Book Review: 'Something Yellow' by Laura Templeton

by - January 28, 2014


It has been thirteen years since Holly’s nine-year-old sister, Rachel, disappeared without a trace.
It has been thirteen years since Holly left her hometown.
It has been thirteen years since Holly’s first love and high school boyfriend, Houston, was the only suspect.
Now another nine-year-old girl has disappeared.
Holly is back, and so is Houston—never charged and still proclaiming his innocence.
Can she trust him . . . should she trust him?


When I was offered the opportunity to join the blog tour for Something Yellow I couldn’t wait to read it. I had recently read a few other mystery novels and really enjoyed them, so was excited to get stuck into this one.

As soon as I started reading Something Yellow I couldn’t put it down, and subsequently read it from cover to cover in one afternoon/evening.

Laura Templeton has created a really gripping story which follows the protagonist, Holly, whose life (and her family’s) was drastically affected by the disappearance of her 9 year-old sister 13 years earlier. The story explores how deeply people can be affected by a traumatic event, especially seeing as they never discovered the truth about her disappearance, and therefore couldn’t find closure. Even though it has been 13 years since Rachel’s disappearance, Laura brilliantly portrays the suffering each family member is still facing, whilst trying to pull together during a difficult time. You can really feel their pain and heartache. Laura Templeton explores the notion that no matter how much you try hide away from your past, it will continue to haunt you if you don’t face it head on – you can’t start healing if you live in the past, you have to live in the present, and Holly learns this the hard way.

There is also a beautiful side to this story in the portrayal of family. The characters in the story are very real and believable which makes it easy for the reader to become engrossed in their lives and connect with them. The family unit Laura builds up through Holly’s family is one that is incredibly strong. Although the relationship between Holly, her brother and their mom is quite strained due to Rachel’s disappearance, they are still always there for one another. It is, however, dreadfully sad that it’s their mother suffering from Cancer that has brought them home. But just like in real life, it sometimes takes tragic events to bring a family back together. Holly’s extended family is truly amazing. They are all so supportive and always ready to help one another. This appears to be something that is very much connected to the type of lifestyle they lead in their small town, and makes you appreciate the connection they all have. These days’ people are always too busy and haven’t always got time for one another, and Laura really brings out through her writing how important it is not to take that for granted.

I really loved the relationship between Houston and Holly. I won’t say too much about it because I don’t want to give anything away, but I can definitely see Holly’s attraction to Houston. Despite the few uncertainties following Houston, his unfaltering love and protection of Holly really makes you swoon.

Something Yellow is a definite page turner, and although the reader is able to piece together some of the mystery long before Holly, or the other characters, it still keeps you hooked as you are desperate to see how the characters are going to respond to the revelations and what the outcome overall is going to be. Right till the end of the story Laura keeps an air of mystery, whether it’s the disappearance of Rachel, or Holly’s plans for her life. You become so connected to Holly and the battle she has spent so many years fighting, that you long for her to find peace and happiness.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery story, entangled with heartache, lies and love. I can't wait for more releases from Laura Templeton as I really enjoyed her writing.

A story about opening your heart to forgiveness, being true to who you are and embracing the present and future.

Interview with Laura Templeton:

1. Have you got an all time favourite book?

I have lots of favorite books! I would say the best book I’ve read in the last two years is Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. There is so much to like in the quiet way she deals with the difficult topics of race and class and aging. It’s set in the UK (I admit to being an unabashed Anglophile!) and it’s humorous. There’s suspense, romance…it’s the total package. I seem to have measured everything I’ve read since by this novel.

2. What genres do you enjoy reading?

I read in a wide variety of genres. I enjoy women’s fiction, literary fiction, nonfiction on a range of topics, mysteries, and some young adult fiction. I’ll read most anything that’s well written and engaging, though I confess I’m not a fan of the super dark or violent.

