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Friday, February 10, 2012

Giveaway Kindle: "Beyond Molasses Creek" by Nicole Seitz~Biracial Love & Kidnapping

Published by:  Thomas Nelson
Pages:  Over 300
Genre:  Fiction

Visit for the Giveaway:  http://www.nicoleseitz.com/

Join Nicole and friends on the evening of February 16th for a Facebook Author Chat Party. She'll be talking about Beyond Molasses Creek, throwing out some trivia and giving away great prizes - including a Kindle Touch, some of her beautiful artwork and a Book Club Prize Pack (10 copies for your book club/small group and a SKYPE chat with Nicole)!
Mark your calendar for 2/16/12 {5PM PST / 8PM EST} and come by for an evening of bookchat, making new friends and story sharing.

Let's Rate the Cover:
It must be said up front and with no surprise that I rarely review a book whose cover I abhor.  This is no exception to that rule.  I do love this cover.  What's good about it:  artwork, colors, patterns, placement of author's name, position of main images and fonts.  The egret is a beautiful foil in balance to the girl holding her book.  From the picture of the young woman, I get the feeling she's either prayerful or sad, or both.  I'm curious because it's such a beautiful cover artistically.  I think this cover makes us want read further.   Rating:  A

Having traveled to the ends of the earth as a flight attendant, Ally Green has finally returned to the Lowcountry to bury her father as well as the past. But Vesey Washington is still living across the creek, and theirs is a complicated relationship—he was once her best friend . . . and also part of the reason she’s stayed away so long. When Ally discovers a message her father left behind asking her to quit running, it seems her past isn’t through with her yet.
As Ally’s wandering spirit wrestles with a deep longing to flee again, a young woman on the other side of the world escapes her life of slavery in the rock quarries of Nepal. A mysterious sketchbook leads Sunila Kunari to believe there’s more to her story than she’s ever been told, and she’s determined to follow the truth wherever it leads her.
A deep current intertwines the lives of these three souls, and a destiny of freedom, faith, and friendship awaits them all on the banks of Molasses Creek.

About the Author:
 Nicole Seitz is the author of several critically acclaimed novels - The Inheritance of Beauty, Saving Cicadas, A Hundred Years of Happiness, Trouble the Water, and The Spirit of Sweetgrass. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, and also has a degree in Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Her paintings are featured on the covers of her books.   Please see her website for view of her beautiful covers and artwork:  http://www.nicoleseitz.com/

The Dame's Review:
I'm a huge fan of the exotic twist in a novel.  I'm intrigued by books about women who do the unexpected/perhaps "wrong" thing in life by other's perceptions, reinvent themselves or survive a crisis and come out of it perhaps less "whole," but more wise and capable of real empathy. I also like a story that hints at travel to interesting places, along with an eventual coming home theme.  Nicole Seitz offers all of that and more in "Beyond Molasses Creek."  She is no novice to writing, and having come out of the very prestigious UNC Chapel Hill School of Journalism, you can believe that she understands how to convey her deepest thoughts. All of the above, plus amazing characterization makes her book top shelf.  Let me state right up front that this is a book you'll be interested in reading; actually, it's a book worth savouring.  I could not stop reading "Beyond Molasses Creek" from the Prologue to the end.

One of the most difficult things a Southern girl from a small town could ever face in the 1960's was interracial relationships.  While Alley and Vesey shared the common bond of growing up together and finding their deep connection, this could never compensate for the overwhelmingly negative odds they faced in their community of a small town.  Religion and "brotherly love" notwithstanding, their desire to be special friends could only bring disaster for them, and the only possible reaction for Alley of being an outcast in Molasses Creek. When a forced separation is imposed on their friendship, what follows is her escaping into travel to foreign countries, her eventual pregnancy out of wedlock, and the kidnapping of her beloved daughter. 

It was heartbreaking to read about Alley's stolen daughter, Sunila's, harsh life in Nepal.  Ms Seitz's grasp of the isolation of both mother and daughter and the emotional loss they felt was palpable.  She provides us a good grasp of who Sunila is, her insecurities, and how she came to discover something more about her past.

Without spending time telling you the story of this book, let me say only that you who love a Southern woman's book will enjoy "Beyond Molasses Creek" very much.  It is both a woman's story of love and independence, and a redemptive tale, and it's a story that will give you more than a small glimpse into the caring heart of a parent...especially a heavenly Parent. With roots in a Southern culture that harbors the strongest of human qualities for good and for bad, you will come to experience a universal sense of hope, I think, in relationships both natural and spiritual.

One of the things that spoke most sweetly to me was the symbolism of her father's dying and "calling her home" and his wanting to provide a resting place for her so she could stop "running."  This part of the novel  is so poignant and so beautifully rendered.  And this is only one of the more touching parts of Ms Seitz's references to love, loyalty, forgiveness and redemption in this engaging book. 

I recommend this book to those who enjoy an author of intelligence and fine storytelling.  And to those who enjoy a woman's story...one with a strong woman character or two who is capable of overcoming adversity and loss to find her way "home."  Like I did, you may come to love the waters of Molasses Creek, and you may find a word of inspiration there.

5 stars


*This review was provided in association with Litfuse Group, and a copy of the book was given to me for an honest review.  Please visit the link for Litfuse to find more reviews of "Beyond Molasses Creek."


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