Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Book Tour and Giveaway, with Guest Post: Khanh Ha

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on January 7, 2013
Posted in Guest AuthorMy Past Giveaways  | 6 Comments

Please give a warm welcome to my guest today, Khanh, author of Flesh.

The Great American Novel

Today I read a fellow author’s post on this subject. She wondered if the desire to write ‘The Great American Novel’ has been superseded by the desire to write the next million-dollar bestseller. She asked, ‘Is Anyone Really Writing the Great American Novel?’
What makes a novel great? Frankly, a novel can be set in any locale, real, or imaginary like the Yoknapatawpha County from which William Faulkner created his fictional worlds. Even more frankly, to be great a novel has to be literary. I never know any great novels in the genre of Sci-Fi, Romance, YA, or that sort. Do you? Why literary? 
Because literary fiction deals with characterization more deeply, more intensely. Not to mention the power of its descriptions of moods, scenes, and human characterization. Don’t yawn! Read The Sound and The Fury, especially the first two chapters on Benjy and Quentin, where human minds verging on insanity were skillfully wrought to the point of surrealism. Read Paris Trout by Pete Dexter. I don’t know about you but I felt a tingling in my spine just following this Trout character around. If you’re taken over by such a villain in a novel, like Trout, or Lester Ballard in Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God, then that novel must be literary.
But I don’t think any writer would intend to write ‘The Great American Novel’ when he conceives the thought of writing. Any writer who says ‘I want to write the great such and such novel’ is illusionary. A novel that can successfully examine human flaws and humiliation and racial bigotry usually transcends any locale it’s set in and becomes a global recognition in the literary world. It could be set in Pago-Pago as in Rain by W. Somerset Maugham, or in a small Cajun community in Louisiana as in A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines, but these works rise above their locales to become classics.
But don’t concern yourself with such a lofty ambition to write ‘The Great American Novel.’ Every day when you sit down to write, try to stay true to yourself.
Also keep this verity in mind: ‘Most live writers do not exist. Their fame is created by critics who always need a genius of the season, someone they understand completely and feel safe in praising, but when these fabricated geniuses are dead they will not exist.’— Ernest Hemingway

And if you still obsess about writing a classic, be merciless on yourself as if you have just been told by a demon: ‘I have to write to be happy whether I get paid for it or not. But it is a hell of a disease to be born with. I like to do it. Which is even worse. That makes it from a disease into a vice. Then I want to do it better than anybody has ever done it which makes it into an obsession. An obsession is terrible. Hope you haven’t got any. That’s the only one I’ve got left.’— Ernest Hemingway


So, do I want to write ‘The Great American Novel?’ No. Just write!
Thanks Khanh! Please be sure to read my review of Flesh, also posted today!

About Khanh Ha:

Khanh Ha was born in Hue, the former capital of Vietnam.  During his teen years he began writing short stories which won him several awards in the Vietnamese adolescent magazines.  He graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.  He is at work on a new novel.

Now for the giveaway!  Khanh has agreed to offer one lucky winner a print copy of his book.  This giveaway is open to Canada and the U.S. and will end on February 7, 2013.  Please use Rafflecopter to enter.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour:
So Many Precious Books Jan 7 Interview & Giveaway
Eclectic Books & Movies  Jan 8 Review
Eclectic Books & Movies  Jan 9 Interview
She Treads Softly  Jan 10 Review
Book Lover Stop  Jan 11 Guest Post & Giveaway
Broken Teepee Jan 14 Review
MK McClintock  Jan 15 Interview
Joy Story  Jan 16 Review
From L.A. to LA  Jan 17 Review
Books à la Mode Jan 17 Guest Post & Giveaway
A Book Lover’s Library Jan 22 Review
A Book Lover’s Library Jan 23 Interview & Giveaway
Relentless Reader  Jan 23 Review
Joy Story Jan 25 Guest Post
The Wormhole  Jan 25 Interview
Sweeps 4 Bloggers  Jan 25 Review & Giveaway
Ordinary Girlz Reviews  Jan 28 Review & Giveaway
Cuzinlogic Jan 29 Interview & Giveaway
Belle of the Literati Jan 30 Review
Overflowing Bookshelves  Feb 1  Review
Overflowing Bookshelves   Feb 4 Interview
Gina’s Library  Feb 4 Spotlight/Giveaway
Crossroads  Feb 5 Review
Broken Teepee  Feb 5 Guest post & Giveaway
So Many Precious Books   Feb 6 Review
Book Bird Dog  Feb 6 Guest Post


Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

I reviewed The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton and posted a giveaway on October 30th, here.  I adored it.  Today I have the pleasure of having the author, Angela Shelton as my guest.  She is going to share with us what she does when she’s not writing.

Welcome Angela!

Doesn’t every writer just want to write?

Don’t you crawl away into your writer’s cave – or that area you’ve carved out for yourself at the family table – and just write away all day?


I’m sure there are some writers out there who have the privilege of just writing. I read Stephen King’s book On Writing and was so impressed with his writing schedule. He gets up, he writes until a set hour, then he has lunch and spends the rest of the day making calls, running errands and being with his family at night. Then he rises early and gets back to writing.

He obviously does not have a puppy. Or small children.

You Need Experience to Write

I envy Stephen King’s wonderful schedule and I try, oh how I try to emulate it. But the truth is that I don’t write all the time because in order to be inspired to write about fantastical stories like The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton, I have to go out and experience the world.

I hike in the woods and am fascinated by the myriad of mushroom populations. They make me think of little villages and my mind wanders to the small creatures who must have to walk past them in the forest. AND BOOM – there’s a chapter of a book or a moment of dialog between a bug and a horse.

Yes, animals can converse and walking in the woods to “hear” them is extremely helpful.

I let my mind wander – and yes, I totally space out. My husband calls me out on it all the time. “You’re writing, aren’t you?” He asks as I’m staring off into a field of ferns. “What? Oh, yes… I just figured out how Tilda gets out of that predicament. Were you saying something?” He just smiles at me as we continue hiking and says, “No, H Bear, go back to writing.”

Exploring the Writer’s Cave

Going into the writer’s cave for me is literally, looking for caves. We’ve spotted bears in our woods, which leads us to believe there must be a bear cave nearby and yes – that makes all kinds of stories pop into my head.

I talk to people desiring to write all the time who bang their heads against the wall, searching for something to write about or wrestling with an idea and I suggest they go look for a writer’s cave – literally.

Go look for caves. Go explore a mushroom patch (not those kinds of mushrooms!).

It’s amazing what you are inspired to write when you stop thinking about writing.

Bring a Notepad

A writer will always write, right? Yes, usually, but always writing doesn’t necessarily mean sitting at the laptop (I love my Mac) and punching out the great American novel every hour of the day. It doesn’t mean that you’ve got the best blog post idea – every single day!

Always writing for me is always allowing my mind to breathe, the expand and to open to new ideas.

And don’t forget your notepad. Seriously.

I don’t always have the cute little one that fits in my back pocket, but I do have my Iphone – where I have a Notepad app.

When you have your face in your phone, typing away, you may be accused of being a text addict or a twitter junky (follow me!) when in reality you could be writing the best blog post ever, a great chapter in a future book, or outlining the journey of your next hero for your next book.


What am I doing when I’m not writing?

I guess, I’m always writing…

Angela Shelton
author of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton


Be sure to enter the giveaway for The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton, here!


Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Guest Author, David LeRoy, Author of The Siren of Paris

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on June 26, 2012
Posted in Guest Author  | 5 Comments

On June 22, 2012 I posted a Feature and giveaway of The Siren of Paris. Be sure to go there to enter the international giveaway!  Now I would like to welcome the author, David LeRoy to So Many Precious Books. Welcome David!

Your Siren’s Calling    


          You were wearing the smart pumps on June 3rd, 1940. When those terrible sirens sounded at noon, and the bombs started to fall in Paris, they were quick to get out of and grab, as you ran across the street to the metro station underground shelter. Later that night you called your sister and brother back in England. Even though they pleaded for you to leave, you decided it was safer to stay.

