Archives for posts with tag: S.R. Mallery

Hi all:

With Christmas just a few days away, I’m trying to share as many of the reviews I have pending before the end of the year as I can, to make sure you have enough to read over the holidays. Also, I have to warn you I’m planning on having some reshuffling, maintenance and hopefully improvements (and a bit of a move) in the blog over the next few days. I hope I won’t disappear completely, but one never knows… If I do it’s most likely a technical problem rather than anything else… (she said, holding on tight).

After all that, time to share reviews. Today I’m revisiting two writers whose work I really enjoyed the first time around, so I repeated. Here they are.

First, S. R. Mallery with Unexpected Gifts:

Unexpected gifts 3

First, the description:

A TRUE AMERICAN FAMILY SAGA: Can we learn from our ancestors? Do our relatives’ behaviors help shape our own?
In “Unexpected Gifts” that is precisely what happens to Sonia, a confused college student, heading for addictions and forever choosing the wrong man. Searching for answers, she begins to read her family’s diaries and journals from America’s past: the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the immigrant experience and the Suffragists. Back and forth the book journeys, linking yesteryear with modern life until finally, by understanding her ancestors’ hardships and faults, she gains enough clarity to make some right choices.

Here, my review:

Unexpected Gifts by Sarah Mallery. The power of stories and the value of remembering the past.

Having read Mallery’s book of stories Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads I was looking forward to reading her novel. And although not unexpected, it definitely was a gift. The story of Sonia, a young woman studying psychology, in a complicated relationship with the lead singer of a band, and plagued by rituals and other symptoms of OCD, her story frames the novel and provides a conduit for telling many other stories. Through her we get to know her parents, and when her mother suggests she might find direction and some useful ideas by checking the attic and the family boxes that have accumulated there, each box goes on to reveal something about her family members and helps her discover more about herself.

The book is beautifully written, with vivid descriptions of places and people, that in a few sentences transport the reader to the recent (and less recent) past) and to locations and situations that spread from the new to the old world and from America to Bulgaria, via Vietnam. The structure of the novel is clever and works well in progressively unveiling Sonia’s heritage. Every time she reaches a conclusion about one of her ancestors, the next bit of information or evidence contained in the box corresponding to that person makes her reconsider and reach a better understanding (if not always a kinder opinion) about their lives. The box within a box or the Russian wooden dolls that must be opened up or peeled back to discover what hides inside (that are also mentioned in the novel) work well as a metaphor or visual representation for the structure of the novel.

The stories will affect or touch people differently, but they are all interesting and revisit crucial historical events and periods, adding a personal perspective. We have Vietnam War veterans, the hippy movement, European emigrants arriving in Ellis Island, American Suffragettes, Racial Conflict and Race Riots, the McCarthy era Communist witch hunt, Dance Marathons and the Depression Era, and romances that seem to be fated to end up badly. By exploring the past, Sonia seeks a way of understanding her behaviour and of breaking up patterns that result in sadness and unhappiness. I don’t want to reveal too much, but can add I enjoyed the ending that brought closure and a nice conclusion to the novel.

I recommend Unexpected Gifts to anybody who enjoys a good novel, with a solid historical background and strong characters, especially to people who prefer variety and many different stories. As the book is structured I think it will also appeal to readers of short stories and of anthologies of different styles of writing, as it provides multiple voices and many narrations in one single volume. Another great achievement for the author.

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YWGATTU/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00YWGATTU/

Here the link to her author page (and don’t forget to follow her):

http://www.amazon.com/S.-R.-Mallery/e/B00CIUW3W8/

And G. Elizabeth Kretchmer’s Women on the Brink.

Women on the Brink by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

Women on the Brink by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

The description:

Women on the Brink is a stunning collection of loosely linked stories in which women aged thirteen to ninety must face the unwelcome realities of their lives. Sometimes gritty, sometimes humorous, and always compassionate, G. Elizabeth Kretchmer’s prose takes the reader on a compelling ride alongside these ordinary women as they wrestle with family relationships, self-esteem, socioeconomic status, maternal obligations, and need for independence.

