Which Icon Are You?

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz…

You Are a Grace!

You are a Grace — “I need to understand the world.”

Graces have a need for knowledge and are introverted, curious, analytical, and insightful.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be independent, not clingy
  • * Speak in a straightforward and brief manner
  • * I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts
  • * Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be that I am feeling uncomfortable
  • * Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt your sincerity
  • * If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be because it was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place
  • * don’t come on like a bulldozer
  • * Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people’s loud music, overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy

What I Like About Being a Grace
* standing back and viewing life objectively
* coming to a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects
* my sense of integrity: doing what I think is right and not being influenced by social pressure
* not being caught up in material possessions and status
* being calm in a crisis

What’s Hard About Being a Grace

  • * being slow to put my knowledge and insights out in the world
  • * feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all
  • * being pressured to be with people when I don’t want to be
  • * watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence or technical skill, do better professionally

Graces as Children Often

  • * spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on
  • * have a few special friends rather than many
  • * are very bright and curious and do well in school
  • * have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers
  • * watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information
  • * assume a poker face in order not to look afraid
  • * are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict
  • * feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

Graces as Parents

  • * are often kind, perceptive, and devoted
  • * are sometimes authoritarian and demanding
  • * may expect more intellectual achievement than is developmentally appropriate
  • * may be intolerant of their children expressing strong emotions

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Weekly Geeks 2009-03

I haven’t done a Weekly Geeks since Dewey’s passing, but in this new year, I’ve decided to rejoin the weekly meme with a subject close to my heart, the classics.

We were asked to choose two or more questions from the list and these are the ones I chose:

1. How do you feel about classic literature? Are you intimidated by it? Love it? Not sure because you never actually tried it? Don’t get why anyone reads anything else? Which classics, if any, have you truly loved? Which would you recommend for someone who has very little experience reading older books? Go all out, sell us on it!

I have loved classic literature since I first picked up Shakespeare’s Hamlet and King Lear in 7th or 8th grade, shortly after I was reading Pride & Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. I think that sums up my favorite classics. For someone who has little experience with the classics should probably start with Great Expectations by Charles Dickens or A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens because those are classics that are easy to read and get into with their wacky characters. I would love for others to fall in love with Jane Austen as well, probably start with Pride & Prejudice or Sense & Sensibility.

2. Let’s say you’re vacationing with your dear cousin Myrtle, and she forgot to bring a book. The two of you venture into the hip independent bookstore around the corner, where she primly announces that she only reads classic literature. If you don’t find her a book, she’ll never let you get any reading done! What contemporary book/s with classic appeal would you pull off the shelf for her?

Myrtle, Myrtle what are we going to do with you? I think you need to spread your wings and check out Cold Rock River by J.L. Miles and Testimony by Anita Shreve. Not to mention, Breathing Out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt and Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips.

3. A challenge, should you choose to accept it: Read at least one chapter of a classic novel, preferably by an author you’re not familiar with. Did you know you can find lots of classics in the public domain on the web? Check out The Popular Classic Book Corner and The Complete Classic Literature Library, for example. Write a mini-review based on this chapter: What are your first impressions? Would you read further?

For this mini challenge, I chose to read Chapter 1 of The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit, who is an author I have never read before.

I was initially intrigued by the first mention of Guy Fawkes, but there are several paragraphs where the fireworks and their validity are discussed. This conversation turned me off from the beginning. I didn’t get far into this chapter, and think I should have selected another author. I had no idea who the kids were in the chapter, knew very little about what they looked like and how they related to one another.

However, this doesn’t temper my thoughts on trying other chapter of E. Nesbit’s works.

Interview of Me by Monica of Monniblog

I was hopping through my Google Reader a few days ago and stumbled upon a fantastic idea, interviewing other bloggers as a meme. Monica’s questions–asked by Ruth— and answers can be found here.

I offered to be Monica’s guinea pig, and she sent me five questions to answer. So here is Monica’s interview with me.

1. Why did you call your blog “Savvy Verse & Wit”?

I toyed with a lot of different names for my blog. I wanted the blog name to signify its content, which I hoped would be writing, reading, and a bit of humor. I always loved verse as a poet and I love the word Savvy, so all that was left was Wit. It is really not that great of a story to tell. Kind of lame, right?!

