Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tricia Dower - Becoming Lin - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

It’s 1965. Twenty-two-year-old Linda Wise despairs of escaping her overprotective parents and the town of Stony River where far too many know she was sexually assaulted as a teenager. Deliverance arrives in the form of marriage to the charismatic, twenty-six-year-old Ronald Brunson, a newly ordained Methodist minister who ignites in her a dormant passion for social justice. He tells her war and racial discrimination are symptoms of the “moral rot” destroying the country, conjuring up something dark and rancid in her mind, thrilling in its wickedness. He sweeps her away from New Jersey to serve with him at a church in a speck-on-the-map prairie town in Minnesota. What lies ahead for her over the next seven years is the subject of Tricia Dower’s penetrating study of a marriage and a woman’s evolving sense of self as she confronts the fear that keeps her from an unfettered future. Becoming Lin conjures the turbulent era of Freedom Riders for civil rights, Vietnam war resistance, the US government’s war against the resisters, the push for equal rights for women and the unraveling of the traditional marriage contract—an era that resonates today in tenacious racism and sexism, perpetual war and wide-reaching government surveillance.




My Review

No one addresses the concept of God quite like Tricia Dower.

In her latest release, BECOMING LIN, she picks up where she left off in STONY RIVER, by following the path of Linda Wise, the girl who gave up on God after being violently attacked by a man in the front seat of his car.

So when she falls head over heels for a passionate, young pastor/civil rights activist named Ron, she surprises even herself. Throwing her former doubts about the Almighty aside, "she knows, just knows, God has made her endure the ignominy of remaining in Stony River so she can meet this man."

It seems before she can blink, she's Mrs. Lin Brunson, imagining the good they'll be able to accomplish together as a couple. Unfortunately, her new husband may have a commanding presence behind the pulpit, but in their personal life he tends to spout Scripture verses at the most inopportune times, so much so that Lin exclaims in anguish, "I'm not a lost sheep that has to be found."

Going into their marriage, Lin thought the two of them were going to be equals, yet when Ron informs her that there will be no secrets between them and that her dad has already told him about the assault she went through as a teenager, she withdraws from him. After practically losing her faith over the whole traumatic ordeal, she resents how Ron tries to comfort her by saying, "It's obvious, my love. God was watching over you."

But Lin hasn't asked Ron for his prayers. All she wanted was a fresh start. And being around him day and night, all his Bible talk gets to be too much for her. When she openly resists his attempts to coddle her, he asks her flat out, "What's wrong with me taking care of you?"

Unfortunately, Lin realizes a little too late that she's not cut out to be a pastor's wife. She never wanted anybody to rescue her, and she definitely doesn't want to live the rest of her life under the pressure of having to be perfect. What she eventually does come to understand is her need to find herself. Ultimately, at some point it's up to every person to decide what to believe—about themselves, and God.

***

Becoming Lin can be purchased at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
IndieBound
BooksaMillion
Midpoint Trade
Kobo

Prices/Formats: $12.99 ebook, $22.95 paperback
Genre: Women's Fiction, Historical, Coming of Age
Pages: 240
Release: March 20, 2017
Publisher: Caitlin Press
ISBN: 9781987915075
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Tricia Dower hails from Rahway, New Jersey. You can find her on the “Rahway’s Own” website with other individuals the town has recognized for innovation and creativity. A graduate of Gettysburg College and a Phi Mu, she built a career in business before reinventing herself as a writer in 2002. Her literary work has crossed borders and won awards. She expanded a story from her Shakespeare-inspired collection, Silent Girl (Inanna 2008) into Stony River, which was published in both Canada (Penguin 2012) and the US (Leapfrog 2016). She gave a character from Stony River her own novel in Becoming Lin (Caitlin Press 2016), now available in the US.

The Vancouver Sun says, “Some of the most powerful and eloquent novelists of the 20th and 21st centuries…including Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence and Ethel Wilson...open up what had been cloaked in silence, the oppression of women and their self-discoveries in resistance. We can now add to this important liberation canon the name of Tricia Dower.”

A dual citizen of Canada and the United States, Dower lives and writes in Brentwood Bay, BC.

Links to connect with Tricia:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog


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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Michael J. McCann - Burn Country - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

The latest in a series of barn fires in Leeds County turns ugly when a body is discovered inside the burned-out husk of an old hay barn near the village of Elgin. When the victim turns out to be Independent Senator Darius Lane, a renowned artist and social activist recently appointed to the upper chamber by the prime minister, Detective Inspector Ellie March of the Ontario Provincial Police finds herself coping with an RCMP national security team which must first assess whether the senator’s involvement in sensitive government business led to his brutal murder by forces hostile to Canada. While Detective Constable Kevin Walker works the case files of the previous barn fires looking for a serial arsonist within Leeds County who may have killed for the first time, Ellie discovers that the intervention of RCMP Assistant Commissioner Danny Merrick, unexpectedly polite and charming, will place her directly in the cross-hairs of a homicide investigation with national repercussions! This is the second book in the March and Walker Crime Novel series and the sequel to Sorrow Lake, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Hammett Award for best North American crime novel.


My Review

"The loneliness of seeing things the way no one else sees them."

That's how romantic modernism is defined—a type of realistic painting style that finds significance in the commonplace. And it's also the school of thought employed by the unfortunate murder victim in Michael J. McCann's latest detective story, BURN COUNTRY.

"The Fire in a Boy's Heart" is Darius Lane's most famous work, ironically titled since he ends up meeting his demise amid the smoky remains of his torched artist cabin. But there's more to this painting than meets the eye. It's also the childhood favorite of Canada's current prime minister, who used to stare at it for hours on end, imagining he was the boy standing in the sunburned field against a horizon on fire, a look of determination on his face.

Now this same prime minister wants to know why his favorite painter is dead and it's up to investigator Ellie March to find the answer. A self-professed people watcher, Ellie's a pro when it comes to interrogations, but not so much in dealing with the internal politics attached to such a high profile case. She's not someone who's out to make a name for herself. For her, this murder isn't a lucky hand she's been dealt in order to advance her career. To her, they're all important. Each and every case is personal to her.

That's why in order to get to sleep at night she allows herself one cigarette, before washing it down with a splash of alcohol. She's learned to compartmentalize her emotions because she's had to. People don't understand that the mind of plain and awkward Ellie March is continuously filled with terrible things. She's not out to network or cultivate relationships based on someone else's tragic demise. Her focus is on the work, thereby lending her own brand of quiet dignity to the deceased.

Others probably would use the opportunity to butter up the prime minister—but not her. Because deep down she knows that later that night she'll be staring out at the calm water from her lakeside cabin, hoping to bring some relief to her restless mind. And she knows that no amount of money or influence will change that.


***

Burn Country can be purchased at:
Amazon
Kobo

Prices/Formats: $5.99 ebook, $24.99 paperback
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781927884096
Publisher: Plaid Raccoon Press
Release: March 17, 2017
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

Michael J. McCann was born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. He earned degrees in English from Trent University and Queen's University in Kingston, ON.

He is the author of Sorrow Lake, the first March and Walker Crime Novel, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Hammett Award for best crime novel in North America.

He is also the author of the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel Series, including Blood Passage, Marcie's Murder, and The Fregoli Delusion. The Rainy Day Killer, the most recent in the series, was longlisted for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel in Canada.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog (mystery)
Blog (paranormal)
Pinterest
YouTube
Blog Tour Site


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