3. When did you decide you wanted to be an author?

I used to spend my summers reading books (oh, to have those days back!) After a summer spent devouring every gothic romance I could get my hands on (and that my mother approved), I announced to no one in particular that I was certain I could write one. That was the very beginning of my desire to write. I graduated from college with a degree in English and creative writing. And I wrote. Some. But not seriously enough. I accumulated rejection slips on short stories. It took me a number of years (try about 25) after that first, naive pronouncement before I ever wrote a complete novel. All that to say, I suppose I’ve decided many times that I wanted to be an author – it seems to require an ongoing recommitment!

4. Where were you when you first came up with the idea for ‘Something Yellow’?

I was probably in my car. A forty-minute (one way) commute is a perfect time for brainstorming writing ideas. Also, music tends to influence my writing, and the plot line, especially the part about Holly’s brother Oliver, was inspired by a song I was listening to at the time.

5. What was your favourite part about writing ‘Something Yellow’?

I was very excited to write a book set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. My father grew up in this area, and over the years I’ve made many trips there to visit family members. While the town of White Cove is fictitious, it is based loosely on the towns of Meadowview and Damascus, Virginia, where the Appalachian and the Virginia Creeper Trails really do draw hikers and bikers. I’ve travelled a bit, but this area of the country—of the world, really—is my favorite. The mountains are beautiful, the towns picturesque, the natural scenery breathtaking. I hope that some of my love for the area—and for my own wonderful extended family who still live there—comes through in the story.

6. What was the hardest thing about writing ‘Something Yellow’?

My cousin, Susie, who grew up in the area where Something Yellow is set, helped me with some of the geographical details. When I went there for visits, she was kind enough to drive me around and tell me stories about our many relatives. She was a sweet, beautiful person who was kind to everyone. Shortly after I finished the first full draft of the novel, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. It seemed a cruel coincidence since Holly’s mother is dying from the disease in the story. Susie lived long enough to proof a final draft of the novel for me and to receive her signed copy before she died in November at the far-too-young age of 58. The book is dedicated to her.

7. Are you reading a book at the moment?

Right now I’m judging some entries in the RWA Rita contest. That’s fun because I get to read some genres and titles I wouldn’t normally pick up. I don’t think I’m supposed to discuss what, in particular, I’m judging, but I will say I’m enjoying it. A couple of weeks ago, before I started on the entries, I read Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being. It was beautiful, enchanting, and disturbing all at the same time…it is one of those books that has stayed on my mind. I highly recommend it.

8. Are there any authors you look to for inspiration when you are writing?

When I’m writing a first draft, I often read books in the genre I’m writing in (women’s fiction or young adult). Something in them may spark an idea that translates into a plot twist. But at other times, I purposefully read outside the genre because I sometimes find my writing style slightly affected by what I’m reading. In general, anything well written tends to keep me motivated and inspired.

9. How long did it take you to write ‘Something Yellow’?

The original piece took me about ten months to write. Then, I worked on it for another year, off and on, making revisions from input I received from workshops and critique partners. Once it sold, I edited some more (thanks to my editor who made some great suggestions) for several months. So, in total, it probably took the best part of two years. I hope the next one is accomplished a bit faster!

10. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about writing a novel?

It’s a lot easier to think about writing a novel than it is to write one? Seriously, so many people say to me something along the lines of “oh, I always wanted to write a novel.” My advice to them is that writing (unless, of course, you’re doing it strictly for your own pleasure) shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. It requires a long-term commitment to mastering the skill of writing. It requires writing, writing, and rewriting, even when you totally don’t feel like it. Of course, the end result is quite rewarding! So, if after some honest self-evaluation you want to try it, then go for it! Join a professional writing group to learn how to do it right. (If I hadn’t, I still would not be published.)

About the Author

Laura Templeton lives near Athens, Georgia, with her husband, son, and a menagerie of animals, mostly rescues. In her day job she serves as Vice President of Operations for a laboratory equipment manufacturer. By night–early morning, actually–she writes fiction. Her first novel, Something Yellow, was released by PageSpring Publishing in October 2013. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, gardening, learning to figure skate—with a very patient instructor, and taking long walks on the quiet country roads near her home. Laura can be contacted at

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