2. You read and review a lot of books, but what was the first book you fell in love with as a kid?

The first book I fell in love with as a kid was The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, but it was a short time later that I fell in love with Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and The Giving Tree. Those were my favorite books as a kid, but I graduated from those on my own to Hamlet and King Lear on my own before I read them in school. It was a short time later that I discovered Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

3. If you could live anywhere in the world (money not an issue) where would it be and why?

This is a loaded question because there are a ton of places I would love to live. I think that I’m a bit of a nomad. There are three places I would love to live if I had the money. Number one on the list is Boston, downtown, in a penthouse apartment with my hubby and my fluffy Keeshond. Number two on that list is Terceira, Azores because that’s where some of my family lives, though I don’t speak Portuguese fluently. I think that would be something to remedy before moving there. Third on the list is somewhere in Ireland, probably somewhere rural. I just love the scenery of the Irish countryside and would love to soak that in. I guess I was only to pick one…never said I like to follow the rules.

4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I haven’t got a clue. I would like to say that I would have a few published books of poetry, but one completed manuscript would be fantastic. I’d like to also think I would be in Boston, living there with the hubby and fluffy Keeshond. Perhaps one kid, but you never know what life brings. I try to live my life one moment at a time and make the most of it.

5. You have joined a lot of book challenges, and hosted too… what is it that interests you about reading challenges?

Reading challenges help me focus on areas that I want to read and keep me reading even when I really want to just sit and watch television, mindlessly. The worlds created by books are far more enriching and worth spending the time on. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finally finish challenges. I’ve only joined 2 challenges, officially completing one of them. The second challenge I had to switch out some books to complete it on time. The WWII challenge is one of my favorites, and I am happy to cohost it with Anna at Diary of an Eccentric. I look forward to examining this time period in depth through nonfiction works and fiction works. I can’t wait to unveil the 2010 challenge; it’s another of my favorite time periods, and it was controversial and still may be.

For those of you who might want to be interviewed, here are the directions:

  • Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
  • I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
  • You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
  • You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  • When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Writing Goal Week #4

I forgot to tell you that progress did not occur last week on the poem at all! I’m disappointed in myself once again, but perhaps this struggle to get back into the writing habit will spout new ideas.

Anyway, the goal remains the same this week to finish the poem I began.

The Memorist by M.J. Rose

I received the The Memorist by M.J. Rose as part of a TLC Book Tour. Please stay tuned for my interview with M.J. Rose after my review.

The Memorist is the second in a series of books about reincarnation, lost memory tools, and the struggle of Meer Logan to find herself through her past. Her father had struggled to help Meer recall her past-life memories to the surface, but she found her life bearable only when she avoided the triggers that called those memories to the surface. Readers also will find the historical bits about the Nazis and their experiments undertaken in Vienna disturbing.

M.J. Rose’s narrative technique easily transports readers to Vienna, the home of Ludwig von Beethoven, and to Vienna in the past when Beethoven lived and taught in the city. She carefully weaves a suspenseful tale to find a lost memory tool once in the possession of Beethoven. Meer not only struggles with the surfacing memories, but with whom she should trust of her father’s friends and how deeply she should not only confide in them but lean on them when the memories flood her mind.

“Margaux’s lovely home was filled with cleaver and important people, fine food and charming music. It was all a patina. The threads that held the partygoers’ polite masks in place were fragile. Everyone in Vienna had an agenda and a plan for how the reapportionment of Europe would work best for them now that Napoleon was in exile. . . . So even here tonight, at what purported to be a totally social gathering, nothing was as it seemed.” (Page 226)

This paragraph illustrates the facades built up around her father, her long-time confidant Malachai, and her father’s sorrowful, new friend Sebastian. The face they present to one another does not represent reality; her father hides many things from her, just as she prepares speeches she believes he wants to hear. While this story is a thriller reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code, it is much more. It illuminates the relationship between Meer and her father and the secrets that lie beneath.

“‘Yes, behind the facades of these elegant buildings are ugly secrets and dirty shadows. . . .'” (Page 297)

Readers will enjoy the shifting perspectives from chapter to chapter and the subplot that lurks beneath the surface, which could change everything for the main characters and Vienna. Music, art, and mystery are the order of the day in The Memorist, and they are woven together beautifully.

