Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway!

Some bloggers write book reviews. I generally don’t, but every now and then, something comes along that piques my curiosity, and I want to know more. Deborah Piccurelli’s Hush, Little Baby was one of those books.

Deb is a fellow member of the New Jersey Society of Christian Writers. I read her book recently, and I simply had to ask her the questions that I had after I read it. Those questions, along with her answers are below. But first, let me tell you a little about the story.

From the back cover:
Investigative journalist, Amber Blake, is a little person bent on payback for the death of her average-sized twin sister. Enlisted by her former partner and estranged husband, Evan, she poses as a counselor in an abortion clinic to expose the doctor responsible for fetal harvesting. As a Christian, she struggles with concealing her beliefs to maintain her cover, while the doctor’s romantic overtures tumble her stomach. Amber agrees to date him for the sake of the story…but nothing prepares her for what’s behind a mysterious door in his office.

Now, as both a writer and a reader, I tend to be highly critical of what I read. I am quite unforgiving when I find grammatical or spelling errors or sloppy flip-flopping with the point of view in a book. I found none of this in Hush, Little Baby. Deb’s writing flowed effortlessly between characters and between scenes. It was quite suspenseful, and it went beyond just the story. Amber had to make a lot of tough choices, and, as the reader, I felt them along with her. I gave Deborah a five-star rating on amazon.com, where you can purchase her book. Oh, and I was not prepared for what was behind that door!

HOWEVER, Deborah has graciously agreed to a BOOK GIVEAWAY! All you need to do is comment on this blog and you’ll automatically be entered! If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe by email to this blog, you’ll be entered again for each follow/subscription! However, you must first comment to be entered.

Now, for the interview:

         Your book, Hush, Little Baby focuses on the sanctity of life, which is an issue close to your heart.  Why is it so important to you and how did you decide to weave this issue into your storyline? Or did you weave the storyline into the issue?

I actually wove the storyline around the issue. I guess sanctity of life is something God just laid on my heart. When I think of senseless killing, my insides get all tangled up.

      As I read your book, I was impressed by how knowledgeable you are about things such as fetal harvesting. How did you come to learn about this in relationship to abortions? Did your book require a lot of research?

I never heard about fetal harvesting until I saw a clip about it advertising for a 20/20 segment on TV back in 1999. I scribbled a few sentences on a small piece of paper and dropped it into my “story idea” file. I didn’t actually begin writing it until ten or eleven years later. When I was ready, I read a lot of stuff online about it, talked to a Christian journalist who wrote an article about it in World Magazine, who in turn gave me the name and phone number of the President of Life Dynamics who headed up the real-life investigation. He spent hours of his time helping me.

          Your protagonist, Amber Blake is a little person. Why write about little people?

A few years after I saw that clip on fetal harvesting, I began to notice how little people were being exploited on daytime talk shows. It tugged on my heartstrings, so I vowed to write a book one day showing them living just like average height people, albeit facing some challenges to do so. That was where my story started. When I searched my story idea file for a plot to go along with these characters, I couldn’t find a thing until I got down to the very last piece of paper. I’m sure you can guess what was on it. Yep! The fetal harvesting notes. Somehow it just seemed to fit my characters. Others may not see it, but it all just fell into place for me.

      Your story flowed seemingly effortlessly, including the way you flip-flopped your characters' POV. How do you get your stories to flow so well?

Thank you for the compliment, Mary! I can only say that years of reading from a young child somehow developed it naturally. However, while studying writing, I learned early on that head-hopping is a no-no, especially for a new author.

         Your book has everything! Adventure, mystery, suspense, romance and even some humor. Did you find it difficult to weave all of those things together? Why or why not?

Thank you again, for another compliment! I don’t mean to sound glib, but I actually didn’t find that part of the writing difficult. Not that I don’t have difficulties, at all—I have my share of them. But when the characters are vibrant enough to take over, things just seem to roll out of my brain. And again, it could be from years of reading.

         What is your background?
I’m a high school graduate who became a legal secretary and worked for the county court system. I also later worked for attorneys and a financial advisor. I think the legal secretary/court system experience helped with subjects for suspense, and even some names for characters. But I also have a nice resource in my husband’s long career in law enforcement.

         What advice would you give some of my readers who write fiction? What about those of us who are in the process of writing a book, fiction or otherwise?

I don’t consider myself an expert. Far from it. But I can only relay what I do myself: Remember your “firsts.”
-          Potential readers will see your title first, so make sure it’s catchy.
-          Your first line should grab readers by the throat.
I must insert the first line of the book here!
     She would be working for her sister's killer.
-          Your first page should contain some appropriate action.
-          I always try to make the first line of each paragraph a grabber, too.

As for those in the process of writing any book, I would say don’t let that stop you from continuing your study of writing. Begin building a platform now, so marketing won’t be as difficult when your book is released. Develop a thick skin, because not everyone is going to love your book.

        What else have you written and what are you working on now?

