Monday, December 4, 2017

The Unexpected Daughter - A Review

Idgie Says:
This story pulled me into the character's lives immediately and I ended up tearing through the novel in a weekend. 
It delves into cross-cultural relations and/or the inability to have them and possibly still maintain familial relations.

Jenny and Roshan not only have to span cultural boundaries to make their relationship have a chance at working, but both are damaged people with additional baggage that holds on tight.  Roshan battles alcoholism and Jenny has abandonment issues that make her fight against leaning on and loving others. 

Combine all of this with family hostility on both sides and you know these two have an uphill battle all the way. 

This is not a light-hearted book by any means, but it does grab and keep your interest nicely. 

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Available now on Kindle Unlimited, eBook and paperback
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Three people’s lives intersect in a tumultuous yet redeeming way that none of them could have ever predicted. Jenny is a young professional from the South with an upbringing she wants to forget. She meets Roshan, an Indian immigrant who has moved to the United States with his mother, Esha, to escape family ghosts. With strong cultural tradition, Esha has devoted her entire life to her only child, both for his own good and for her personal protection from a painful past. Roshan understands his role as his mother’s refuge, and from an early age, he commits himself to caring for her. But when Jenny and Roshan embark on a forbidden, intercultural relationship, all three get tangled into an inseparable web—betrayal, violence, and shame—leaving them forced to make choices about love and family they never wanted to make while finding peace where they never expected to look.

About the Author

Sheryl Parbhoo is a southern novelist and blogger. She was featured at the 2017 Decatur Book Festival and is a member of the Atlanta Writers Club and Georgia Writers Association. Her writings have been featured in Twins Magazine and Masalamommas Magazine, and she has been interviewed by PBSNewshour and quoted by Harvard Divinity School’s Religious Literacy Project. She first became known for her blog, Southern Life Indian Wife, where she shared stories about the masala and cornbread loving, multicultural family she has with her South African-born Indian husband.

She currently blogs at SherylParbhoo.com and is at work on the sequel to The Unexpected Daughter, due to be released in Fall 2018. Coffee is her best friend. She divides her time between her family and touring with the Trio Exhibit, book signings, and book clubs. The rest of the time, you can find her at Starbucks writing the sequel to The Unexpected Daughter with a triple espresso latte in her hand. For more on Sheryl, including social media and contact information, visit sherylparbhoo.com.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

When Nightime Shadows Fall - Spotlight

Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (November 30, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611178320
ISBN-13: 978-1611178326

In the early 1970s, Laura Bauer decides to leave college and head fifty miles north of her comfortable Atlanta home to manage a federally funded project aiding pregnant teenagers from the back roads of Appalachia. Almost as young as her clients, Laura is immediately confronted with―and almost overwhelmed by―a variety of young women in desperate circumstances, having no other source of prenatal care.

When Nighttime Shadows Fall, Diane Michael Cantor’s second novel, portrays the world of these girls with compassion, hardscrabble humor, and reverence for their families’ capacities to prevail despite hardships. Among the characters are Mavis, a defiant, tough-as-nails preacher’s daughter; Lisa, a victimized thirteen-year-old; Nell, a shy girl who is constantly berated by herdomineering mother; and self-conscious Mandy, whose proud husband, twice her age, detests any form of charity. As an outsider whose urban upbringing is vastly different from those of her clients, Laura must win their trust and overcome her own inexperience and the magnitude of the need she finds.

The novel follows Laura as she struggles to locate her clients during their first trimesters, when they are still eligible for the project’s services but often trying to conceal their pregnancies. As she overcomes their suspicions and tries to help them during those first critical months, Laura comes to realize she has prepared at least a few of them to open doors to their unexpected futures, just as they have helped her find the determination to face her own.

When Nighttime Shadows Fall movingly portrays Laura’s clients as they search for love from boyfriends, husbands, and babies. Some find it, but ultimately, through powerful revelations, their strength comes from within.

