Friday, February 8, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: THE THING WITH FEATHERS by ANNE SWEAZY-KULJU




the thing with feathers
By Anne Sweazy Kulju

About Anne:

ANNE SWEAZY KULJU has won awards for editorials and honors for short stories, but now she writes historical fiction adventures, exclusively. Her debut novel, “the thing with feathers,” was released by Tate Publishing in September 2012. Her book, “Bodie,” a total thrill ride, is expected to release in early 2013, and she is currently busy on her next book, “Grog Wars,” set in 1850’s Portland, Oregon, the Shanghai capital of the world. Anne lives near Pacific City, Oregon, and divides her free time between the beach and Mount Bachelor. Readers may learn more about Anne and correspond with her on her website at www.AnneSweazyKulju.com .



the thing with feathers by Anne Sweazy-Kulju

Genre - Historical Fiction/Saga
Publisher - Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC
Release Date - 9-11-2012
Buy: Amazon

Blurb:

It was the ugliest photo he had ever seen.
And nothing would be the same again.

As the inhabitants of Cloverdale, Oregon, welcomed in the twentieth century, they were not unaccustomed to hard times and thorny situations. Small communities banded together for protection and hope. Heroes and villains were often difficult to decipher.

When an itinerate Baptist preacher arrived with his baby daughter and a wife lost on the trail, there was no one prepared to suspect what lurid secrets and heartbreak he might be concealing. As the preacher sets his sights against those who might oppose him, the names and the lives of the good people of Cloverdale may not be spared.

Yet in the midst of the machinations of a mad man, virtue and valor can persist. The Thing with Feathers is known to fly through wars, depressions, and natural disasters. Will the Marshall clan and the good people of Cloverdale find it in time?

Excerpt:

Seems she don’t much care for song leaders neither.” The musician reached for another piece of the pie.

On the contrary.” Preacher Bowman gave the man a knowing look.

Serious? Naw. Pull my other leg, it has bells on!” he’d told him.

I never knew a young girl who didn’t attempt to lure a man she’s interested in away from the prying eyes of her father.” The preacher pushed his platter away from himself and smiled. “You’ll probably be wanting your payment now. I believe I promised you better pay than you’ve ever had before. Well, my man, it waits for you in the canning shed out back.” Bowman nodded his head toward the kitchen window. He encouraged the music man to get up and take a look.
The musician followed Bowman’s gaze out the window that hung over the kitchen sink. He spotted the side of the small shed and his eyes caught barely a glimpse of Blair’s floral skirt moving within. He tossed a confused look to the preacher, who gave the man a surreptitious wink and then resumed his seat at the table.

A lecherous look registered in the music man’s deep-set eyes about the same instant the preacher’s intentions reached his cramped mind. The musician reached for the back door handle and opened it, looking back at the preacher once more to be sure that that was what the preacher intended. He was rewarded with a silent nod.

Preacher Bowman reached for another slice of pie.

Giveaway:

Nook Book Glowlight
Character Name chosen by one lucky winner

Also - grab bags will be randomly given away during the tour!





December 18 - Meet & Greet at VBT Cafe' Blog
December 20 - Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews
December 22 - Interviewed at Oh Chrys!
December 27 - Guest Blogging at Reviews by Dee
January 2 - Interviewed at Unnecessary Musings
January 4 - Guest Blogging at Wise Words
January 7 - Review & Interview at Impressions of a Princess
January 9 - Review & Guest Blogging at A Book Lover's Library
January 11 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner
January 14 - Book Feature & Excerpt at The Official Blog-Zine of Terra Little
January 14 - Review & Interview at The Book TownJanuary 16 - Review & Interview at Central Bargains and Giveaways
January 18 - Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
January 21 - Interviewed at House-Of-Books
January 23 - Interviewed at Books & Tales
January 25 - Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.
January 28 - Review & Character Interview at Where Fantasy Meets Reality
January 30 - Review & Guest Blogging at Books, Books, and More Books
February 1 - Reviewed at Turning The Pages
February 5 - Review & Guest Blogging at MK McClintock's Blog
February 6 - Guest Blogging with Monique Morgan
February 8 - Reviewed at The Self Taught Cook


Reader Review . . .

The good people of Cloverdale needed a minister, so when the recently widowed Preacher Bowman arrived with his infant daughter, they gladly took him in without question.  But as his daughter Blair grew older, the preacher's efforts to hide his secrets would entangle the Marshall family and the entire community, leaving a trail of heartache and pain.  But Blair would not completely give into the madness in her head, repeating the words of Emily Dickinson:  

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....