           On June 10th, sitting in that special prayer service at Notre Dam, you admired Ambassador Bullitt as he knelt before the Priest. Your heart went out to the man as he sobbed underneath the blessing of the priest, now bestowing upon him the duties of Mayor of Paris. The government left for the south of France. Maybe now America will soon join the war you secretly prayed that morning.

          The all night air raids and bombs on the night of June 11th rattled you to the core. You had already accepted the worse that could happen, but you didn’t honestly think it would be that bad. As the shockwaves hit the metro station, doubt returned to your soul. It has been ten years now since you move to Paris from London, and maybe now is the best time to return home you think to yourself amid the frightened women and children. In the morning, you tried to phone home to your sister, but the phone lines leaving Paris had now been cut.     

          It seemed things turned around when your friend from the Church Army encouraged you to come with them on a train to the coast of Saint-Nazaire. Ships are waiting to take the soldiers home and civilians can tag along. You surprised yourself when you had to climb on top of the train the morning of June 12thwith the other fleeing refugees of Paris. It is not easy being over 60 years old. It was good to know that in a pinch you could do whatever you needed to do. The train left the cover of the station revealing the clear bright morning sky and as you accepted that the peaceful retirement you hoped for was but a dream.

          In Saint-Nazaire on June 17th, a fishing boat took you out to the refugee ship in the bay. When you clip the heel off of your right pump, as you board the ship, it does not get you down. You just clipped the other one off to make some flats. At least you are now almost home, where it will be safer than France. Waiting for the ship to leave, you visit with some other civilian refugees in the lounge, watching some children from Belgium play with some of the soldiers.

          When the bombs fall on the ship, and your lifeboat over turned into the water below, you faced another test of your will. You swam with everything you had for the other lifeboat rowing away from the sinking ship.

          “Known unto god,” was not your choice for a marker. The letters for you have gone unanswered back in Paris. None of them suspected or guessed you made it this far. You were sixty at the time, and could never ride on top of train, or walk for miles upon miles to a port on the west coast of France. Your sister and brother in London dismissed any idea that you had even left Paris. It was desperate and foolish to board a troop ship, but it was the only choice you had. At the time, it seemed like a good one, so you made the best of it.

          The polite young man, who helped you on top of the train, he is the same young man who you saw that morning at Norte Dam Cathedral with the Ambassador. You enjoyed chatting with him while walking towards Saint-Nazaire when your train broke down, mussing how much your family would worry if they could only see you then. He got on the same ship as you did, but swam just a little bit faster.

For you, the war is now over, but for him, it has just begun. The ship is now resting on the bottom of the harbor of Saint-Nazaire with 6,000 or more other forsaken souls. The helpful young man has been conscripted by the Germans to dig your grave. Because you were a civilian with no identity disk, your grave is marked “Known unto God.” Your siren’s calling was the RMS. Lancastria, Britain’s worse maritime disaster ever, but your family will never know it, because the British government suppressed the news from being broadcasted over the D-System. That young gentleman Marc, who helped you on top of the train, siren’s calling is back in Paris. You will need to read in The Siren of Paris to know his fate. May the Lord be with you my Known unto God. Your brother and sister would be proud of just how far you made it even at 60 with a heart condition and gout.

David LeRoy.


David Leroy did extensive research on the German occupation of France for his debut novel The Siren of Paris. This historical novel follows the journey of one American from medical student, to artist, to political prisoner at Buchenwald Concentration Camp during World War Two. Rich in historical detail, full of suspense, and offering a bit of romance, this novel is definitely a page turner.

You can purchase The Siren of Paris in Kindle e-book format from Amazon — http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0088CA098 and learn more about this author and novel at http://www.thesirenofparis.com/

For more information about this virtual book tour, please visit — http://bookpromotionservices.com/2012/05/22/siren-of-paris-tour/

Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.