My Ghost has a Name - True Crime/Memior - Spotlight

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press (November 30, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611178266
ISBN-13: 978-1611178265

On October 20, 1999, thirty-eight-year-old Nell Crowley Davis was bludgeoned, strangled, and stabbed to death in the backyard of her home in Bluffton, South Carolina, near Hilton Head Island. In My Ghost Has a Name: Memoir of a Murder, Rosalyn Rossignol tells the story of how Davis’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Sarah Nickel, along with the two teenage boys, came to be charged with the armed robbery and murder. Since no physical evidence tied Nickel to the murder, she was convicted of armed robbery and given the same sentence as the boys―thirty years. In the months that followed, Nickel vehemently insisted that she was innocent.

Torn by Nickel’s pleas, Rossignol, a childhood friend of the murder victim, committed herself to answering the question that perhaps the police detectives, the press, and the courts had not: whether Sarah Nickel was indeed guilty of this crime.

During five years of research, Rossignol read case files and transcripts, examined evidence from the crime scene, listened to the 9-1-1 call, and watched videotaped statements made by the accused in the hours following their arrest. She also interviewed family members, detectives, the solicitor who prosecuted the case, the lawyers who represented the defendants, and the judge who tried the case, as well as Nickel.

What Rossignol uncovers is a fascinating maze of twists and turns, replete with a memorable cast of characters including a shotgun-toting grandma, a self-avowed nihilist and Satan-worshipper, and a former Rice Queen of Savannah, Georgia. Unlike all previous investigators, Rossignol has uncovered the truth about what happened, and the reasons why, on that fateful October day.

The Last Ballad - A Review

Idgie Says:
As  expected from a Wiley novel, this story shares with us characters that we may not necessarily like, but that we can relate and empathize with easily.  His dialogue is strong and his sense of time and place spot on. You can easily envision the environment the characters are in and what they are dealing with. 

This is not a happy novel, but it is a gripping one.

Click Here to read a sample.

Click Here to hear an interview with Wiley.

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  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (October 3, 2017)

The New York Times bestselling author of the celebrated A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy returns with this eagerly awaited new novel, set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events. The chronicle of an ordinary woman’s struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill, The Last Ballad is a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice, with the emotional power of Ron Rash’s Serena, Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day, and the unforgettable films Norma Rae and Silkwood.

Twelve times a week, twenty-eight-year-old Ella May Wiggins makes the two-mile trek to and from her job on the night shift at American Mill No. 2 in Bessemer City, North Carolina. The insular community considers the mill’s owners—the newly arrived Goldberg brothers—white but not American and expects them to pay Ella May and other workers less because they toil alongside African Americans like Violet, Ella May’s best friend. While the dirty, hazardous job at the mill earns Ella May a paltry nine dollars for seventy-two hours of work each week, it’s the only opportunity she has. Her no-good husband, John, has run off again, and she must keep her four young children alive with whatever work she can find.
When the union leaflets begin circulating, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. But the mill owners, backed by other nefarious forces, claim the union is nothing but a front for the Bolshevik menace sweeping across Europe. To maintain their control, the owners will use every means in their power, including bloodshed, to prevent workers from banding together. On the night of the county’s biggest rally, Ella May, weighing the costs of her choice, makes up her mind to join the movement—a decision that will have lasting consequences for her children, her friends, her town—indeed all that she loves.

Seventy-five years later, Ella May’s daughter Lilly, now an elderly woman, tells her nephew about his grandmother and the events that transformed their family. Illuminating the most painful corners of their history, she reveals, for the first time, the tragedy that befell Ella May after that fateful union meeting in 1929.

