Monthly Archives: November 2014

Review, Author Q&A and Giveaway: The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones by Ellen Harger

I received an advanced copy of this book from the author.  I invite you to read my review, learn more about the author and enter to win your own copy.  Thanks for stopping by!

My Review:

Mrs. JonesSometimes we just muddle through our lives without ever reflecting on our happiness, or lack thereof.  It takes a catalyst for our neat little world to be rocked to its core and shake us out of our comfort zone.  This is exactly what happened to Gillian when a fire destroyed the home she shared with her husband.  They walked away with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  Ellen Harger’s descriptions of fire and its far-reaching destruction form some of the most eloquent prose in this book.

In the first part of the book, Ellen Harger shows us her talent in the writing of emotional and though-provoking images.  In the months that follow the fire, Gillian is depressed and does not seem to be recovering from the trauma of the fire.  She realizes, at this point, that she has never really been happy in her marriage and she wants out.  She asks her husband for a divorce, makes some new friends and tries to forge an independent and happier life.

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Filed under Author Interviews, Giveaways

Happy Thanksgiving

I am so grateful for all of the readers, followers, authors and fellow bloggers I have connected with this year.

Happy Thanksgiving

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Review: The Widow Smalls and Other Stories by Jamie Lisa Forbes

Today I welcome Virtual Book Tours back to The Book Binder’s Daughter with a collection of short stories.

My Review:
23184904The theme of this collection is life on a ranch in the mid twentieth century.  I found all of the stories in the collection interesting and I will highlight three of my favorites.

In “Ramona Dietz,” Roy is in need of a new ranch hand and a cook, so his father hires an older man named Cal Dietz and his much younger wife Ramona.  Roy does not like the way Cal Dietz speaks to his wife and when Ramona starts having “accidents” and getting hurt, he suspects that Cal is abusing his wife.

Roy mentions the situation to his father, his wife and even his in-laws, but no one around him sees concerned or wants to get involved in other people’s private affairs.  The descriptions of life on the farm, the harsh winter, and the Dietz’s problems were vivid and engaging which is not an easy task to accomplish with short stories.

“His Mild Yoke” describes the ephemeral nature of life on a ranch through the eyes of a little girl.  Her life seems happy as she lives with her mom and dad on the farm.  But things never seem to last when the family pet, her pony and even the nice ranch hands disappear from her life.

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Novella, Short Stories

Review and Giveaway: The Kill List by Nichole Christoff

Today I welcome TLC Book Tours back to The Book Binder’s Daughter with a fast-paced suspense novel.  I invite you to read my review and enter to win your own copy of the book and a $25 Gift Card to the book retailer of your choice.

My Review:

untitledJamie Sinclair is a securities and investigation specialist.  When she receives a call from her ex-husband with a plea for help, she has a real dilemma on her hands.  Her ex cheated on her and got his new girlfriend pregnant.  But now it is Tim’s 3 year old daughter, Brooke who has been kidnapped and Tim needs Jamie’s special set of expertise.  Jamie can’t resist helping a little girl in danger, so she puts her personal feelings aside and drives to Fort Leeds, New Jersey where Tim is the commanding general on the army base.

When Jamie gets to Fort Leeds, one of the first people she meets is Adam Barrett who is in charge of the military police and also the investigation into Brooke’s kidnapping.  The sexual tension between Jamie and Adam is evident from the first time they meet and the author keeps us in suspense as to what the outcome of their relationship will be.

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Filed under Giveaways, Mystery/Thriller

Review, Author Q&A and Giveaway: The Bootlegger’s Wife by Terri Lee

I received a review copy of this historical fiction novel from the author, Terri Lee.  I invite you to read my review, learn more about the author and enter to win your own copy of The Bootlegger’s Wife and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

My Review:

23285853 (2)If you had to make a choice between incredible wealth and the love of your life, which would you choose?  Frances Durant is faced with this very dilemma.  She has grown up in a family that still exudes the wealthy and prestige of The Gilded Age, with luxurious apartments in Manhattan, country homes in Vermont, and parties with the rich and famous.  In 1919, Frances has just finished her first year at Bryn Mar and her parents fully expect her to marry someone that will bring further wealth and prestige to the Durant family.

