Letter R on The A to Z April Challenge 2014

Today’s letter on the April A to Z Challenge is R. My Book is Red Clay and Roses by S. K. Nicholls. Genre: Historical, Life & Relationships.

Red Clay and Roses

Red Clay and Roses by S.K. Nicholls

Book description-

A fictionalized true story of life in the Deep South during the time of Jim Crow Law, and before Roe vs. Wade. Women were supposed to keep quiet and serve, abortion was illegal, adoption difficult, and racism rampant. The discovery of an old ledger opens a window into the dynamics of the 1950s-60s. Unspoken secrets are shared between Beatrice, The Good Doctor’s wife, and Moses Grier, their black handyman. The Grier’s daughter, Althea, suffers a tragedy that leaves her family silent and mournful. Her brother, Nathan, a medical student, looks for answers from a community that is deaf, blind, and dumb. A summer romance between Nathan and Sybil, an independent, high-spirited, white woman, leaves more unresolved. Nathan is thrust into the centre of the Civil Rights Movement. Sybil is torn between living the mundane life of her peers, or a life that involves fastening herself to a taboo relationship. Witness social progress through the eyes of those who lived it!

You can read my review of the book here http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-4Ge and find out more about the author from her guest post. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-4Hp

Find a copy of this book here;

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon CA:

Smashwords:

Barnes and Noble:

Apple:

Kobo:

Find out more about S.K. Nicholls here;

S. K. Nicholls

Blog: http://redclayandroses1.wordpress.com/

Facebook author site:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/SK-Nicholls/352131918230990

Here are some links to other bloggers who are taking up the A to Z Challenge, please find the time to visit them too.

http://authorsusankoenig.wordpress.com/

http://alex-hurst.com/

http://www.claredavidson.com/blog/

During the challenge we are asking people to leave as many comments as possible on blogs, and supportive comments are much appreciated, thank you.

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Guest Author S.K. Nicholls

Today our guest is S.K. Nicholls, author of yesterday’s book “Red Clay and Roses”. You can check out my review of the book here. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-4Ge

S. K. Nicholls

Let’s find out more about Susan and her writing.

1)  Where is your home town?

I was born in LaGrange, Georgia, USA, and lived in the surrounding area while bringing up my own children.

2)  How long have you been writing?

I first had a short story published when I was seventeen and in high school. I put writing aside while focused on my nursing career. Upon retirement in 2011, I picked it up again. A visit to my father in 2012 stirred up an old story from my youth that I still wanted to tell. So I set myself to writing it down.

3)  What key element inspired this book?

Based on a true story, it was finding the ledger in 1992 that truly propelled the development of the story, but there is something more. So many have this image of the Deep South as one of little old white ladies sitting on the front porch swing sipping mint juleps. Life and reality was more harsh than that for most people, especially the African Americans. I have mixed race grandchildren. I presented the world historically as it truly was for many. There was hardship, dilemma, and many secrets kept. We are more open and accepting now. I don’t want to see us go back there. We learn from history how to move forward.

4)  Did you have to do a lot of research or did you interview people too?

The octogenarians were interviewed, and my father who is seventy five. An enormous amount of research went into the book to assure its historical accuracy. All of the events and setting locations are very real, and had to be researched.

5)  I’m not sure what “Jim Crow Law” was, can you tell us more?

The Jim Crow laws were racial segregation laws enacted between 1876 and 1965 in the United States at the state and local level. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern states of the former Confederacy, with, starting in 1890, a separate but equal status for African Americans. The separation in practice led to conditions for African Americans that tended to be inferior to those provided for white Americans systematizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages, and leading to prejudice and severe racism. Even though these laws were declared unconstitutional in 1965, many communities continued the segregation long into the seventies.

South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina were the Confederate states, and Kentucky was provisional.

Some examples of Jim Crow laws were; the segregation of public schools, public places (swimming pools, doctors and dentists offices), and public transportation, and the segregation of restrooms, clothing stores, restaurants, and drinking fountains for whites and blacks. The U.S. military was also segregated.

“Jump Jim Crow” was a song-and-dance caricature of blacks performed by white actors painted in blackface. That is believed to be where the name Jim Crow law for this collection of state laws came from.

6) Nathan took part in several campaigns for Civil Rights, can you tell the readers about some of them.

The Freedom Rides were a campaign for blacks to assert themselves in avoiding discrimination practices. The black men would ride in the whites only passenger cars on trains. Other black men would ride in the black cars in case there was trouble, which there often was, as the white passengers rebelled and fought. Many blacks were arrested and beaten for their actions.

The Sit-Ins were started by black university students who would sit down in whites only dining establishments for the same reasons and with the same outcomes.

There were many protests, marches and demonstrations, like Bloody Sunday, some peaceful and some not so, where blacks were joined by liberal minded whites who championed the causes of Civil Right.

7) Sybil faced her own demons when she became pregnant, but she dealt with the situation as best she could. Do you think she made the right decision?

For her, it was right, but I did feel she should have been honest with Nathan, to at least let him know about the pregnancy, yet I can understand why she didn’t. Althea, Bonnie Jean and Sybil all found different ways to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. Who am I to decide what was best or right for any of them?

8) When Trent was sent to prison, Sybil faced several hardships, which was worst do you think?

I think the difficulties she ran into with trying to manage her business were the hardest for her, because she had put so much of herself into its success.

9) Which part of the book was your favourite and why?