“Lifting the plastic cover over the keys she put her fingers on the yellowed ivory and began. The piano had obviously been kept tuned and she was surprised at how differently this two-hundred-year-old instrument played from the ones she was used to. There was more power and feel to its sound, less control, less sustaining power and it seemed she could do more with its loudness and softness.” (Page 252)

Meer underestimates her abilities, and readers will love the evolution of her character. The only drawback in the novel for readers may be the repetition of several descriptive lines as Meer enters her past memories–“a metallic taste fills her mouth.” Aside from this minor annoyance, which quickly fades into the background after several chapters, this novel is action-packed, thrilling, and absorbing. M.J. Rose has done her research and created a believable world in which reincarnation is a viable theory that can be put into action through the recovery and use of various tools.

Check out The Memorist Reading Guide and an excerpt from the book.

Without further ado, here’s my interview with M.J. Rose:

1. When writing The Memorist did you listen to music? If you had to chose five songs that coordinated with The Memorist what would they be and why?

All of Beethoven’s symphonies because he is part of the book and the music of Doug Scofield because he wrote two songs for the book.

Do you have any obsessions that you would like to share?

I love visiting museums, reading, walking our dog in any and all parks, and the ocean.

Most writers will read inspirational/how-to manuals, take workshops, or belong to writing groups. Did you subscribe to any of these aids and if so which did you find most helpful? Please feel free to name any “writing” books you enjoyed most (i.e. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott).

Definitely not Bird by Bird. 🙂 I might the only writer who couldn’t even finish that book. Not knocking it – just not my cup of tea. What helps me is keeping a journal of my character’s life, and reading and rereading great books that I’ve loved over the years, plus I read John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction once a year.

This is one area M.J. Rose and I disagree. Check out my review of The Art of Fiction.

A great deal of writing advice suggests that amateur writers focus on what they know or read the genre you plan to write. Does this advice hold true for you? How so (i.e., what authors do you read)?

I read too many to mention – but I love Paul Auster and Steve Berry and Lisa Tucker and Alice Hoffman and Daniel Silva and Daphne Du Maurier and F. Scott Fitzgerald and Laurie King and Louis Bayard and on and on and on … and from that list you can see I don’t agree on reading in the genre you want to write exclusively at all. I don’t really believe in genres – I believe in good books – genres are what publishers do to books to figure out what to buy and where to put it in the store.

5. Do you have any favorite food or foods that you find keep you inspired? What are the ways in which you pump yourself up to keep writing and overcome writer’s block?

I think writers block comes from not knowing your character and writing too soon in the process. I don’t think you should just sit down and write every day. I think you need to get inside your story and the people who inhabit its world however you need to do that – for me it requires swimming a lot and a lot of long walks where I focus on the characters for hours a time.

Foods, no. I drink green tea while I’m working but I don’t nibble at the computer:) Just when I’m done.

Please describe your writing space and how it would differ from your ideal writing space.

I have trained myself to write anywhere so my writing space is my laptop wherever it needs to be. And as long as my dog is nearby, it’s ideal.

About the Author (From her Website):

M.J. Rose, is the international bestselling author of 10 novels; Lip Service, In Fidelity, Flesh Tones, Sheet Music, Lying in Bed, The Halo Effect, The Delilah Complex, The Venus Fix, The Reincarnationist, and The Memorist.

Rose is also the co-author with Angela Adair Hoy of How to Publish and Promote Online, and with Doug Clegg of Buzz Your Book.

She is a founding member and board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She runs two popular blogs; Buzz, Balls & Hype and Backstory.

Mailbox Monday #14

Mailbox Monday is sponsored by Marcia at The Printed Page. I can’t believe that I’ve stuck with this meme this long. I am happy that I have, and that I get to share all of my fantastic book news with everyone. As you might have guessed, I have a tour stop tomorrow, so here is my Mailbox Monday a day early!

Here’s what found its way into my mailbox in the past week:

1. Drood by Dan Simmons, which I received from Hatchette Group for an upcoming tour in February. I’m looking forward to this book, even though it is over 700 pages.

2. Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly; I also received this from Hatchette Group. The tour is in March on St. Patrick’s Day, one of my favorite holidays. I cannot wait to read this Irish saga.

3. The Best American Essays by Susan Orlean and Robert Atwan; I received this through the generosity of Lisa at Books Lists Life.

4. Dear Anais: My Life in Poems for You by Diana M. Raab; the author was kind enough to send me her book of poems for review. Look for this review in February.

5. The Fourth Hand by John Irving; I snagged this one from Heather at Book Addiction. She was kind enough to send it to me.