But Frances has always had a mind of her own and when she meets a handsome and charming Marine named Frankie, she has no intentions of marrying anyone else.  The first part of the book describes the tension between Frances and her parents and their refusal to even meet with her beloved.

The relationship between Frances and her parents is sad because they never bestow any parental tenderness on their daughter.  The fact that Frances calls her mother “Lena” instead of “Mom” points to the fact that a mother-daughter bond was never forged between them. The rift in the family, I felt, is really the fault of Frances’ parents since she has no positive feelings or emotions to fall back on when they give her an ultimatum.

The second part of the book describes Frankie and Frances’ life with its ups and downs.  Like everyone else, they are affected by the market crash in 1929 and the resulting Great Depression.  What I loved about this book was the fact that they never lose sight of what is important, which is their love for each other.  When they are faced with horrible tragedy, they get through it because they are able to lean on each other for support.

If you like historical fiction set in the early 20th Century then I highly recommend THE BOOTLEGGER’S WIFE.  Terri Lee has given us a great love story with strong characters.

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About The Author:
Born and raised in northern California, that part of the country will always have a piece of my heart. My family moved to Missouri in my teenage years and when the love of my life walked through my door at my summer job, that is where my heart truly found its home. As with all good things, when I least expected it. Of course it didn’t hurt that the first thing he did was buy me a chocolate malt.

Forty years later I am still married to my High School sweetheart, who has always been my biggest cheerleader in whatever scheme I dream up. And believe me, I’m capable of dreaming up almost anything. We have a golden/lab named (Elizabeth Bennett) Lizzie, who is my muse and my steadfast writing partner. She offers only the kindest critiques.

Not to be outdone, our cat, Baby Kitty, is a card carrying terrorist, whose only mission in life is to thwart any goodness that comes my way. I make my home in a small rural town outside of Springfield, MO, the sort of place where the adventures reside only in the stories I spin, which is just the way I like it.  Visit Terri at her website: www.terrileeauthor.com

 

Author Q&A:
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer?

I’m sure my answer is typical of every writer; I’ve been scribbling away at things for my entire life. I always knew that one day I’d write a book. And when I was ready, the stories starting bubbling up like a dam had been removed from some secret stream. The fact that I didn’t write my first real novel until I was in my fifties, should serve as inspiration to all the budding authors out there. It’s never too late for your dream to find you.

2. This story is based on your grandparents. How did you go about doing the research for the book? Did you interview family members?

The short answer is, for a host of reasons I won’t go into here, I didn’t have access to any family members. So the bits and pieces of the tale as I remember hearing it over the years became the framework for this book. Because I wasn’t writing a biography, per se, I didn’t have to get lost in the minutiae. Love is the story. That being said, I did have to do quite a bit of research regarding Prohibition and the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Two major events that drive this narrative. I was extremely thankful for the information I gathered from Ancestry.com. From there I was able to fill in a few of the names and dates that had been left blank.

3. What happened to Lena and William Durant during the crash of 1929? I am assuming that they were affected by the crash?

Like most people they didn’t come out unscathed. I don’t want to give too much away here, as I’d hate to spoil the story for the next reader.

4. What is your next project? Will you continue Frankie and Frances’ story? Or are you planning something different?

Readers will hear something else from Frances and Frankie, but not in a sequel. One of my future projects is a a memoir of my early childhood. And the two of them are right there where they should be. But there are other stories to be told first. My current work in progress is set in the south in 1963. I’m excited by the fact that all of my novels are so different from one another. I haven’t been locked into a certain type of book. I’m free to dance among various time periods. As with The Bootlegger’s Wife, this book too requires a good deal of research on the period. Lucky for me, I adore the entire process. Time spent in research is time well-spent. After a while, I begin to feel quite comfortable walking around in those vintage shoes. That’s when I know that I’m ready to write.

Thanks Melissa for sharing my book with your audience. It’s been an honor to be featured here on your website.

Giveaway:
The author is generously giving away one hard copy of the book and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  Please just leave a comment below and let me what aspect of this book appeals to you.  It’s that easy! Giveaway is open to residents in the U.S. and Canada.  The winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond.  Ends 11/28.

 

 

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Filed under Author Interviews, Historical Fiction