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Kalan Lloyd
Home Is Where Your Boots Are
“Old habits never die. They just get harder to justify.” – Home Is Where Your Boots Are Lilly Atkins has tidily checked things off her adult to-do list. Expensive law degree. Check. Bad-ass attorney reputation. Check. Designer wardrobe. Check. Fancy fiancé. Check. In a moment of cliché, her list gets whipped out the window. And run over a few times. Having discovered said fiancé cheating on her with his secretary; she turns tail and heads home for her mama. Back to the small town of Brooks; where the creek is always cool and the gossip is always hot. Once there, deep in the throes of embarrassment and regret, she decides to set up shop to work off her broken heart. Against the loudly vehement protestations of her childhood best friend, Fae Lynn, and sister, Tally, she ironically accepts a retainer to handle the impending divorce of her not quite unrequited ex-flame, Dr. Cash Stetson. Her second and seventh clients involve a possible negligent homicide and the desecration of human remains, respectively; all stemming from the local hospital, which just happens to be run by Cash. When Cash’s divorce becomes unnecessary, due to his wife showing up dead, Lilly must find it within herself to put aside her returning feelings for Cash and uphold her vow to zealously pursue justice. Lilly recruits Tally and Fae Lynn to help get to the bottom of the seemingly connected crimes; and the further down the rabbit hole they go, the more they discover that the calm waters of Brooks run deep and dark. Lilly comes to the end of her rope only to discover that home is where your boots are.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 10.00 out of 10


In this winning, humorous, voice-driven novel set in Brooks, Okla., gutsy protagonist Lilly Atkins returns home to cure her cheated heart. She ignores her old, soon-to-be-divorced boyfriend’s hot come-on, while trying to figure out why a body shows up in the local morgue without all its parts. Although the body doesn’t appear until the 11th chapter, the pace is brisk, and the scenes are rich with vivid details: an Elvis car horn, a pool hall/bowling alley named Sticks & Balls, and Dr Pepper ChapStick. Perfect for a series.

Date Submitted: June 02, 2016