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich

Audio books make the commute fly by on most occasions and Janet Evanovich‘s Plum Lucky, a Between-the-Numbers novel, is no exception. My husband and I seem to be hooked on these Between-the Numbers novels because they are humorous, ridiculous in some instances, and fast-paced.

Stephanie Plum and Diesel are back on the hunt, but not for Sandy Claws this time–Snuggy O’Connor who thinks he’s a leprechaun. This little person not only thinks he’s a leprechaun, but that he can disappear from sight on a whim to steal from mobsters and others. Oh, he also thinks he can talk to animals, like horses.

This reader would have snorted coffee through her nose if she were drinking any when Snuggy talks to a doberman at a mobster’s home and the dog convinces him to merely take his clothes off to disappear in front of everyone’s eyes. Can you say the emperor’s new clothes?

Grandma Mazur returns and finds a bag of money on the sidewalk, which happens to be stolen from a mobster by Snuggy. Grandma doesn’t know, heads off to Atlantic City, and is in gambler’s paradise before disaster strikes and she’s kidnapped by a mobster, Delvina. Snuggy wants to pay off Delvina to get his horse, Doug, back from the mobster and Stephanie and Diesel must team up with Snuggy to recoup the gambled money and pay off Delvina to get Grandma back.

From the snarky comments between Stephanie, Snuggy, Diesel, Grandma Mazur, Lula, and Connie to the details of Atlantic City and Daffy’s casino, Evanovich paints a vivid scene with an eclectic cast of characters. Ranger even makes an appearance in this one, along with Morelli.

This made the commute fly by, and I am looking forward to the next Between-the Numbers novel on audio.

Also Reviewed By:
The Movieholic & Bibliophile

Poet Andrea Hollander Budy Interview

I’ve been working on a interview project with Deborah at 32 Poems magazine, and she kindly allowed me to interview past contributors to the magazine. We will be posting the interviews throughout the coming months, and our first interview posted on Deborah’s Poetry Blog of 32 Poems on Jan. 21.

I’m going to provide you with a snippet from the interview, but if you want to read the entire interview, I’ll provide you a link for that as well.

For now, let me introduce to you 32 Poems contributor, Andrea Hollander Budy:

1. Not only are you a contributor to 32 Poems, but you also are a teacher and attend quite a number of conferences. What “hat” would you consider the most challenging to wear and why?

Yes, not only do I write, but guide others both as the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College and, during the summers, at a variety of writers’ conferences. I also work one-on-one as a long-distance writing tutor (via the mail and telephone). But at all times I wear the same “hat,” because even when I teach others, I do so as a colleague who has enough experience with the craft of creating poems that I can provide insight into the process and help my students or tutees grow stronger as writers and revisers of their own work. Creating one’s own poems is indeed a continual challenge. But whether I am teaching others about this challenge or facing my own blank page, the important point is to enable myself and others to do the best work through continual devotion to doing the work in the first place.

2. Do you have any obsessions that you would like to share?

It’s the writing itself that reveals my deeper obsessions to me. If I am obsessed with anything, it’s with the process of writing itself, with the joy of making discoveries through writing, and with the pleasures of learning through reading the work of others, as well.

3. I noticed that much of your poetry has been categorized as conversational in tone. Do you believe that to be an accurate depiction. Why or why not? Has this always been the style you’ve used?

I have always tried to write as clearly as possible in language that is free of decoration. A poem is already by its nature a dense enterprise — relatively few words attempt to engage readers and provide a compelling experience — and while I don’t wish to write simplistic poems, I do want readers to easily enter a poem and to discover there something valuable not only the first time they read or hear it, but for them to want to enter the poem again and again and to be ushered more deeply into it each time.

About the Poet:

Born in Berlin, Germany, of American parents, raised in Colorado, Texas, New York, and New Jersey, and educated at Boston University and the University of Colorado, Andrea Hollander Budy is the author of three full-length poetry collections: Woman in the Painting, The Other Life, and House Without a Dreamer, which won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Other honors include the D. H. Lawrence Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize for prose memoir, the Runes Poetry Award, two poetry fellowships the National Endowment for the Arts, and two from the Arkansas Arts Council. Most recently Budy received the 2008 Subiaco Award for Literary Merit for Excellence in the Writing and Teaching of Poetry.

Want to find out what Andrea’s writing space looks like? What music she listens to while she writes? How she stays fit? and much more? Check out the rest of my interview with Andrea here.