In “Skydancer,” a young mother resents her newborn baby. In “Float Away,” an at-risk teen is desperate to find a new home. A minister’s wife struggles with secrets in “Liar’s Game.” A despondent housewife longs for purpose in “Alligator Poetry.” The protagonist in “Tasting Freedom” wrestles with decisions about her aging mother’s care. And in “From Here to Cafayate,” a woman refuses to give up on the perpetually flawed relationship she has shared with her sister for nearly ninety years.

Each story is enhanced by one of fourteen original poems contributed by talented poets specifically for this collection and its themes. Although the stories stand alone, they are further strengthened by the relationships among the various characters throughout the collection. Readers of Ms. Kretchmer’s first novel, The Damnable Legacy, will also delight to find that some of the characters from that novel have reappeared here.

The women in this collection may or may not be the type you’d invite over for lunch. Some of them are tough. Some aren’t all that likeable. Some might not see the world the way you do. But they’re compelling in their own right as they reflect women in today’s world—women who have come along a difficult path—and as they courageously take control of their lives.

My review:

Women on the Brink by G. Elizabeth Kretchmer. The World if Full of Possibilities if you Dare.

I was offered a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I read and reviewed Kretchmer’s novel ‘The Damnable Legacy of a Minister’s Wife’ this summer and was fascinated not only by the story (the Alaskan setting also helped) but also by the complex characterisation and the psychological insights. When I was offered a copy of ‘Women on the Brink’ I didn’t hesitate.

The book combines short stories by Kretchmer with poems that are interpretations of themes, feelings or sensations related to the stories that follow. The title perfectly reflects the nature of those stories. The women in them are at different stages of their lives, from teenagers trying to find themselves, to elderly women escaping a retirement home, but they all find themselves at a point when they question their lives as they are and what they are going to do next.

I enjoyed the different settings and characters, the writing style, easy to read and varied, adapting well to the different stories —some more introspective, some more comedic— and also the open-endedness of them. In ‘Bridge Out’ the main character, who after retirement decides to become a trucker, mentions ‘Thelma and Louise’ and like that movie, the stories show women going their own way, and these are many different ways. Perhaps piloting their own plane, going away to help in a disaster zone, confronting their past… And we never see them crash. Because one of the messages of this collection is that the world is full of possibilities if you only dare.

For those who have read the author’s previous novel there are some familiar characters, and there are also characters mentioned in several stories and who appear in more than one, hinting at the interconnectedness between all of our lives.

Although I wouldn’t say my circumstances are exactly those of any of the women in the stories, I identified with the feelings and the emotions described, I cheered (worriedly) for the ‘Girls Against Perfection’, and I thoroughly enjoyed the transformation of Margee in ‘Coco Palms’, from obedient wife to avenging warrior.

I would quite happily have read more about any of the characters in the stories, and confess I could see quite a few of them turned into much longer works (I loved the light touch in ‘Accelerant’ and Maureen, the perhaps not-as-confused-as-she-seems grandmother, is a fabulous character). Despite their length, the author creates fully-fledged characters and situations in each one of the stories, condensing descriptions and sharpening her prose, with not a word spare.

The poems complement beautifully the book and provide an effective and lyrical link between them.

I recommend it to all readers, those who enjoy short fiction and poetry, and also those who don’t read short stories, because we should challenge ourselves and they might be pleasantly surprised.

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1513702351/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1513702351/

The link to the Author’s page (and don’t forget to follow!)

http://www.amazon.com/G.-Elizabeth-Kretchmer/e/B00L2T253I/

Thanks to S.R. Mallery and to G. Elizabeth Kretchmer for their novels, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!

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Hi all:

As you know Fridays is time to share new books and/or authors. Today, both of the authors who are visiting with new books have graced my blog before, and I’m pleased to say I’ve read some of their books (next Tuesday I’ll be sharing a review for one of Sarah Mallery’s novels) and they more than deserve to be featured here. They are fairly different, but I wanted to give you a chance to catch up with both before the holiday season.

