The Divining Wand

Discovering authors beyond their pages…

Amy MacKinnon’s Tethered, Again

August 12, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Contests

On this day last summer, Amy MacKinnon debuted with her suspenseful and haunting novel, Tethered, while yesterday brought the release of Tethered in paperback edition. This is good news for all readers seeking an unforgettable book. It’s also another tribute to Amy’s long journey to publication. Throughout her well documented journey, she shared both her self-doubt about readers’ desire to accept the story’s dark subject matter and her dedication to remember the “forgotten children” who silently die of abuse or neglect.

Fortunately she chose the latter by taking the following stance:

“My theme is, and always will be, faith.

”My faith is a tenuous thing. I had it once, and have longed for it ever since. It’s difficult to navigate the dark passages of life without believing there is some higher power at work, that there exists order where we see only randomness and chaos. My novel began with a question: How could an undertaker perform her work if she didn’t believe in God? I layered into that premise another question I struggle with daily: Why do children need to suffer, to die?”

And this is the novel’s synopsis:

“Clara Marsh is an undertaker who doesn’t believe in God. She spends her solitary life among the dead, preparing their last baths and bidding them farewell with a bouquet from her own garden. Her carefully structured life shifts when she discovers a neglected little girl, Trecie, playing in the funeral parlor, desperate for a friend.

“It changes even more when Detective Mike Sullivan starts questioning her again about a body she prepared three years ago, an unidentified girl found murdered in a nearby strip of woods. Unclaimed by family, the community christened her Precious Doe. When Clara and Mike learn Trecie may be involved with the same people who killed Precious Doe, Clara must choose between the stead-fast existence of loneliness and the perils of binding one’s life to another.”

I read Tethered well over a year ago and time has not diminished this powerful human story and my concise review remains the same:

The writing is brutally/achingly gorgeous, the experience of living the story is vividly intense, and the amazing bond you’ll feel for the characters well past The End is extraordinarily fulfilling. In other words, Tethered is for everyone who seeks a remarkable novel…you shall see!

If you’d like to read my full presentation, please see: Amy MacKinnon and Tethered

As much as Tethered exposes the raw ugliness of the world, it is also beautiful and brimming with hope. Do pick up a copy and/or leave a comment for a chance to win the novel in a random drawing. Due to technical difficulties and a neighborhood power outage, this post was delayed in being uploaded and will remain up through SUNDAY afternoon (August 16th) until 7:00 pm EDT and the winner will be announced in Monday’s post.

Here’s Time of My Life, Again

August 04, 2009 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Contests

Our lives are filled with “what if’s” and “givens,” the latter being an event destined to happen. And, after reading the ARC of Time of My Life a year and a half ago, I knew its success was a “given.” Allison Winn Scotch had touched a universal memory nerve – that chord of imagination our mind plays for us whenever we may not be having the time of our lives.

And yet the truth of this novel answers not “would we go back” but “could we go back” to take that second chance and get it right this time? After all everything can turn on a dime, especially when trying to perfect the past.

If you wish to read a much more detailed account of the book, please read my presentation post, Allison Winn Scotch and Time of My Life, from October 6, 2008. However for a concise summation, here’s my “official” review:

Time of My Life may be initially thought of, chosen and read for its “what if” fantasy, yet the story is actually grounded in diverse and discomforting universal issues that are not limited to marrying the right man. Writing in a strong, confident and smart voice, Allison Winn Scotch is in total control of her protagonist’s indecisiveness and this is what gives the book a well-earned reality check mark. Whatever time of life you may be in, this novel is a reminder that the past holds the lure of potential but the present is where all things are created possible for the future. A most entertaining and thoughtful read, you’ll enjoy the escape into second chances.


The trade paperback edition of Time of My Life is available in bookstores and online today. There’s also a copy available here for anyone to win in the book giveaway contest. Just leave a comment and you’ll be entered in the random drawing with the winner to be announced on Thursday.

Wherever, whenever, how ever…do get this NYT Bestselling* novel to enjoy the time of your life!

*The answer is “Yes,” the NYT Bestseller List was a major part of the given. 😉