Interview with Phyllis Schieber, Author of The Sinner’s Guide to Confession

I want to welcome Phyllis Schieber, author of The Sinner’s Guide to Confession, to Savvy Verse & Wit. If you missed my review of her novel, check it out here. There’s also a chance to win her novel at the bottom of my review.

Without further ado, here’s my interview with Phyllis:

1. Most writers will read inspirational/how-to manuals, take workshops, or belong to writing groups. Did you subscribe to any of these aids and if so which did you find most helpful? Please feel free to name any “writing” books you enjoyed most (i.e. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott).

I think writing groups are great. I studied writing with the late Hayes Jacobs at The New School for Social Research. In fact, I wrote Willing Spirits, my novel that will be re-released in paperback this coming March, in Hayes’s class. I took several writing classes with him and then applied to his seminar. I remained in that seminar for almost ten years.

I used Elizabeth Benedict’s The Joy of Writing Sex when I was working on The Sinner’s Guide to Confession. I’ve read many books about writing, such as Writing Fiction by R.V Cassill, Fiction Writer’s Handbook by Hallie and Whit Burnett, A Writer’s Life by Annie Dillard, On Writing by Eudora Welty, and I loved Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

These are some great books for writers to check out. Many of us have read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, but I would love to pick up some of these other fiction writing handbooks. Thanks for the recommendations, Phyllis.

2. A great deal of writing advice suggests that amateur writers focus on what they know or read the genre you plan to write. Does this advice hold true for you? How so (i.e. what authors do you read)?

I was an English major in college, so I’ve read all the classics, of course. I also have an M.A. in Literature, so I’ve covered a lot of ground. I love Carol Shields, Fay Weldon, Shirley Hazzard, Alison Lurie, Anne Tyler, Alice Hoffman, Dorothy Allison and Jane Smiley. I seem to be drawn to women writers. I have read and loved Richard Yates, the short stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Yasunari Kawabata. I love different works for different reasons.

3. With Sinner’s Guide to Confession, did you have a playlist that you used while writing to keep you inspired? And if so, what are the top 5 songs on that list? If you don’t listen to music while writing, do you have any other routines or habits?

I do listen to music when I write, bit it’s typically classical. It doesn’t distract me. I can listen to the same CD all day. In fact, I can listen to it all week or all month. I just push replay. I like Bach and Mozart. But I also love the soundtrack to the movie Frida and the soundtrack to The Piano. I listen to Andrea Bocelli because his voice is so sweet. And sometimes I’m in the mood for Otmar Liebert, an amazing guitarist. I also listen to opera as well. My son is studying voice with the intent to be an opera singer, so I am trying to hone my taste and knowledge of opera.

I tend to have opera or classical music on when writing poetry. It seems to inspire me, though I prefer Dvorak. I do love Bocelli’s voice.

4. In terms of friendships, have your friendships changed since you began focusing on writing? Are there more writers among your friends or have your relationships remained the same?

I dedicated The Sinner’s Guide to Confession to “Everyone who asked.” It was sort of a jab at the people who never ask me about my writing and a tribute to those who do. I have a few friends who are writers, not many. Most of my friends are not writers. However, I have some really good friends who never ask about my work. That amazes me. I think it’s because they don’t know what to ask. They don’t understand that you ask about writing the same way you would ask about any job. “So, how’s your work going?” That’s all it takes. I’ve more or less trained my closest friends to ask me about my work the same way I would ask about their jobs. I think those relationships have grown. Two of the four people who read for me are not writers, and their insights and criticisms are extremely helpful.

I wonder if non-writer friends are afraid that writing is too personal to ask about or that they feel writing is just a hobby? An interesting question.

5. How do you stay fit and healthy as a writer?

I don’t. I try to, but I struggle. I am just getting back to yoga. I have a stationary bike that I do get up and use when I am writing for a long stretch. I’ll do ten minutes on the bike. I like to put my legs up against the wall periodically and stretch out. Yoga is the best exercise for me. I also take twenty minute naps at intervals. I just stretch out on the floor in my office, and I’m out. I love those naps.

6. Do you have any favorite foods or foods that you find keep you inspired? What are the ways in which you pump yourself up to keep writing and overcome writer’s block?

Perseverance is the only way to overcome writer’s block. If you wait for the muse to sit on your shoulder, you’re in trouble. I find that the more I write, the less I have writer’s block. Food doesn’t inspire me. I like to eat because it tastes good. I like coffee when I write and tea and soup, but only if it’s homemade. That’s easy to eat while I’m working. Otherwise, I’ll take a break and have something.

