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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blog Tour Review Reconstructing Jackson by Holly Bush and Interview

About the Book:
1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.
Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them.
Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle's courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.
My Review:
I really enjoyed this book, I had never read anything by Holly Bush before.  This is a touching story of Reed Jackson, who is a southern lawyer that was wounded in the Civil War and left in a wheel chair.  His father gave his inheritance to his younger brother, so Reed decides to move to Fenton, MO, where he has cousins.  Once there, everything that he has believed is challenged.  His cousins employ a black woman as manager of their hotel.  He meets Belle Richards, who is a dirt-poor farm girl.  He is enamored with her and after a tragedy he marries her.  She keeps challenging everything he believes, even taking in a black child.  Then he has to defend her brother, who is accused of murdering someone very close to Belle.  Reed does what he thinks is right by the law, but knows in his heart isn't right.  Reed proves that he will do anything for Belle.  This was a very well written book and a great story.  It kept my attention and was a fast read.  Great job Holly.  Keep up the good work.
 I received a complimentary copy of this book for participation in this blog tour.

About the Author:
Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.
Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.
Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, and was the vice-president of her local library board for years. She loves to spend time near the ocean and is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.




Do you outline your books before you begin to write them?

Hello Melina. I’m glad to be here. I do not outline or even know the entire plot of the book at the outset, but I do quickly know the arc or dramatic turn of the book. Mostly, I see characters in my head and record their actions and write their dialogue. With Reconstructing Jackson, I saw a man, a young man, in a wheel chair on a dusty train platform, with his trunk beside him looking around as if thinking about where to go next. I wondered why such a young man would be in a wheel chair, why no one was at the station to meet him. Where was he from, where was he going?

Can you tell us about the main characters in Reconstructing Jackson?

Reed Jackson has lost part of one leg and the full use of the other from a war injury. When he arrives home in a wheelchair, his father decides because of his injuries, he is unfit to carry on the Jackson legacy, and deeds the plantation to Reed’s younger brother. With that deed goes Reed’s fiancĂ© from a neighboring plantation. Reed’s mother urges him to move to Fenton, Missouri, where her nephew, Henry Ames’, operates a successful hotel and is eager to help his cousin get settled in a new town.
Belle Richards is dirt poor farm girl and lifetime resident of Fenton. She endures an abusive family with one quest in mind – learning how to read. Circumstances throw Reed and Belle together in a violent fashion.
Beulah Freeman manages The Ames Hotel for Reed’s cousin Henry. She is an oddity, as a former slave, to be in a position of responsibility, literate, and teaching others to read.
What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I have one more historical romance that I will publish this spring called Cross the Ocean. It is the story of a spinster Suffragette named Gertrude. In the fall of 2013, I will publish a women’s fiction novel that is complete and edited. I’m still working on the name of that one. I’m writing the follow-up to that novel right now and am about 30,000 words into it. It is the story of a newspaper reporter in a small conservative county in southeastern Pennsylvania. His newspaper is downsizing and he’s been told he’s got to write love advice for the paper’s Dear Abby-like column.

What is the most gratifying part of the process for you?

Typing the last paragraph at the end of an 80 or 90 thousand word book is very satisfying. With every book I’ve written there has been at least one point at which I thought I wouldn’t finish, couldn’t finish or maybe didn’t even want to. But then when I finally type that conclusion, that last bit of dialogue, I take a deep breath and say, “I made it.”
Now that my books are being read by the public there is something else very gratifying for me and that is hearing from readers. It is wonderful to get feedback and hear their comments. Thanks for having me Melina!


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