Intertwining myriad voices, Wiley Cash brings to life the heartbreak and bravery of the now forgotten struggle of the labor movement in early twentieth-century America—and pays tribute to the thousands of heroic women and men who risked their lives to win basic rights for all workers. Lyrical, heartbreaking, and haunting, this eloquent novel confirms Wiley Cash’s place among our nation’s finest writers.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Back to Brooklyn: Sequel to My Cousin Vinny - Spotlight Q & A


About BACK TO BROOKLYN (Down & Out Books, May 2017)

“Fans of the movie will enjoy Vinny and Lisa’s further adventures.” —Publishers Weekly 

Gambini is back! Hot on the heels of rescuing his cousin Bill and Bill’s friend, Stan from an Alabama electric chair, our wildly inappropriate hero, Vincent Gambini heads home to Brooklyn where he attempts to establish a successful law career. Meanwhile, Lisa aches to have a wedding band placed around her finger and her biological clock is still ticking away like mad. Vinny and Lisa have been together ten long years. She’s waited so very patiently for him to complete law school and pass the bar. Winning his first case was the last piece of the puzzle, and now nothing can stand in the way of true love, except that between them they don’t have two nickels to rub together, and Vinny is about as romantic as a box of frogs. 

In the course of building his practice, Vinny is reunited with Joe, his walking, talking embarrassment of a brother, Lisa’s nudging parents, Ma and Augie, and his dear old friend Judge Henry Molloy, who refers him the mother of all capital murder cases. 

Theresa Cototi is young and pretty but far from innocent, and darn her luck … her boyfriend has just been scraped off the pavement after taking a header from eight- stories up. You’d better believe she’s going to trial, charged with murder one. 

Aided by Lisa and a ragtag team of misfits, Vinny defends his client against overwhelming odds. Our endearing neophyte attorney must match wits with a cunning DA and a formidable influence peddler, who appears to anticipate his every move. In the balance hangs the life of a woman he believes to be innocent. Or is she? 

Yes, Vinny may have finally won his first case but his and Lisa’s story is far from over.
 
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Novelist Lawrence Kelter chats about writing BACK TO BROOKLYN, the literary sequel to Dale Launer's 
classic legal comedy film My Cousin Vinny

How did the chance to write BACK TO BROOKLYN come about?

Lawrence Kelter: There was one specific project I always wanted to be involved in, but like the rock star dream and the Super Bowl victory, I thought it was not to be. You might think this silly or lame. And maybe it is. There was a film I enjoyed so much that every time it popped up on TV, it made me late for an appointment because I just couldn’t pull myself away. I knew the script verbatim and often incorporated the better-known lines into my everyday conversation. That movie is My Cousin Vinny.

It popped up on the tube about two years ago, and I decided to email the screenwriter/producer to tell him how much I loved his film, thinking, Hollywood screenwriter—I’m dirt beneath his boot—He’ll never reply.

But he did.

And somehow we forged a connection. Emails led to conversations. He discussed his upcoming projects with me, and I with him. One day he called up and said, “Hey, I read one of your books and you’re pretty f_ _king funny.”

“So how about you let me turn My Cousin Vinny into a book series?”

“Make me an offer.”

Four attorneys and fourteen months later, BACK TO BROOKLYN was delivered to Eric Campbell, publisher of Down & Out Books.

What was the most rewarding part of writing established characters like Lisa and Vincent? The most challenging part?

Lawrence Kelter: Writing BACK TO BROOKLYN was the most fun I’ve ever had sitting in front of a keyboard. I have high hopes for this book. After all, I love the characters and the backstory—not to mention the two years I have invested in the project. But where it goes from here… I've received a great deal of feedback from readers. Almost universally they tell me that that they can hear Lisa and Vinny in their heads playing that cat and mouse game--they visualize Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci as they're reading. Nothing could be more rewarding than that.

At the onset there were two big challenges that gave me pause. 1) I had to get the voices just right--my Vinny and Lisa had to sound exactly like Vinny and Lisa from the film with the same type of smart Alec rhetoric and the same colloquialisms. They had to think alike and  react alike. In the words of Beechum County DA Jim Trotter III, they had to be, "IDENTICAL!" 2) The movie reveal was just so damn clever and startling that it was a real challenge to develop a plot that felt like the original but was completely different, and at the end ... well, it was a serious undertaking to reveal the true villain and his MO without relying on "magic grits" and "Positraction."