The Thing with Feathers is the most unsettling novel I have read in some time.  With its themes of incest and violence, my instinctive reaction was to stop reading.  But the story is so compelling that it was impossible to walk away.  The characters of Blair and Sean are such sympathetic characters that the reader cannot help but care about their outcome.  They, along with Victor, are the ultimate victims in this story.  I found myself wondering about the author's choice of Victor's name, as it must be symbolic; it was, at times, the one ray of hope in the storyline.

At times, I found myself questioning, "How much can possibly go wrong for these people?".  In the last quarter of the novel the dialogue became maudlin and melodramatic, but again, the plot was so gripping that I had to finish.  This novel may not be for everyone, but some will look past the gritty surface and see the message that I believe the author is trying to convey:  that there is hope for those who do not give up.

Themes of incest and violence; recommended for 18+.

4 stars

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by The Virtual Book Tour Cafe', no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

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2013 A-Z Reading Challenge

 


Do you love to read?  You know I do!  Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book is hosting a reading challenge for 2013.This challenge will run from January 1st, 2012 until December 31st, 2013.

You can join anytime. It’s an alphabet challenge!!! The challenge is to read one book starting with every letter of the alphabet. 


So there are two different ways you can set up your own A-Z Reading Challenge.


A -  Make a list on your blog from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.


OR


B - Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet. For example: A – The Azalea Assault B- Blue Monday C – Crops and Robbers D – A Deadly Grind etc.



Books can be read in any order and all formats – print – e-book – audio – are acceptable for this challenge!
Ready to join?? 
Sign up at Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book and grab the button.  


Non-bloggers you can join too! Just keep track any way you wish and enter a link below if available or sign up in the comment section. You can even set up a special shelf on Goodreads to help you keep track!


Need some help finding titles to match the alphabet –
Jandy’s Reading Room has a wonderful list to get you started.

Here is my list:  
A        AN ANGEL BY HER SIDE - RUTH REID - 4 stars
B       
C        CHRISTMAS WITH THE FIRST LADIES - COLLEEN CHRISTIAN BURKE
D        THE DILEMMA OF CHARLOTTE FARROW- OLIVIA NEWPORT
E       
F        

G       
H       
I         ICONIC SPIRITS:  AN INTOXICATING HISTORY - MARK SPIVAK
J       
K       KILLER RATINGS -  LISA SEIDMAN
L       TO LOVE A WOLF - BK WALKER
M        MY NAME IS MARY SUTTER - ROBIN OLIVEIRA
N        NEVER LET YOU GO - ERIN HEALY
O        O!  JACKIE - MERCEDES KING
P        PERIL:  FROM JACKBOOTS TO JACK BENNY - PEARL GOODMAN - 4 STARS
Q        QUEEN OF THE AIR:  A TRUE STORY OF LOVE AND TRAGEDY AT THE CIRCUS - DEAN JENSEN
R        RAISING CUBBY-JOHN ELDER ROBISON
S        SECRETLY SMITTEN - COLLEEN COBLE, DENISE HUNTER, KRISTEN BILLERBECK, & DIANN HUNTT        THE POSTMISTRESS-SARAH BLAKE
U        UNCONQUERED:  THE SAGA OF COUSINS JERRY LEE LEWIS, JIMMY SWAGGART, AND MICKY GILLEY - J.D. DAVIS
V        VANISHED-IRENE HANNON - 5 STARS
W       
X       
Y       
Z       

I will be updating my list and will keep it posted on here.  Check back to see what I've read, and comment and let me know when you join the challenge.  Here's to a year of good reading!

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We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.   -        Martin Luther King, Jr.






7 comments:

Burt Morgret said...

Thank you for hosting today:)

Michelle Cornwell-Jordan said...

Awesome review! yep, I defintely plan to read this book!

Thanks for sharing!

Michelle

Rebecca Graf said...

What a great end to a tour :)

Anne Sweazy Kulju said...

Thank you for hosting and reviewing my book today, on my tour's final stop. Much appreciation!

THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK said...

Thank you for all of your nice comments. I really enjoyed reading this fascinating novel.

Teddy Rose said...

It sounds so good, it's going on my TBR. I hope you had a wonderful tour!

THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK said...

Teddy-It's worth reading!

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