Tag Archives: literary fiction

Book Review & Giveaway: American Corporate by Jeb Stewart Harrison

9 Apr

 

 

American Corporate by Jeb Stewart HarrisonAmerican Corporate by Jeb Stewart Harrison

Publisher:  Baby Bingus Books (Nov 27, 2018)
Category: Literary fiction, humor, family life
Tour dates: Apr/May, 2019
ISBN: 978-1986937863
Available in Print and ebook, 258 pages

American Corporate

 

 

Description 

A playful, big-hearted tragicomedy in the Russo/Irving mold, American Corporate chronicles the misadventures of middle-aged Jack Sullivan and his family as they bounce across the country in search of gainful employment, domestic tranquility, and a few people they can trust.

It is a story that working parents past, present and future will see as part of their own: the triumphs, the tragedies, the innocent mistakes and the not-so-innocent mistakes, and above all the forgiveness that keeps families together to face another challenge.

 

 

Guest Review by Betty B.

“American Corporate” by Jeb Stewart Harrison is a story about marriage, poverty, illness and feeding the corporate machine. And yet, somehow it is absolutely hilarious! Jack Sullivan is a middle-aged, married father of two who is looking for employment. Having lost his job eight months previously, Jack has been begging and borrowing wherever and whenever he can in order to maintain his expensive southern California lifestyle. Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t been having much luck finding jobs and when his father informs him that he can no longer help Jack pay his mortgage, Jack has to cross the country to take a job in the comparative ghost town of Indianapolis.

 Like I said, this novel is a comedy about some actually pretty serious subjects. Jeb Stewart Harrison manages to take the subject of unemployment and make it funny. I laughed out loud when Jack had to go to a job interview after being sprayed by a skunk and when his wife, Carrie, started talking to other men on Craigslist by accident. There were a lot of funny situations set up to make the characters come across like sitcom stars—that is, hilarious if not very easy to relate to.

In the book, part of the reason that Jack cannot find a job is that he isn’t actually interested in working in the corporate world. His actual passion is music and he creates the picture of somewhat of a former rock star who accidentally became a corporate stooge. Whereas his wife, Carrie is a beauty queen type, who isn’t very smart but makes up for that with earnestness and kindness. I’m giving this five stars for keeping me laughing throughout the entire book! I highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good, funny read that is well written and descriptive.

 

 

Praise Healing of Howard Brown by Jeb Stewart Harrison

“If you enjoy beautiful prose, complex themes of family and race, and a refreshingly original narrator, this book is for you. Harrison is among the select few contemporary fiction writers who still write for serious readers.” – Jim Heynen, author, best known for The One Room Schoolhouse , The Boys’ HouseYou Know What is Right , The Man Who Kept Cigars in His Cap and many more.

“This book starts off with a bang and keeps on going. Howard is a character with a specific voice and story. I’m sure you’ll be provoked and entertained.”- Jessica Barksdale Inclan, author of The Believe TrilogyThe Being Trilogy, and many more.

“In The Healing of Howard Brown, author Jeb Stewart Harrison weaves an intriguing contemporary literary. The author provides a wonderful mixture of drama, humor, and seriousness to the story that easily keeps the reader’s interest as Howard’s journey unfolds. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I really enjoyed the author’s rich and vividly descriptive style of writing, especially the wonderful descriptions of the California and Louisiana settings.
The Healing of Howard Brown is a thought-provoking contemporary literary tale that will draw you in, touch your soul, and leave a smile on your face.”- Kathleen Higgins-Anderson, Jersey Girl Book Reviews

“ I’m so happy that I read this book. It is beautifully written, wonderful imagery, and has such a heartwarming story as you follow along with Howard healing from the past. This is a wonderful story and one that I strongly recommend.”- jbronderbookreviews

“Jeb Stewart Harrison’s novel, THE HEALING of HOWARD BROWN brought to mind the novels of Roland Merullo, particularly, BREAKFAST WITH BUDDAH. Along the way, to his childhood home, and hopefully his sister, Howard finds more than expected and what he’s missing in the most unlikely places. The journey allows Howard to meditate on family relationships, issues such as love,life, death, fear and ultimately finding one’s personal peace. We the readers, if open, are able to learn from some of Howard, Mr. Booper and even the author, Jeb’s experiences.”- Cindy Roesel, Cindy Reads and Writes

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Guest Book Review & Giveaway: Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha

13 Mar

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh HaMrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh Ha

Publisher:  The Permanent Press (March 1, 2019)
Category: Historical Fiction, Vietnam, Literary Fiction, Multicultural
Tour dates: Mar-Apr, 2019
ISBN: 978-1579625689
Available in Print and ebook, 312 pages

Mrs. Rossi’s Dream

 

 

Description 

“I live in a coastal town in the deep south of the Mekong Delta. During the war this was IV Corps, which saw many savage fights. Although the battles might have long been forgotten, some places cannot forget.”

Thus begins the harrowing yet poignant story of a North Vietnamese communist defector who spends ten years in a far-flung reform prison after the war, and now, in 1987, a free man again, finds work as caretaker at a roadside inn in the U Minh region. One day new guests arrived at the inn: an elderly American woman and her daughter, an eighteen-year-old Vietnamese girl adopted at the age of five from an orphanage in the Mekong Delta before the war ended. Catherine Rossi has come to this region to find the remains of her son, a lieutenant who went missing-in-action during the war.

