Island resident receiving rave reviews on new book

March 13, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

BY SUSAN HANAFEE – Sandy Jacobs will tell you that she is not a woman to mince words. But this summer she let them flow freely as she went through the process of creating her second novel in less than a year – this one called Tropical Disturbances.

“I started in July and finished in December. I didn’t plan to write another book, but when the idea of the plot came to me, I just sat down and started typing, no ready or set, just go. Somehow, I hammered out 100,000 words,” she says.

Sandy’s novel tells the story of Sylvie and Hugo Deschamps, who set out from France on their 42-foot-sailboat with their two children to explore the island chains of the Caribbean and rebuild their fractured marriage. They end up at the fictional St. Dominic’s island in the French West Indies where they discover that life in the tropics doesn’t solve their marital problems but instead provides a fertile climate for new liaisons and new adventures. 

As Sandy says in her book promo: “Warning: Stormy weather ahead!”

On her Amazon author’s page, Sandy says that although she has always liked writing, she had no desire to create a book until 2019, the year she turned 80. “My first novel about an unwed mother named Francie came to me at night when I was between wakefulness and sleep. No one was more surprised than I,” she explains.  

She read a couple of chapters of Francie’s Story to the informal writing class she taught in 2019. Participants liked her tale of an Irish family and encouraged her to continue. The book resulted in lively sales and top ratings. The success of her first novel led her to create a second one.

“My new book, Tropical Disturbances, is a good story with likable characters,” she says. “It’s based on the experiences my husband and I had on our favorite Caribbean island starting in the 1970s. We went there for 17 years until the secret of its charm was discovered and the island became the playground of the rich and famous. As far as we were concerned, the charm was gone and so were we. We looked around for another wonderful location and found Boca Grande.”

Sandy writes whenever the mood strikes – it could be for as few as ten minutes or for as long as several hours. For Tropical Disturbances, the memories of happy times on their secret island came flooding back, as did the colorful people she knew there. She wrote the fictional tale around some of them.

Earlier this summer, Sandy started putting together a book about her grandmother. She got to page 150 and found she’d lost interest. She didn’t have the patience to slog through the process if she didn’t find the story compelling, so she moved on.

“To me, the story is the thing. I skip the imagery and the metaphors and get right to the point with no frills, much like my personal style,” she points out. 

A sequel to Tropical Disturbances will soon be in the works “because the characters are too good not to live on.”

Both novels, Francie’s Story and Tropical Disturbances, are now in stock locally at Fugate’s, The Tide bookstore and Courtyard Hair, or by contacting Sandy at  To purchase on-line in e-book or book format, go to