First:’The Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery

The Dolan Girls, by S. R. Mallery

The Dolan Girls, by S. R. Mallery

Set in Nebraska during the 1800s, whorehouse madams, ladies of the night, a schoolmarm, a Pinkerton detective, a Shakespeare-quoting old coot, brutal outlaws, and a horse-wrangler fill out the cast of characters. Add to the mix are colorful descriptions of an 1856 land rush, Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, Annie Oakley, bank/train robberies, small town local politics, and of course, romance. Two, in fact!

Links

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018Y063XA/
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018Y063XA/

And a couple of reviews (both 5 stars):
S.R. Mallery has done it again and in her usual style, she has done it well. I love historical fiction (and the books of S.R. Mallery) because I learn from them and they echo truth. The Dolan Girls is a story about three strong, resilient and very different women and their difficult and ardulous journey through life in the old West. Set in Nebraska after the California Gold Rush, the Dolan Girls is brimming with realism, history, vivid description and amazing characters designed and developed so well I wanted to know more about them.. If you’re a fan of the old west, strong women and enjoy a great read, this book is for you. Recommend highly!

 

Though I am not normally a reader of historical fiction, I do enjoy movies about the Old West. Films like ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales,’ ‘Unforgiven’ and ‘True Grit’ (the Coen Brothers’ version, not the original). There’s something very appealing about these desperate, iconic characters struggling to survive in a desolate setting, with the promise of Progress—usually in the form of a new railroad—looming somewhere on the horizon. When I read THE DOLAN GIRLS, I found many of the things I love—strong women, villains cut from the cloth of a harsh adherence to tradition, and some other pretty colorful characters, both real and fictional.

THE DOLAN GIRLS is western fiction as you’ve never read it. S.R. Mallery’s words thunder off the page like a cattle stampede. And her sharply written characters demonstrate that truly it was WOMEN who tamed the American West.

Don’t forget to check the author page in Amazon and follow her for news about her books.

http://www.amazon.com/S.-R.-Mallery/e/B00CIUW3W8/

And now,  Christoph Fischer, who has visited my blog a few times, has a new book out (just out on the 14th of December). The book goes back to history, one of his favourite subjects, and the story behind the writing of the book is fascinating too.

Ludwika by Christoph Fischer

Ludwika by Christoph Fischer

Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany by Christoph Fischer

It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.
Editorial Review:

“This is the best kind of fiction—it’s based on the real life. Ludwika’s story highlights the magnitude of human suffering caused by WWII, transcending multiple generations and many nations.

WWII left no one unscarred, and Ludwika’s life illustrates this tragic fact. But she also reminds us how bright the human spirit can shine when darkness falls in that unrelenting way it does during wartime.

This book was a rollercoaster ride of action and emotion, skilfully told by Mr. Fischer, who brought something fresh and new to a topic about which thousands of stories have already been told.”

Links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018UTHX7A/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018UTHX7A/

Paper:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1519539118/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1519539118/

Don’t forget to check his author page in Amazon, and follow for news of his books:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ/

I share a couple of the posts Christoph has written about the book in his own blog, that include excerpts. There are others, so don’t be shy and wander around a bit.

https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/ludwika-a-polish-womans-struggle-to-survive-in-nazi-germany-is-available-for-pre-order/

https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/displaced-polish-people-after-ww2-and-a-first-excerpt-from-ludwika-a-polish-womans-struggle-to-survive-in-nazi-germany/

And a couple of five star reviews:

Ludwika: A Polish Woman’s Struggle To Survive In Nazi Germany by Christoph Fischer starts with an introduction to the story’s protagonist, Ludwika Gierz, a 4 foot-ten inches, 22 year-old, beautiful Polish woman with piercing blue eyes. Children like her because of her friendly disposition. She has a 5 year-old daughter Irena from a non-marital relationship she had years ago, after which the father of the child left town. The well-written prose starts with undertones interjected on the horizon and we know there will be danger: the German invasion and fleeing of the townspeople, including Ludwika’s father, who disappeared with the retreat of troops; and the fact that Ludwika’s looks, her beauty, was once an asset but now is a liability as it attracts brutish German soldiers. It is a time of war with Hitler’s regime moving in and taking over, which establishes the story’s tension and conflict. In her town in Poland, Ludwika works her farm with her younger sister and mother. Siblings are mentioned, including her brother Franz who drowned in a river 2 years earlier, the memory still raw and painful. The story is off to a good start as we care about the protagonist and sense the danger that’s been alluded to. The story progresses and Ludwika encounters a Nazi soldier on the road who becomes attracted to her and protective of her, granting her rights others do not have. As Jews are being hauled off and the elderly assassinated, Ludwika is learning German from the translator that her “Nazi friend” has enlisted to help him. There’s now enough conflict in the story to propel it forward in this horrific time in history where madness prevailed. Without retelling this page turner suffice it to say that it goes deep and does not hold back as the plot moves through Ludwika’s drive to survive, and all the emotional turmoil, good and bad, that goes along with it. I’ve read several other books by this author and have to say that next to The Luck of the Weissensteiner’s this is my favorite.

And a brief one but it says it all:

Great to see Christoph Fischer, author of The Three Nations trilogy, back with another classic world war 2 story. This is probably his tightest, best work yet. It’s intense and cinematic. Fans of world war two dramas will eat this one up. Well done!

Thanks so much to S. R. Mallery and Christoph Fischer for their books, thanks to you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!

 

Hi all:

As  you know, on Fridays I bring you new books, and today I have the pleasure of bringing you two new books by two writers who have visited me before and proved very popular. So, I thought I’d bring you their new books all in one go, so you can choose, or pick both. They are quite different, but there’s the beauty…

As you know, I love owls and Viv Drewa loves them too. That’s why they call her The Owl Lady

Midnight Owl by Viv Drewa

Midnight Owl by Viv Drewa

Midnight Owl (A Joe Leverette Mystery Book 1)  by Viv Drewa

When the dismembered body of a young woman is found Detectives Joe Leverette and Philip Marsden are assigned the case. After investigating the Port Huron, Michigan area where the six body parts were found there’s a twist in the case: The murderer goes after each individual who found the parts, one by one.
Leverette becomes interested in one of the women, Carole Sage, a sensitive, but because of the case he’s not able to take it any further. Everyone on the police force sees his infatuation, but Carole does not.
Each of the six witnesses has a dream about the murderer removing the particular body part they found the night. They are startled awake and hear an owl hoot three times. None of them want to reveal their dream to the detectives.
Carole sees the actual murder and each murder as it happens to the witnesses. The police chief, Billingsley, understands her ‘gift’ and sets up a sting to catch him. It fails and they have to regroup to think of something else. Two witnesses are dead and they don’t want a third to die.
This book is for 18+ due to the violence.

http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-Owl-Leverette-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B015HXPEUA/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Midnight-Owl-Leverette-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B015HXPEUA/

Viv Drewa’s page:

http://www.amazon.com/Viv-Drewa/e/B00J1PTJ20/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

And second:

Second Chance Heart, by Marie Lavender

Second Chance Heart, by Marie Lavender

 

Second Chance Heart by Marie Lavender

After a wild storm forces her to take shelter in a small town inn, Dana Nelson thinks that all she has to worry about is a brief stay before she heads back to the city. She gets far more than she bargained for…

The last thing she expects is to run into an old flame, and even worse, the man who broke her heart twelve years ago. She’s sure that the only thing remaining between them is a strong attraction for one another.

She can’t be more wrong…

The more time she spends with Vince Reynolds, the more she begins to believe she can trust him again. But, can she put her faith in the one man who captivates her, body and soul, or are some wounds too deep to heal?

Amazon Universal link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01593TDO6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/576453

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/second-chance-heart-marie-lavender/1122651302

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/second-chance-heart

And if you want to connect with Marie, here go some links:
http://marielavender.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
http://amazon.com/author/marielavender
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender
http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos
Thanks so much to Viv Drewa and Marie Lavender, not only for their books but for their kindness to other writers and readers, thanks to you all for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Hi all:

As you know, Fridays is a day I dedicate to guest authors or new books. It’s always a great pleasure for me to bring you new books by authors who’ve graced by blog before, and even more so when I’ve read and shared my opinion of their work before. This is the case with today’s offering.

