Monday, August 6, 2012

Guest Post: Kate Lutter

"You Can Never Go Home Again" by Kate Lutter

You can never go home again. 

 How many poets, authors, and I guess people who are a lot smarter than I have said that? 

 So why don’t I listen? 

 No, instead, I talk my four sister, my four wild sisters, into pilgrimaging back to our hometown--a tiny no nothing town in New Jersey--yes, Bruce Springsteen land--no, we’re not on the Jersey shore but close enough to it --yeah--to revisit our old haunts because it’s the tenth anniversary of our father’s death--and we want to somehow pay tribute. 

We decide to visit the house we grew up in, the church we attended as kids, the school we went to, and the cemetery that now holds the remains of our parents. 

 So we meet at my sister’s house, pile into my other sister’s car--which is big enough to hold all of us--and set off for lunch--our first stop. Food to nourish the soul and to give us time to plan our itinerary. 

 We decide to go to ______ Diner, which is still there. Thank God. Because, of course, I am already dreading that so many things will be different . . . changed since we’ve last been to South _________. 

 So we pull up --anticipating the food will be less than, well, perhaps a little too GREASY. Determined to ignore that aspect, we each order some type of sandwich because every sandwich comes with--and has come with for over 50 years--cucumber salad and coleslaw. This is the traditional appetizer that we long to eat. 

 The waitress arrives and plops the cucumber salads down. What?? My first disappointment.

 I’m not going to say anything, but then I can’t hold it in. 

 “It’s disgusting. They’ve put the cucumber salad in plastic cups. It’s come to this.” 

 The fact that it tastes different doesn’t even matter. It’s those plastic cups. 

 We, somehow, make it through the meal. 

 My sister Karen tries to cheer us up. “Let’s go visit Sacred Heart.” 

 She means the Church and the school we went to as kids. A private Catholic school that, unfortunately, has closed the year before. The building is still there, but it’s been taken over by someone else. We drive half a mile from the diner into the parking lot, park the car, stare at the school, which looks the same, ignore the new owner’s sign, and then go into the Church. Safe haven? At least the Church is still the same. 

 Or so we think. 

 Inside, we wince when we see that the pews we used to sit in on the left side of the church have been removed to make way for the Choir. What! Here’s my memory. Every Sunday we’d pile into the car, go to the bakery, then park on the street near the Church, enter in through the side door at exactly 9:20 for the 9:30 mass. But now the pews are gone. 

 My sister Cheryl breaks the silence. “Let’s go home.” She means it’s time to visit our childhood home. My other sister Caroline chimes in, “And let’s drive around to the back of the house and see what they did to the back yard.” She means the new owners. 

 We have a plan. 

 We drive the route we used to walk as kids. It’s only a mile, but it had seemed much longer than that when you’re in grade school and have to walk through rain and snow. 

 The house we used to live in was sold years ago when my mother died. It looks completely different. We park one house away and stare at it. I take a picture. Then we drive around to the back, where there used to be woods, where we played as kids. The town has now built a park. We drive through and park the car. It starts to rain, but we don’t care. Now, like peeping toms, we sneak up and survey our old back yard. 

 My memory of our yard: Hedges surrounded the yard. There was a giant oak tree. A sand pile with swings. A pool. A garden. 

 Now the yard is small--so small. Someone has removed the giant oak tree. There’s no pool or garden. Only grass. Just grass. And a tall white fence replaces the hedges. 

 We climb back into the car in silence. 

 We have three brothers. One is a captain of the police department in our hometown. We stop on a whim and by some miracle he’s in the parking lot, leaving to go home. I tell him about the missing oak tree and he says maybe it was hit by lightning, and they were forced to take it down. Maybe. But still . . . and by this time the tree is an historic tree in my own mind and even if it had been hit, it should have been left there as a memorial to . . . well . . . our family and our past. 

 But seeing him buoys our spirits. 

 Then it’s onto the cemetery. My mom and dad are laid to rest--side by side--in the mausoleum. I always say the same thing when we come to visit as a group. I repeat what my youngest sister Cyndi said so many years ago when my mother died. “It isn’t fair,” she said. “You had her for so much longer than I did.” 

 “Do you remember what you said, Cyndi, when mommy died?” 

 She nods. 

 The one thing we don’t talk about this time is the dream we all had about a year after she died. We all dreamed that my mother came back to our childhood home and knocked on the front door. She came to visit for a day. She came back from heaven for a day because we’d all said--if we could only have her for one more day, we’d be happy. 

 Then we all had the same dream. 

 You can never go home again, or rather you should never go home again. 

 Let the memories stay as they were. 

 Those childhood memories shouldn’t be disturbed. 

 I write novels for a living. In Wild Point Island, my heroine--Ella Pattenson--returns to her childhood home with her sister, Lily, to rescue her father from imprisonment. Twenty years have passed since she’s been on the island. But when she arrives at her childhood home, everything is the same. There’s not even dust on the furniture. 

 That’s my fantasy that somehow we would be able to do that--to return to our childhood home, and it would look exactly the way we left it. 

 Wouldn’t that be lovely??

Wild Point Island by Kate Lutter

Banished from Wild Point Island as a child, Ella Pattenson, a half human-half revenant, has managed to hide her true identity as a descendent of the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Thought to have perished, the settlers survived but were transformed into revenants--immortal beings who live forever as long as they remain on the island.

Now, Ella must return to the place of her birth to rescue her father from imprisonment and a soon to be unspeakable death. Her only hope is to trust a seductive revenant who seems to have ties to the corrupt High Council. Simon Viccars is sexy and like no man she’s ever met. But he’s been trapped on the island for 400 years and is willing to do almost anything for his freedom.

With the forces of the island conspiring against her, Ella must risk her father, her heart, and her life on love.

Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Kate Lutter believes she was born to write. She wrote her first novel when she was in eighth grade, but then almost burned her house down when she tried to incinerate her story in the garbage can because she couldn’t get the plot to turn out right. Now, many years later, she lives in NJ with her husband and five cats (no matches in sight) and spends her days writing contemporary paranormal romances, traveling the world, and hanging out with her four wild sisters. She is happy to report that her debut novel, Wild Point Island, the first in a series, has just been published by Crescent Moon Press. She is busy writing the sequel and her weekly travel blog entitled Hot Blogging with Chuck, which features her very snarky and rascally almost famous cat.


Wild Point Island Contest Sponsored by Kate Lutter 

 As a newly published author, I’m looking to expand my Email list. (This list is never given or sold to anyone else. I use it only to announce release information of my books.) So, if you’re willing to share your name and email address and answer the contest question, you could win a free copy of Wild Point Island! 

Kate's email:
 First /Last Name 
 Email Address 
 Contest Question: What’s the name of your favorite novel? Explain why in 25 words or less. 
 (For me, Wuthering Heights. I love the hauntingly intense aspect of the relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine.)


  1. Thanks, Andrea and Reading Lark, for hosting my Guest Post. Writing Wild Point Island was fun and a bit daunting at times. I had never written a book that was so paranormalish before and that required a lot of world building. As I said in the post, it didn't hit me that so much of my writing stemmed from needs in my own life. Funny in a way. Well, take care and thanks again. I love your site!

    1. Thank you for spending some time with us today, Kate. We loved being able to feature your book. You're welcome back any time. :)

  2. Wow, Kate - what a lovely memory! I'm somewhat lucky in that my dad still lives in the house I was born in. Yes it's changed, but so much has remained the same...and how lucky you are with all those siblings.

    Hugs hon!

    1. I agree that there is a lot from my childhood that is the same, but some things have changed. That's such a hard pill to swallow.


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