I don’t know if I have a favourite part. I liked different parts for different reasons. I liked how Ms. Bea’s character developed. I liked Moses’ stories and his character…but then, these were real people I had met in my own life. The entire story demonstrated the sacrifices that real people made in order to attempt to achieve social progress. These were common ordinary people, who were deeply affected by politics on a micro-level. The very end, in the conclusion, has special meaning to me personally as it conveys a hope for future generations. Sybil and her family are my family.

10) I would describe your book as a window in history for readers to enjoy rather than a book with a massively pleasing commercial content, am I correct?

I did not write Red Clay and Roses with marketing in mind. I wrote the story passionately from my heart based on real life events. I did not deviate from what actually occurred in order to make a more sellable story. It is a fictionalized true story. Outside the realm of genre fiction, it is a niche read.

Red Clay and Roses

Find a copy on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Thank you Susan for being our guest today.

Red Clay and Roses by S.K.Nicholls

Red Clay and RosesRed Clay and Roses by S.K. Nicholls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Red Clay and Roses steps back in history to Georgia and the deep south at a time where people struggled to survive and where changes to segregation and inequality faced fierce resistance.

The stories within are written around an old accounting ledger, found many years later, after it was hidden away. Hannah Schmidt pieces together the events and lives of the characters who were associated with The Good Doctor. She interviews relatives and follows leads from which she tells the reader of the everyday lives of a group of people whose destinies became entangled. There is passion, love, fear and survival written over several decades during which the American nation was forced to change laws and move into a new direction.

We meet the Good Doctor who ran a double accounting system and provided a much needed, but illegal, abortion service. Mrs Bea, his wife, who was left alone after he died to face her own guilt about what the doctor did. Moses and his family are the black help who live in a shack on the Good Doctors land. The Good Doctor goes on to sponsor Nathan, Moses’ son, through school and sets him up to train as a doctor. Then there is Sybil, a young, independent white women who wants to start her own business running a salon in town.

The lives of the characters show some great hardships. There was such prejudice and fear of stepping over the acceptable line. This book is like a window in time which lets us peek at history in the making.

Find a copy on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

S.K.Nicholls will be our guest on the blog tomorrow, do come back and read more about her and her book.

Guest Author Robyn Oyeniyi

Today my guest author is Robyn Oyeniyi, who has an interesting story behind her book. Please join me in welcoming Robyn.

I hope you may consider my book interesting!

1)       Tell me your name   Robyn Oyeniyi

2) Where do you live?    Melbourne, Australia with my wonderful husband and four noisy step-children from Nigeria.

3)When did you start writing?     On and off for years, but this is the first time I have published a book. I’ve written articles for professional and hobby journals in the past and write technical manuals – very dry and boring stuff! Our story is important. Civil Rights is important. Human Rights is important. So I wrote.

4)What type of books do you like writing the most? My published book is a memoir. Now I am writing a science fiction piece. Defining my sci-fi characters is fun, much more fun that writing about government bureaucrats in my memoir.

5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing. 1) Edit until you just can’t face reading it one more time, then get an editor. 2) Network. 3) Believe in your work.

6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it? I haven’t read anything for ages – fighting the government doesn’t leave a lot of time. However I have three books on my side-table that I am going to start every night. One has to read in order to write, but life has been more hectic than I ever bargained for.

7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it. Love versus Goliath http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17342811-love-versus-goliath or information page on my website: http://teamoyeniyi.com/to-buy-love-versus-goliath/

Product Details

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Versus-Goliath-Bureaucracy-ebook/dp/B00BCQNC7E/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1370424444&sr=8-1

Kind regards

 

Robyn

http://teamoyeniyi.com

Guest Author Bonnie Clyne

Today my guest author is Bonnie, welcome aboard Bonnie, good luck with that cook book too!
 
  1. Tell me your name:  Bonnie Russell Clyne
  2. Where do you live:  Leesburg, Florida
  3. When did you start writing?  I started writing around the age of 10, which we now call “journaling.” Back then we considered it more like “diary writing.” I had a little blue manual typewriter (this was the mid-1960s), which I used for my writings. My writings contained details of what was happening around me in my family and with my friends/acquaintances, and all my thoughts/feelings about it.
  4. What type of books do you like writing the most? So far I’ve completed two writing ventures, my published autobiography (“Buzzards to Butterflies”) and a soon-to-be-published cookbook. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing these two books, and I’m contemplating doing an inspirational fiction novel for my next project.
  5. Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing:  As a beginning author, I’d have to say that one tip is to write about what we know, such as our experiences in life or our expertise in a certain field. My second tip would be to realize that we can take some of our real-life experiences and intertwine them with imaginative fictional situations for our book’s characters. My third tip would be that self-publishing is a great way to start, rather than waiting forever to be accepted by a conventional publishing company. We could wait forever!
  6. What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?  The last book I read was “Separate Fountains” by Patti Wilson Byars. I found it to be an immensely thought-provoking read, telling the story of growing up in Georgia in the years just prior to the Civil Rights era in our nation’s history.
  7. Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it:  My autobiography is called “Buzzards to Butterflies” which tells about growing up in Illinois starting in the 1950s, as well as the current events happening in the would around us each year. I experienced a myriad of character-building events in life but emerged victorious in spite of it all!  The link is www.facebook.com/BuzzardsToButterflies
Bonnie Russell Clyne
Leesburg, FL
If you would like to be a “guest author” contact me, there are no catches and It’s easy to answer the same questions as my other guests, plus you get the chance to plug one of your books. I love meeting everyone from across the globe, keep writing!
Rosie