7. Please describe your writing space and how it would differ from your ideal writing space.

I’m happy with my writing space. We converted half the garage into an office for me. It’s quite nice with floor to ceiling built-in bookcases, lots of framed posters and photographs on the wall. I have an old armoire that I use as a storage unit. I have a nice big chair for reading, an old desk and a great Herman Miller chair. It’s a nice office, very comfortable. I have one window, but I usually keep the shade drawn because I am too easily distracted. In my other house, my office was in a space in a converted attic, really high up. I liked that a lot too.

Thanks to Phyllis for joining us. I wish her well with her latest novel and her future projects.

The Sinner’s Guide to Confession by Phyllis Schieber

Nikki Leigh contacted me about hosting Phyllis Schieber and her novel, The Sinner’s Guide to Confession, and I was pleased to do so. Stay tuned for information about how you can win your own copy of The Sinner’s Guide to Confession.

The novel is follows longtime friends Kaye and Barbara, who are now in their fifties. Kaye and Barbara soon make friends with Ellen, who is several years younger, but their friendship solidifies and becomes close-knit. The three women are inseparable, but each nurtures a secret.

The alternating narrators for the chapters keeps the reader guessing as to when the friends will break down all of the walls between them and share their deepest secrets. From a romance novelist hiding her alternate career as an erotica writer to a married woman having a long-term, passionate affair. Readers will appreciate the perspective Justine, Barbara’s daughter, provides to Kaye and Barbara’s relationship. The friendship between these women is long standing and much of the story focuses on their relationships with one another as well as their relationships with the men in their lives. The novel may be considered an older woman’s chicklit book, but it has more substance.

Of the three women, Ellen’s story was the most heart-wrenching and deeply moving. Readers learn early on about Ellen’s secret, but as her chapters unfold, the devastation of one decision she makes early on in her life has significant impact on how her life unfolds. Ellen’s decision establishes her reactions and interactions with others, her husband, and her friends. It’s amazing how a decision not completely in her control molded her into the woman readers see in the beginning pages of this novel. Ellen is afraid of making decisions, hides behind the confidence brought by her false eyelashes, and holds deep grudges against her parents.

The intricate relationships between these characters are intense, and the relationships with each family member provides a realistic glimpse into the dynamics of family. Each member plays a specific role in how the family operates, and these women are central to those families.

About the Author Phyllis Schieber:

The first great irony of my life was that I was born in a Catholic hospital. My parents, survivors of the Holocaust, had settled in the South Bronx among other new immigrants. In the mid-fifties, my family moved to Washington Heights. The area offered scenic views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, as well as access to Fort Tryon Park and the mysteries of the Cloisters. I graduated from George Washington High School. I graduated from high school at sixteen, went on to Bronx Community College, transferred to and graduated from Herbert H. Lehman College with a B.A. in English and a New York State license to teach English. I earned my M.A. in Literature from New York University and later my M.S. as a developmental specialist from Yeshiva University. I have worked as a high school English teacher and as a learning disabilities specialist. My first novel , Strictly Personal, for young adults, was published by Fawcett-Juniper. Willing Spirits was published by William Morrow. My most recent novel, The Sinner’s Guide to Confession, was released by Berkley Putnam. In March 2009, Berkley Putnam will issue the first paperback publication of Willing Spirits.

Giveaway Details:

Win A Free Book from Phyllis Schieber – Its very easy to be entered in a drawing for a FREE book by Phyllis Schieber.

Post comments on any blogs during the virtual tour and you will have a chance to win a book from Phyllis.

One random person will win – but we are also asking visitors to share a secret and one secret will also win a free book. As a bonus the blog owner that hosted the winning comments will also win a book.

Share some interesting stories and questions with Phyllis Schieber during her tour – and have a chance to win a book.

Schieber’s Virtual Tour Stops

Reading Guide for Sinner’s Guide to Confession

***Also stop by Tomorrow, Jan. 21, for my interview with Phyllis Schieber***

Mailbox Monday #13

Welcome to another Mailbox Monday, sponsored by Marcia at The Printed Page. This is where bloggers will share what goodies came in their mailboxes the previous week.

Here’s what made its way to me:

1. Katie Brown Celebrates

2. Gold Dust on His Shirt by Irene Howard, which finally arrived from Minibook Expo; my cover is brown and gold.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?