The Roaring Twenties in Buckeye Lake
by Amy C. Blake
From the time I learned about the Buckeye Lake Amusement Park that once graced the shores of Buckeye Lake, Ohio, I’ve been intrigued with the idea of setting a book there. In the early to middle 1900s, Buckeye Lake was considered the Playground of Ohio. The amusement park (actually, two parks set side by side) drew thousands each day from Easter to Labor Day. Buckeye Lake’s ballrooms—the Crystal and the Pier—featured big name bands from the Swing era, like Benny Goodman, Lawrence Welk, and Louis Armstrong.
My newly released Christian suspense novel, Colorblind, is set in modern-day Buckeye Lake, where the amusement park is a mere memory. The main character, Christy Kane, is a music major who began an internship at her mega-church pastor-father’s church, but had to leave when his misdeeds became public knowledge. Instead, she goes to Buckeye Lake to help a distant relative, Aunt Jo, make a go of her School of Music and Dance in the (fictionally) rebuilt Pier Ballroom.
Beyond the difficulties she endures because of her daddy’s fall from grace, working at the Pier Ballroom, which sits on Buckeye Lake itself, forces Christy to face her greatest fear—water. Also, her fellow music volunteers harbor racial and socioeconomic antagonisms that encumber their attempts to prepare for the Pier’s Grand Reopening, and Christy fears Aunt Jo will lose her ballroom to bankruptcy. Christy also finds a diary written by Lillian, a girl who lived in Buckeye Lake in the 1920s, and soon discovers that dangerous events from Lillian’s time are being reenacted in the present.
In writing Colorblind, I enjoyed researching Buckeye Lake, Big Band musicians, and 1920s slang to incorporate into my story. However, I was surprised (and disturbed) to discover that Buckeye Lake was also the location for two huge Ku Klux Klan rallies—one in 1923, the other in 1925. In Colorblind, I incorporate some of the racial issues from the 1920s into Lillian’s story line and show the effects of such prejudices in Christy’s world.
Colorblind is the second book in my On the Brink Christian suspense series (Whitewashed released in February, 2015). The books in this series follow three homeschooled friends on their individual journeys into adulthood and so can be read in any order.
Colorblind is now available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats. I hope you’ll pick up your copy today!
Award-winning author Amy C. Blake is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has an M.A. in English from Mississippi College and has written articles, devotionals, and short stories for a number of publications. You can connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. She’d love for you to visit her website at amycblake.com for tips on homeschooling, advice for the rookie pastor’s wife, and helps for the Christian life. You can also find more information on her website about her novels—Whitewashed, Colorblind, and The Trojan Horse Traitor.