Tag Archives: Harlequin MIRA

The In-Between Hour by Barbara Claypole White

The In-Between Hours Cover“Tree frogs croaked a concerto, and snuffling came from the compost pile. The raccoons were out in force. Above, an expanse of night sky shimmered with stars. Man, he’d forgotten the glory of Southern nights–how he was drawn to the stillness, the raw energy. As a kid, he’d loved reading or writing in the middle of the night. Unless there was a storm to whip up her craziness, terror tended to come with the light, when his mom was awake.”

~ Barbara Claypole White,
The In-Between Hour


Bestselling author Will Shepard is caught in the twilight of grief, after his young son dies in a car accident. But when his father’s aging mind erases the memory, Will rewrites the truth. The story he spins brings unexpected relief…until he’s forced to return to rural North Carolina, trapping himself in a lie.

Holistic veterinarian Hannah Linden is a healer who opens her heart to strays but can only watch, powerless, as her grown son struggles with inner demons. When she rents her guest cottage to Will and his dad, she finds solace in trying to mend their broken world, even while her own shatters.

As their lives connect and collide, Will and Hannah become each other’s only hope—if they can find their way into a new story, one that begins with love.

 (Image and synopsis via TLC Book Tours)

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My Thoughts:

The In-Between Hour is an emotional and intense story of surviving tragedy, grief and loss. Each of Barbara Claypole White’s characters is facing a struggle: Will the loss of his five-year old son, Will’s father Jacob the loss of his mental faculties due to Alzheimer’s, Hannah the potential loss of her son Galen to his drug and alcohol additions.

White’s first paragraphs caught my attention, and she didn’t let go until the last page:

Will imagined silence. The silence of snowfall in the forest. The silence at the top of a crag. But eighty floors below his roof garden, another siren screeched along Central Park West.

Nausea nibbled–a hungry goldfish gumming him to death. Maybe this week’s diet of Zantac and PBR beer was to blame. Or maybe grief was a degenerative disease, destroying him from the inside out. Dissolving his organs. One. By. One.

With these words, White introduces us to a story filled with grit, emotion, pain of loss, and love. Each chapter pulls the reader along through the story with a sense of hope for these people who are hurting.

We all want such stories to end with a positive conclusion, and White doesn’t disappoint, but I am not charged with telling you what that ending is. You, the reader, must discover this when you read The In-Between Hour.

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My Recommendation: 

The In-Between Hour has a little something for everyone: tension, mystery, struggling characters, and a bit of romance. Included in the cast of characters are the curious yet interesting personalities of people like your next door neighbor. And the author shares some vivid scenes from the North Carolina State Natural Area which includes Occoneechee Mountain, an incredibly beautiful place. Please don’t miss this wonderfully crafted story by a gifted writer.

TLC Book Tours Tour Host


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Meet the Author:

Author Barbara Claypole WhiteI grew up in rural England, studied history at York University, and worked in the London fashion industry before falling in love with an American professor I met at JFK Airport. Twenty-five years later, we live in the North Carolina forest with our award-winning poet / musician / lyricist son.

I love all things gardening and all things OCD. My debut novel, THE UNFINISHED GARDEN, is a love story about grief, OCD, and dirt. TUG was Simply Books # 1 Romantic Book of 2012, and a finalist in the 2013 Golden Quill, Write Touch Readers’ Award, and New England Readers’ Choice Beanpot Award contests. THE IN-BETWEEN HOUR follows in January 2014.

I blog about the writing life at bookpregnant.blogspot.com and girlfriendbooks.blogspot.com, and parenting an OCD teen at easytolove.com

For more information, please visit my website, barbaraclaypolewhite.com.

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Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Literature, Adult Fiction
Kindle: 554 KB | Printed: 834 pages
Source: NetGalley

I received a copy of The In-Between Hour from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Secrets Long Held Forge Relationships | Review of The Sweetest Hallelujah by Elaine Hussey


“The simple gestures–water when you’re faint, blankets when you’re cold, a hand when you’re falling–tell of friendships so strong they could withstand anything, even long-held secrets . . . “

~ Elaine Hussey (back cover, Sweetest Hallelujah)

” . . . The sweetest hallelujah will be when Billie can walk in the front door of any place she pleases, and nobody will tell her she doesn’t belong.”

~ Elaine Hussey, Sweetest Hallelujah (Billie’s mama to her grandmother, Queen)

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Synopsis: Betty Jewel Hughes was once the hottest black jazz singer in Memphis. But when she finds herself pregnant and alone, she gives up her dream of being a star to raise her beautiful daughter, Billie, in Shakerag, Mississippi. Now, ten years later, in 1955, Betty Jewel is dying of cancer and looking for someone to care for Billie when she’s gone. With no one she can count on, Betty Jewel does the unthinkable: she takes out a want ad seeking a loving mother for her daughter.

[Continues on Goodreads . . .]

(Book cover image and synopsis via Goodreads)

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My Thoughts:

Set in the 1950s in Shakerag, Mississippi, as race becomes a hot issue, two women — one dying in poverty and the other living a life of wealth and privilege — find themselves uncovering a long-hidden secret that will impact the lives of two families indelibly.

Betty Jewel, dying of cancer and the unwed mother of a 10-year old girl named Billie, draws on a deep courage to find Billie a home as her own life ebbs away. Desperate, Betty Jewell places an ad in the town paper and hopes the right person comes forward.

Billie, a child who should be enjoying her childhood, is lost between the knowledge her mother is dying and her previously jailed father is not the famous jazz musician he once was. A child in search of truth, the truth evades her at every turn.

Living on the other side of town in a prosperous neighborhood driving a BMW and wanting for nothing other than to have her deceased husband back is Carrie Malone. With his death went Carrie’s hopes and dreams of a family and home together. But the longing for a child never ends.

Carrie sees the ad and begins to explore the possibilities despite the stares of the populace of Shakerag. As she talks with Betty Jewel about Billie, a secret kept for years works its way to the surface. With it, the secret brings shock, hurt and pain, surprises and eventually an answer to Betty’s desire for Billie to have a good home.

Any more and I’ll give away too much.

My Recommendation: 

If, like me, you enjoy Southern fiction, The Sweetest Hallelujah will bring you to the south of the 1950s and the division between races. The Sweetest Hallelujah reveals an amazing story of love, courage, hope and an unbelievable coming together of two races long fighting over the rights of one against the other.

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Meet the Author:

elainehusseyphotobigwElaine Hussey is a writer, actress and musician who likes to describe herself as “Southern to the bone.” She lives in Mississippi, where her love of blues and admiration for the unsung heroes of her state’s history served as inspiration for The Sweetest Hallelujah . Visit her at www.ElaineHussey.com.

(Bio via Goodreads; image via Harlequin)

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Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Published: August 2013
Genre: Southern Fiction
ISBN 9780778315193
Source: Personal Library

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 Tomorrow is Friday Favorites with a favorite quote for you. Then Monday my review of Anne Allen’s No Place Like Home. Next Tuesday my interview with Bill Klaber, author of The Rebellion of Lucy Ann Lobdell. Looking forward to the discussions that follow.

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