Best New Novelist (2006)
While chasing after that elusive first novel, Deerfield Beach author Heidi Boehringer supported herself with every kind of job, from bartending to loan processing. Following graduation from the creative-writing program at the University of Florida -- Gainesville, she went on to write Chasing Jordan, the story of a woman's life crumbled by guilt after accidentally running over her small son. While many of the area's newest novelists use South Florida's gritty and sometimes bizarre milieu for detective mysteries and whodunits, Boehringer mines the banality of the gated communities carved out of the Everglades. "Motherhood sinks to an all-time low in Boehringer's bleak debut, set in the soulless suburbs of South Florida," posits Kirkus Reviews. Despite the subject matter, the novel courses with an unpredictable sense of humor. "This is my kind of novel," Florida writing legend Harry Crews gushed in a blurb. "Whatever Heidi Boehringer writes next, I will read."