorite books…”

“Camilla stated: I am bereft – I have finished the book! It will go on the shelf next to my other 5 favorite books – Colleen McCullough’s “Thorn Birds”; James Clavell’s “Shogun”; M. M. Kaye’s “Shadow of the Moon”; Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander”; and Leon Uris’ “Trinity”. Those famous authors have nothing on you. Your descriptions were so vivid that I found myself lost in Port Haven and had trouble returning to my living room. In part because of the settings, but mostly because you write so beautifully. I never even suspected the real murderer! I am an avid reader. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t pick up my Kindle and read. But most of the books I read, usually by well-known authors, are soon forgotten. Yours will be remembered for a very long time. Thank you, thank you!”

“Hank stated: Andy, you definitely are skilled at creating a “coincidently fictitious” world in my brain. This is a fabulous book. BTW, my first car was a well-used Pink-n-Gray ’51 Rambler Convertible. With that, you resurrected a far less fictitious, yet memorable world, though one in which I now am far too old to relive. We wish many more literary successes.”

Hank and Camilla Coolidge – Retired General Electric Engineer Gulfport MS

“I marveled that you could describe some events with such detail…”

“I apologize for taking so long to write this glowing review, but I just finished reading A Chasing of the Wind yesterday. I only read it when I was traveling. I read part of it on my way to South Carolina; another part on my way to Nashville; and finally finished during my most recent trip to Idaho! That amazingly divided the book into thirds, so I read the first third about Johnny Necaise and Necaise Crossing…paused…read the second third about Carol Ann and the marriage and events while Coop was away…paused…and finished the last third with Cecile and the denouement!

Andy, I thoroughly enjoyed your book! The nice thing about knowing the author is that I could hear you saying the sentences, as though you were telling me, and only me, a story! Your vocabulary is awesome. I knew most of the words, but several of them left me saying, “Wow! Look at Andy go!” Your descriptions were vivid. Many times I could actually see the scene in my mind. So many of those descriptions referred to products and events from numerous time periods long gone. I enjoyed being put in memory of Buster Brown shoes and the like. I marveled that you could describe some events with such detail, all the while praying you truly had never had such an actual experience. Your imagination is splendid…a true gift from God! Your characters came alive. I detested some of them and loved others…the perfect combination of good versus evil.

I’m a deliberate reader. I read every word on the page…no skimming over words. I got amused with myself while I was reading your action sections. I was racing through every word…reading much faster than I normally do. I loved it! Your descriptions seemed to push me forward, eager to discover the next twist in the plot.

All in all, you have a treasure on your hands…something of which you can be very proud. Like someone else said, I’m eager to read THE NEXT ONE!!”

Janie Walters – International Professional Speaker and President of Champion Communications Madison MS

“The mystery and suspense had me turning page after page…”

“I read your book over the weekend and I must say I am extremely impressed! The mystery and suspense had me turning page after page until the very last one! The book was so artfully written, that I was not able to figure out the cause of the murders until you revealed what occurred. Your depiction of the hurricane and its aftermath was spot on! I also love the way you described the manner in which the mother was able to move on with her life by painting, and always including either a little boy in the painting or his toys. It’s amazing to me that this is your first novel! I truly hope that you will continue to write additional novels. I am officially one of your greatest fans!!”

Bethany Pique – Business Administration at the University of Southern MS

“I felt drawn into the book as if I were standing in the middle…”

I was impressed with your first novel. It held my attention, with its twists and turns, I could not stop reading when I started. The characters each had such distinct personalities that reeled me in their web of danger. I felt drawn into the book as if I were standing in the middle just watching the story unfold! The end was a complete surprise. I will read this book again one day, because I am sure I missed something!!!! Waiting on your second book…

Jan Ezell – Director George County D.H.S. (RETIRED) Lucedale Mississippi

“In many ways it brought me back to a place and time…”

“Hopped aboard the Port Haven express last weekend. Realizing there are various literary components to what constitutes a good book, simplistically speaking I think the sign of a good book is that when you break from reading, you find yourself wanting to jump back into it to see what’s next. As it was, I truly enjoyed the read. I especially liked those autobiographical elements you captured, whether familiar names, places, the various foods you noted, and in what is too familiar to Mississippi coastal residents, a very vivid account of a major hurricane. In many ways it brought me back to a place and time that is very familiar to my childhood memories as well. While reading I often found myself remembering back when….”

Don Szymanski Financial Analyst Chevron North America Exploration & Production Houston TX

“A true reread and keeper.”

“I finished your book! I love the descriptions you used in the story. They were not only visual while reading, but I could feel the heat and humidity. The reader also could taste the fantastic local foods. The story line was woven into a fine rope that ended into a noose that was drawn tight. I loved the explanation of the title in the end. Regardless of what a person experiences, life goes on. A true reread and keeper.”

Peggy Gunter Stone – Food Services Supervisor Mobile County School System Mobile AL

“I could almost smell the salt air…made me homesick.”

“Loved it! A page turner! Loved the setting and reference to familiar places. I thought the characters were well developed. And loved the setting in the Merry Mansion. Good story. Kept me interested. I could almost smell the salt air…made me homesick. My reading at work is legal in nature, so when I read for pleasure I am thrilled to find a good story with lots of attention paid to relationships and conversation among the characters. Good job! Another novel please!”

Shelby Gallagher Parker – Senior Oil & Gas Lease Analyst Houston TX