“Mrs. Rossi’s Dream” tells the stories of two men in time parallel: Giang, the 39-year-old war veteran; Nicola Rossi, a deceased lieutenant in the U.S. army, the voice of a spirit.

From the haunting ugliness of the Vietnam War, the stories of these two men shout, cry and whisper to us the voices of love and loneliness, barbarity and longing, lived and felt by a multitude of people from all walks of life: the tender adolescent vulnerability of a girl toward a man who, as a drifter and a war-hardened man, draws beautifully in his spare time; the test of love and faith endured by a mother whose dogged patience even baffles the local hired hand who thinks the poor old lady must have gone out of her mind; and whose determination drives her into the spooky forest, rain or shine, until one day she claims she has sensed an otherworldly presence in there with her. In the end she wishes to see, just once, a river the local Vietnamese call “The River of White Water Lilies,” the very river her son saw, now that all her hopes to find his remains die out.

Just then something happens. She finds out where he has lain buried for twenty years?and how he was killed.

 

 

Awards 

Parts of the book were previously published in literary magazines and became finalists for the following awards:

2016 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction (Sarabande Books)

2016 Many Voices Project (New Rivers Press)

2016 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction (Prairie Schooner)

2015 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Award (Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society)

A short story adapted from the book won the 2013 Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction (The Greensboro Review)

 

 

Guest Review by Nora S.

Memories are a funny thing. Sometimes they can take you back to a different time and place so effectively that they feel like time travel. Such is the case for the characters in Khanh Ha’s book, “Mrs. Rossi’s Dream.” It is a book about a group of characters who are tortured and influenced by the past in many ways. 

Take for instance, the character of Giang Le. Despite not being the title character, he is the main character of the novel as the reader is most often given his perspective on things. Giang is a fairly peaceful and low-key Vietnamese man who works at a roadside inn. But through his recollections about his past, we find out that he was a prisoner of war during the conflict in his country and that he was imprisoned for ten years by his own government for defecting.
 
Giang is such a soft-spoken man in his everyday life that the flashbacks to his time as a youth and during the war serve almost as a window into his soul for the reader. Here is a man who has seen so much suffering and so many terrible things but you’d never know it from talking to him. 

Alternatively, Mrs. Rossi is a character who tends to speak her mind and be forthright at all times. She tells Giang very quickly after meeting him about her quest to find her soldier son’s remains in the jungle and stays determined throughout most of the novel that she will succeed in her objective. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the perspectives of both characters as well as the interspersed chapters where we got the perspective of Mrs. Rossi’s son, Nicola. 
I found this book to be a worthwhile and fascinating read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well written novel. I promise you’ll enjoy it. I don’t give out a 5 star review very often but this book deserves that plus so much more.

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Blog Tour: Twenty-One Steps of Courage by Sarah Bates

20 Feb

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Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc.  (Mar 31, 2012)
Category: Literary Fiction, Military Fiction, Adventure, Realistic Fiction
Tour dates: Feb/Mar, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-61434-957-0
Available in Print, ebook, & Audiobook 280 pages

From award-winning author. In 2006, with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan raging, Rod Strong enlists in the Army to achieve the goal his father sought before he tragically died in the Gulf War. His objective: The Old Guard regiment, the elite Soldiers who stand as Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery. Rod overcomes the obstacles that litter his path until an unexpected firefight in Afghanistan changes his life forever.

Purchase Links

 Amazon   *   Barnes&Noble   *   Book Depository   *   IndieBound

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Guest Review by Kate M.

When you first pick up ‘Twenty-One Steps Of Courage’, you may think it is biography of a soldier.   The detail in the research Sarah Bates did make it feel that way.  However, it is a work of fiction that would appeal to those who like to read biographies, military fiction and non-fiction.

Rod Strong’s father dies in the Gulf War when he is young but his stories have stuck with Rod all through his childhood.  Especially those of his father serving his country.  Rod makes up his mind that he wants to be a soldier just like his dad.  His father shared his dream of someday becoming a Sentinel Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery.  He never accomplished this dream, due to his death.

On his 18th birthday, Rod enlists in the Army.  His ultimate goal is to accomplish what his father was unable to do.  However, first he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and do all of the training that he did.  His mother is upset when he told her he enlisted.  His older brother is already in the army, serving in Afghanistan.  Rod’s girlfriend, Beth, is not surprised when he tells her that he enlisted.  He talked about his dreams a lot with her but promised they would marry one day.

The details of Rod’s training were very detailed and kept me glued to the book.  I read the ebook which is a good thing, because the cover and pages would have bent and creased with my grip!  The book read like a movie in my mind and I felt like I was in it.  The characters are well written and the sense of place is bang on. This book is a masterpiece and should be made into a movie!  I highly recommend it for all!

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About the Author

Award winning author, Sarah Bates’ fiction has appeared in the Greenwich Village Literary Review, the San Diego North County Times (now the Union-Tribune) and the literary magazine Bravura.

She is the author of ‘The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’, published in 2016, and co-author of the 2005 short story collection, ‘Out of Our Minds, Wild Stories’ by Wild Women. Bates was an English Department writing tutor at Palomar College in California for ten years. She privately tutors academic and creative writing students and is writing a new novel.

She is a Military Category Finalist for ‘Twenty-One Steps of Courage’, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, (2013) and 2nd Place Finalist, for ‘The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’, Unpublished Novel-Category, San Diego Book Awards (2015). It has since been published.

Sarah Bates lives in Fallbrook, California.

Website: http://www.sarahbatesauthor.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bateswriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahbatesauthor/

 

 

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