I read and adored ‘Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads‘ by S. R. Mallery (here you can check my post) and when I saw the author had published another collection of short stories, I could not resist.

Tales to Count On by S.R. Mallery

Tales to Count On by S.R. Mallery

Tales to Count On

Curl up and enter the eclectic world of S. R. Mallery, where sad meets bizarre and deception meets humor; where history meets revenge and magic meets gothic. Whether it’s 500 words or 5,000, these TALES TO COUNT ON, which include a battered women’s shelter, childhood memories, Venetian love, magic photographs, PTDS fallout, sisters’ tricks, WWII spies, the French Revolution, evil vaudevillians, and celebrity woes, will remind you that in the end, nothing is ever what it seems.

http://www.amazon.com/TALES-COUNT-S-R-Mallery-ebook/dp/B00UCBENY6/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/TALES-COUNT-S-R-Mallery-ebook/dp/B00UCBENY6/

The book has great reviews but I could not resist sharing this one:

5.0 out of 5 stars `Word counts’ and other non-sequiturs April 10, 2015

By Grady Harp

Format:Kindle Edition

Los Angeles author S. R. (Sarah) Mallery since her graduation from UCLA has enjoyed a varied career as a professional production artist, editor, ESL teacher, and tutor – but she also has been significantly involved as a classical/pop singer/composer working in clubs and churches while composing for educational filmstrips, having her own calligraphy company, a twenty-year quilting and craft artist and business, and now she devotes her time as an historical fiction writer, writing short stories in particular, as challenging a writing skill as any. She is a member of ASMWG (Authors’ Social Media Support Group) and has been published in both collections of her own works as well as anthologies with other writers published by Scars Publications, Chitra Publications, and House of White Birches. Her current publisher is Mockingbird Lane Press. Having read three of her books, now, likely classifies this reader as a Mallery addict.

Quite cleverly Sarah presents the reader with the Word Count conundrum – whether the length of a story is commensurate with the impact – and then proceeds to offer her wonderfully diverse tales in ascending order – shortest to longest. And to prove her point he first story GOOD ADVICE in a couple of pages relates an in control therapist in a women’s shelter, admired by all for the calm with which she handles her telephone please for help only face a abrupt situation of the terminal category at story’s end. In an equally brief tale – A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY – a visit to a zoo finds a tiger (Rudolfo) inadvertently picking up a discarded cigarette and out of rage having retribution by the discarding smoker. And another -THE KITCHEN – a nightmare of filth faces a maid whose employer has simply stepped out for a trip to the bank – or to her bed, a sanctum from her disengagement with the real world.

The stories grow linger but still corrupt reason in Sarah’s inimitable manner of imaginative tales: GIFTS – `In 1935, Peter was too young to know better. Dim lights, he figured–yes, it was the dim lights, the root of All Evil, that had done him in. Everyone else understood that maneuvering past the row of Stage Right columns, even well lit, wasn’t an easy task for anyone, much less a six-year-old claiming he couldn’t see. Just shy of Stage Left, he would often trip, catching himself on either his mother’s or his father’s arm. It was then that he finally wised up. He learned the inevitability of one of his parents sticking out their right toe to snag him as he went by–one night it might be his father’s, the next, his mother’s. They seemed to take turns. “If only I didn’t have to wear this eye patch,” he muttered from time to time, but his father’s, “Keep it on, Peter! Remember, that’s a big part of the act, kid!” haunted his every move. At first, he would turn to his mother–her theatrical makeup softening like a candle outside on a hot August day–the same mother who always stood helpless as her sweaty, rum-soaked husband returned home night after night, stumbling up their back steps and heading straight for their only child cowering in the farthest corner possible.’

That is the flavor of her alchemy with words. Or as the synopsis phrases it, `Whether it’s 500 words or 5,000, these TALES TO COUNT ON, which include a battered women’s shelter, childhood memories, Venetian love, magic photographs, PTSD fallout, sisters’ tricks, WWII spies, the French Revolution, evil vaudevillians, and celebrity woes, will remind you that in the end, nothing is ever what it seems.’ And not a one of these stories fails to satisfy.

