Monday, November 12, 2012

Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: Secrets of the Red Box by Vickie Hall


Secrets of the Red Box by Vickie Hall
Published Date: September 2012
Publisher: Self
Genre: Historical Fiction

The Story: Bonnie has secrets to keep - secrets with the potential to destroy lives, including her own. Running from her destructive and pain filled past, she recreates herself, believing she has escaped the damning evidence hidden in the red box. When her former life is revealed by a cruel twist of fate, Bonnie faces losing everything, including Glen, the only man she’s ever loved. But is Bonnie the woman he thinks she is? Set against the backdrop of the 1940s, Secrets of the Red Box is filled with intrigue and suspense - sure to keep you guessing to the very end!

My Review: This was an intense book, but I loved reading it.  Bonnie finds out that having skeletons in the closet will always make noise.  Keeping secrets from loved ones is never a good idea, when they're this damaging.  With Vickie's writing, you are brought back to a time around WWII.  It's beautiful, in the descriptions of the places Bonnie goes.  You feel the desperation at what Bonnie expierences.  You also want to strangle her for her choices. 

 
 
Excerpt:
Bonnie lay on her side staring across the small bedroom. A faint light from the street filtered through the curtains, touching hard lines with pale illumination. Beside her, Glen breathed deeply as he slept, his body spooned against hers, his arm draped over her torso. She held on to his arm, feeling his warmth and sureness. She clung to him as if he were an anchor, as though if she were to let go, she’d drift away from him forever.
They’d been married only three short weeks, and still she could scarcely comprehend how she came to be in this bed with a husband who loved her. It had all seemed an impossible dream not so long ago. Her only aspiration then had been to survive, to find work, and become invisible. She never expected to fall in love, had never even hoped to. And now that she was, Bonnie felt certain she didn’t deserve it.
The thought of losing her newfound happiness terrified her. She never wanted to go back to the dark days she’d lived before, the empty days of lies and secrets. She never wanted to live even one day without Glen. There were no guarantees, she knew, but Bonnie vowed to make Glen happy, to do everything in her power to keep his love for her alive. But most of all, she wanted to prove herself worthy of his love.

Purchase Link: Amazon  
 
Character Development:
This is something I love doing. For each of my major characters I create an entire life for them - where they were born, where they grew up, what type of family they had, level of education, personal likes and dislikes, and what motivates them. One of the most important things I feel every character must have is one or more weaknesses, and one or more strengths. If a character is too perfect, or incapable of failing from time to time, then they become unbelievable. Knowing the entire backstory of my characters helps me to know how they will react in the situations I put them in.
Research:
I write historical fiction, so research is critical. I use a combination of books and the internet. I generally spend four to six months researching my book before typing one word. I want to know everything that influenced the era I've chosen - I study the political influences, societal norms, technology of the day, fashion, the location and its landscape, the history of the country/city, and culture, and dialect if required. Even after all that, as I'm writing, I will come across something that I need to validate. Sometimes, I think the internet was invented for writers, because I remember the days when I sat in the library for hours taking notes until my hand cramped. I utilize university libraries, international libraries, historical websites, and yes, once in awhile wikipedia, but I usually double check what I find there.
How do you know what to write:
I envision my books as a movie playing in my head. I always know the beginning, the middle and the end of the story, but just how to connect those three pieces develops as I write. I strive for realistic dialogue and most often speak the words aloud so I can hear if they ring true. I find that the previous two topics, character development, and knowing my era, contribute greatly to knowing what to write. If I immerse myself in my characters and research it seems to come together and the writing flows.

Author Vickie Hall
Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she's not writing, she's composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.
 
Tour Giveaway
•$25 Amazon Gift Card or $25 PayPal Cash from Author Vickie Hall + copy of Secrets of the Red Box (US - Paperback, Kindle ebook - International)
•Paperback copy of Secrets of the Red Box (US only)
•Kindle Ebook copy of Secrets of the Red Box (International)
Ends 11/25/12

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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