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New Novel on Hurricane ‘Audrey’ in 1957 About Louisiana Area Hit Hard Twice in 2020 by ‘Laura’ in August & ‘Delta’ in October

Hurricane Audrey, June 1957, is the Key Event in Linda Cunningham's Book Early Thursday

Cameron, Louisiana—Linda Cunningham's book, Early Thursday: A War, A Hurricane, A Miracle!, is a novel about a true event which her family experienced and is a major historical event in Louisiana and the local communities. When the book was released, in June 2020, she couldn't have known that two massive Hurricanes, Laura and Delta, would hit the same area back-to-back in August and October respectively. Barely able to recover from Laura, the main city depicted in her book, Lake Charles, was right smack in the path of Hurricane Delta as stunned residents scrambled to board up and evacuate yet again. One resident told NBC News, "Emotionally, I think everybody is just battered and worn down right now."

Early Thursday is a rich and sweeping fictional memoir, told through the voice of 12-year-old Walt LaCour, as he struggles to find himself and learn his true identity amid the backdrop of a terrifying and deadly Hurricane Audrey on the Cajun bayou in post-World War II Louisiana. June 27, 2020 marked the 63rd Anniversary of one of the most devastating tropical storms to hit the coastal U.S.

In parallel with what has happened in 2020, Linda Cunningham's book tells the story of a boy's mostly idyllic life interrupted by the wrath of Mother Nature. Just nine-years old when Hurricane Audrey hit Louisiana, Linda Cunningham's father was the Director of Civil Defense for the local parish and the book is based on her recollections and stories documented and repeated throughout the area.

There is no other way to say it: This is Art Depicting Life as it actually happened, TWICE. After Hurricane Laura was over, Linda Cunningham pitched in to help and also document the event and then her book came back to life yet again. Does this feel like THE WORST GROUNDHOG DAY EVER in fiction and reality? 

The short version of Early Thursday by Linda Cunningham: Twelve-year-old Walt LaCour has a happy, adventurous existence in the Cajun-French area of Cameron, Louisiana, where the way of life is filled with a joie de vivre. Growing up in the small town, young Walt is surrounded by a colorful and eccentric collection of family and friends. Included in this group is Walt Sr., an abusive and alcoholic father whose drunken rages lead to constant tension. The days before the storm are filled with vivid childhood adventures, community dances and the discovery of Walt's mother's diary that leads him to question who his real father is.

Once the storm hits, the focus of the book shifts to survival amid the chaos and destruction. Walt is able to avoid drowning and is rescued as he views the carnage of dead bodies all around him. As the writer of the memories, much later in his life, he is haunted by his hesitation to save his father's life during the worst of the storm. Nearly 500 souls lost their lives from the hurricane. Those terrible memories would stay with Walt his whole life.

Walt's narrow escape and subsequent search for love and meaning are essential parts of this epic novel. That includes an effort to save a friend's Stradivarius violin from being stolen. Life-affirming and provocative, this novel is a window into the soul of one man's quest for identity and resolution. It's a gripping and unforgettable story that will stay with you long after you've finished the book.

"Powerfully written, this is a most impressive debut novel by an author of substance." Grady Harp, Top 50 Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer

About Linda S. Cunningham: Linda S. Cunningham grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where she experienced firsthand accounts of the 1957 Hurricane Audrey that killed nearly 500 people in Cameron, Louisiana. She and her family watched the devastation from their picture window when the hurricane hit. Her father served as Director of Civil defense for Calcasieu Parish and she heard many survival stories and saw the coroner's pictures that lend authenticity to the novel. Ms. Cunningham has a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She also has a B.S. and M.Ed. in Health and Physical Education from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has won awards for screenwriting. She currently resides in Kingwood, Texas.

Early Thursday: A War, A Hurricane, A Miracle! ISBN-10: 1098304802, ISBN-13: 978-1098304805, BookBaby, 2020. Paperback $15.99, Kindle, $9.49, 290 pages. Available on Amazon. View the book trailer here: http://bit.ly/BookTrailerEarlyThursday

Media Contact: For a review copy of Early Thursday: A War, A Hurricane, A Miracle! or to arrange an interview with Linda S. Cunningham, contact Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications Book Marketing at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on twitter @abookpublicist.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Scott Lorenz
Group: Westwind Communications
Dateline: Plymouth, MI United States
Direct Phone: 734-667-2098
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