But what the reader takes away from these compelling stories is that Mallery is a brilliant wordsmith – a unique artist who has mastered her medium! Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, April 15

Author S.R. Mallery

Author S.R. Mallery

Here is Sarah’s Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/S.-R.-Mallery/e/B00CIUW3W8/

And if you want to check her links in other places:

Website/Blog:  www.srmallery.com

Twitter:  @SarahMallery1

Facebook:  

http://facebook.com/pages/SR-Mallery-Sarah-Mallery/356495387768574

Goodreads:  

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7067421.S_R_Mallery

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/

Thanks so much to Sarah for her new book, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Hi all:

As I’ve been doing recently I share today two recent works by a guest author that you should follow. S. R. Mallery is a writer I met through one of the groups of writers I belong to and must admit I was fascinated by the title of one of her works. Now that I’ve read it (and I include the review in this post), the title reflects well the inventiveness, breadth and quality of the work. And, as a special surprise, the author is running a giveaway of Sewing Can Be Dangerous… in Goodread, so I leave you the link (you only have time until the 12th April, so don’t waste any time!)

But let’s the books talk for themselves.

Unexpected gifst by S. R. Mallery

Unexpected gifts 3

Can we learn from our ancestral past? Do our relatives behaviors help mold our own? In Unexpected Gifts, that is precisely what happens to Sonia, a confused college student, forever choosing the wrong man. Searching for answers, she begins to read her family’s diaries and journals from America’s past: the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the immigrant experience and the Suffragists. Back and forth the book journeys weaving yesteryear with modern life until finally, she gains enough clarity to make the right choices.

E-book edition:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GU0T3G6/

In paper:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0988954206/

Sewing Can Be Dangerous by SR Mallery

Sewing Can Be Dangerous by SR Mallery

Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads

The eleven long short stories in “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads combine history, mystery, action and/or romance, and range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets, to an Antebellum U. S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits, to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft trials, to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirt Factory fire; from a 1980’s Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial ‘star’ and an eclectic fiber artist, to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macramé artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.

 

E-book:

http://amzn.to/1P8TOyo

In paper:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0989310574/

And the GIVEAWAY:

https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/921367-book-giveaway-2-print-copies—s-r-mallery-s-sewing-can-be-danger

And my review of Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads

Women, sewing, history and storytelling.

Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads by S. R. Mallery is an extraordinary collection of 11 short stories with a common ‘thread’, sewing and allied crafts. The stories have an incredible breadth, not only because of the variety of the plots (and they are all very different) but also because of their well-researched and vivid historical settings, and their diverse genres. We go from immigrants in early XX century America, to the slavery period, from mid-Western pioneers, to the Salem witch trials, from the Zodiac serial killer in San Francisco, to a quilting teacher turned sleuth in a cruise, from the Germany of the Nazi era to modern time Native American reservations and everywhere in between. I’m not an expert in quilting (although I’ve always wanted to learn, now even more after reading the book) but this book is a quilt of stories, where each piece and patch brings its own memories to create a complex design, not a crazy quilt but something more than the sum of its parts.

At the heart of the stories are the women, who might use their skills to make a living, to survive and create a better future for those they look after, to express their artistry, to pass on cultural and spiritual traditions, to get revenge, to escape, to fight… Because it’s not only the big gestures that make the society we live in, but each small stich is a piece of the puzzle that is life.

S. R. Mallery brings to life a fantastic array of characters and recreates vividly the historical periods where the stories are set. The reader gets dragged into the moment and shares with the protagonists their unique experiences. If I had to choose one I’d go with ‘Precious Gifts’ that I loved and took me completely by surprise.

I recommend this collection to everybody, whichever your genre of preference, no matter if you like sewing or not. Go and read it. You’ll be amazed and feel better for it.

Thank you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!

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Setting up a Brand-New Life in London

THE CEO GENE

“A beautiful woman is a beautiful woman, but a beautiful woman with a brain is an absolutely lethal combination.” -Prabal Gurung

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