Why should fans of My Cousin Vinny read BACK TO BROOKLYN?
 
Lawrence Kelter: Fans of the film will instantly fall back in love with Vinny and Lisa and hopefully laugh just as hard as they did the first time they saw the film. In the words of New York Times bestselling author William Landay: "Like visiting with old friends, BACK TO BROOKLYN captures the fun and spontaneity of every lawyer's favorite legal comedy, My Cousin Vinny. As surefooted as a '63 Pontiac with Positraction." 

Have you heard feedback on BACK TO BROOKLYN from the original movie cast?

Lawrence Kelter: Both Ralph Macchio and his wife have both read the novel and reported that they really enjoyed it. I tried to get in touch with Joe and Marisa but was unsuccessful. On a lighter note, Nelson DeMille gave his copy of the book to his mother after he read it and she reported, "Nelson, this guy knows Brooklyn a hell of a lot better than you do!"

What are you working on now? Will we see further adventures with Vinny and Lisa?

Lawrence Kelter: I'm working on four or five new books at once. OMG, it's scary that I can't remember how many books I'm working on. They're all in different states of completion. Next up is (insert drumroll) the novelization of My Cousin Vinny. Why you ask? Because it's bigger, and fresher, with additional scenes, lots of new humor, and sneak peeks into Vinny and Lisa's history that was not revealed in the film. It's due for release in March of next year.

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About the author

Lawrence Kelter never expected to be a writer. In fact, he was voted the student least likely to step foot in a library. Well, times change, and he has now authored several novels including the internationally bestselling Stephanie Chalice and Chloe Mather Thriller Series.

He’s lived in the Metro New York area most of his life and relies primarily on familiar locales for story settings. He does his best to make each novel quickly paced and crammed full of twists, turns, and laughs.

Find Lawrence Kelter online …

Website: http://lawrencekelter.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lawrencekelter/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LarryKelter
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Lawrence-Kelter/e/B0058Q8IIW
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/673845.Lawrence_Kelter

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Poison - A Spotlight.

Description

Friday, November 17, 2017

Melissa Foster as Addison Cole - Sweet with Heat Series

Idgie Says:
I received this delightfully decorated Addison Cole book recently.  This novel in the series does not release until December 13th. 

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From Melissa:

For years, fans of my (Melissa Foster’s) Love in Bloom series (featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Seaside Summers, and more), have been asking for “sweet” or “clean” versions of the books so they could share them with friends and family who enjoy sweet romance without explicit scenes or harsh language. Now, Melissa’s fans can share the same emotional stories they have come to love by sharing Addison’s Sweet with Heat series (no explicit scenes or harsh language). 

Under the name Addison Cole, I will be releasing each of my beloved, and steamy, Love in Bloom titles in a “Sweet with Heat” version. The new Sweet with Heat series has no explicit love scenes or harsh language, but my voice is naturally passionate, and because of that, the stories convey all of the heat you expect between two people in love (within the confines of the “sweet” genre).

In NIGHTS AT SEASIDE...
Sky Lacroux has finally realized her dream and opened her own tattoo shop in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She's happy as can be, preparing the shop for its grand opening and renting a cottage in the Seaside community while renovations to her new apartment are being completed. The only thing missing is the one thing she longs for, and has no control over--love.

Sawyer Bass, a professional boxer, plays his guitar at a local bar to escape the painful reality of his father's deteriorating health and a recent health warning of his own. But when he spots a stunning brunette across the room, escaping reality goes out the window, and the beautiful woman becomes the focus of his next song--and maybe even the rest of his life.

When Sawyer walks into Sky's tattoo shop and sees the woman from the bar--Sky--the chemistry between them is instant. Sawyer is everything Sky could ever hope for in a man. He's honest, loving, sensitive, and potently virile--but boxing goes against everything Sky believes in. The closer they become, the more she realizes that her alpha boxer is waging his own emotional battle--only the battle she thinks he's waging isn't the one that threatens to tear them apart.