My first book, In the Midst of Deceit, also romantic suspense, is out of print, but Amazon still has some copies left, though I don’t know how many. Also, on March 18th, my inspirational romantic novella will be released by Prism Book Group in e-book format. Beyond that, I’m working on a television series.

        I just have to know this...is the Rainforest Restaurant in Atlantic City a real place? It sounds fascinating and I want to go!

Yes, it is! Both my sister and my son have been there. I’ve never been myself, and would enjoy seeing it for myself, sometime. I live close enough, you’d think I would have made it, by now.

Now it's your turn, dear reader! Do you have any questions for Deb? Or just a comment?Ask away in the Comments section and be entered to win an autographed copy of her book, Hush, Little Baby! Please make sure I have a way to contact you when you comment (it should link to either a google account or webpage).

**Congratulations to Abby MacDonald! Abby's comments was randomly chosen as the winner of Deb's book, Hush Little Baby! But if you're interested, you can purchase the book through amazon.com. Thank you all for your participation; whether you commented or not, Deb and I both appreciate your taking the time to read about her and her book!

About Deborah Piccurelli:



Deborah M. Piccurelli is an advocate for sanctity of life, and tackles such issues in her novels, weaving them into compelling stories. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two sons. Visit Deb at www.deborahmpiccurelli.com


If you're a New Jersey resident and either write or have an interest in writing and you're a Christian, please consider joining the New Jersey Society of Christian Writers. We love new members! Click on the link for more information.



Blessings Along the Path,
Mary

**Because this is a book giveaway, I want to give my readers ample time to join in the fun; I also want to give Deborah the spotlight for the week. Therefore, this will be my only post until next Monday, February 2.

Sharing this post with Monday Musings, Sharing His Beauty, Playdates With God, Good Morning Monday, Testimony Tuesday, #RaRa Cheerleading, Coffee For Your Heart, Wholehearted Wednesday, Word-Filled Wednesday, A Little R&R, Wedded Wednesday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Thriving Thursday, Faith Filled Friday, Blessing Counters, Grace & Truth, The Weekend Brew, Sunday Stillness, Still Saturday

27 comments:

  1. Mary, Thank you so much for posting about me and my book! I'm having lots of fun!

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  2. Well, let's hope we get some more comments or you may signing a book to yourself!

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  3. What an intriguing story line! Thank you for the interview and for introducing me to a new author :).

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. Mary did a terrific job with the interview, didn't she?

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  4. I already have the book, but wanted to say thanks for a great interview. I saw this manuscript at its earliest stages and Deb has done a fantastic job with revisions!

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    1. Yes, Pam, Deb told me that you edited. You did an excellent job of it too! Thanks for taking the time to read the interview.

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  5. Yay a new author! I love new books to read and this one sounds like it will grab me from the beginning and not let go. I love the interview and description of the story. Thanks Mary!

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    1. So glad you could make it! I am honored that Mary asked to interview me.

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  6. Sounds like a fantastic read! I am very intrigued by the storyline. I am a stickler when it comes to grammar too so I hope you didn't notice the glaring error later fixed in my title today...sometimes an editor or second set of eyes helps when we've looked at a piece for too long ;-) Thanks for sharing this book over on #RaRaLinkup today. I will definitely add it to my list.

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  7. I actually did NOT, Abby. I just went back to refresh my memory, and I had no, "Oh, yeah, that was post where she made that horrific mistake!" moment! Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. This sounds like a great book! I want to read it. I loved the interview - thank you so much for posting this. Loved it.

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    1. Melody, thanks for taking the time to read the interview. I know it was a little long. The book truly is very good. Good luck in the drawing!

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  9. I'm not much of a reader of fiction, but this truly does sound like an interesting and unique premise, Mary. I also have been a long-time supporter of "Child Rights" and am very much against abortion (or a woman's right to kill her baby! Ugh!). So this really pulls at my heart strings. Thanks so much for sharing about Deborah's book, my friend! I hope it sells like crazy! And hugs to you too!

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    1. Beth, this is not a sappy fiction book. You might actually enjoy it, since it does deal with several issues.

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  10. Thank you, Abby, Melody and Beth for your kind words about my book, and for taking the time to stop by for Mary's interview with me. I can't say enough what a terrific job she did. Her questions are so refreshing!

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  11. Interesting. I wonder what the twist could be.

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    1. Thank you for joining us! The twist? Ah, but if I told you, that would spoil the suspense.

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  12. Sounds like a great book! I love mysteries with twists and turns! Yay!

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  13. Sounds like a great book. I like plots that keep me guessing. I hate having things all figured out before the end.

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  14. Thanks, Jennifer! I try my best to keep readers guessing.

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  15. Sounds like an interesting read, thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  16. Thanks for stopping by to read about my book, Terri. I'm so grateful to Mary for hosting me on her blog!

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  17. Sounds like a great read! I read an article before about first sentences of short stories and novels that are interesting.Deborah certainly managed that one! patsy

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  18. Patsy, thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement! I had changed the beginning of this book a few times before settling on that sentence.

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