Carol at the dog shelter says Priscilla Poppy Parker is volatile - unpredictable, hot-blooded, impulsive. Poppy takes this as a compliment because that's what her Grandma Beth called her, too. "It was almost a comfort to know that even if everything else was changing, at least [her] reputation was still the same." Poppy's parents died when she as less than a year old. They were botanists who had gone to Botswana to study and teach and were killed in a bomb blast. Poppy doesn't understand how they could have left her. Her grandmother has raised her, but as she has suffered a debilitating stroke, Poppy's life is about to radically change. She doesn't like staying at the children's center. She is the wrong place at the wrong time, hears gunshots as a robbery is committed, and views the robber face to face. Poppy is taken into protective custody. She stays with Detective Trey Brannigan's mother. Marti share a duplex with Trey, volunteers at the local animal shelter, and used to care for foster children. The Brannigans, Lizzie, and Gunner save Poppy's life. This heart warming, heart wrenching story has universal appeal, depicting life as it could/should be.
"Ice cream should only come in two flavors. Chocolate for the smart, cool people, and vanilla for the really boring types who don't know any better."
"We are all faced with choices, and as bad as we might want to, we can't always control the outcome. Some choices turn out in ways you never saw coming and you get blind-sided...They change things forever."
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves."
Mark Twain Award Preliminary Nominee 2016-17