Friday, November 16, 2012

Spinster's Folly by Marsha Ward: a Review and Giveaway

I might have a slight bias when it comes to Marsha Ward and anything she writes. You see she’s one of my favorite people. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association, ANWA, as well as the self-publishing queen. Borrowing an old western phrase, Marsha never goes off half-cocked. Everything she does seems to have purpose and intent, from the wordage she uses, to the character building, to the deliberate rise and fall of the story arch and ending—she labors over every placement of the commas and periods. Marsha is calculating, yet sweeter than citrus honey.

Writing humor into a serious story, and do it exceedingly well, takes talent. Marsha does it splendidly in Spinster’s Folly. While there isn’t anything overtly or graphically sexual contained in this book, it isn’t the light-hearted romance I’d first expected, either. There are scenes of abuse and sexual tension brought on by the main character's poor decision making, so beware if you are sensitive to this subject matter. I would grade this more of a PG rated book.  

Here is the description of Spinster's Folly:

Marie Owen yearns for a loving husband, but Colorado Territory is long on rough characters and short on fitting suitors, so a future of spinsterhood seems more likely than wedded bliss. Her best friend says cowboy Bill Henry is a likely candidate, but Marie knows her class-conscious father would not allow such a pairing. When she challenges her father to find her a suitable husband before she becomes a spinster, he arranges a match with a neighbor's son. Then Marie discovers Tom Morgan would be an unloving, abusive mate and his mother holds a grudge against the Owen family. Marie's mounting despair at the prospect of being trapped in such a dismal marriage drives her into the arms of a sweet-talking predator, landing her in unimaginable dangers.

This fourth book in the Owen Family Saga is infused with potent heart and intense grit.

The definition of Grit: to endure a trying situation. This describes Spinster’s Folly so well. But I’m not the only one who believes this, as shown by her book's endorsements.

"Ward has written another of her gritty, fact-filled family sagas. Peopled with folks harboring complex emotions and striving always to do right within the confines of their values, her characters' lives tend to get real messy. How they solve their many problems is always an education in story-telling, and Ward excels in doing that."
 ~C.K. Crigger

C.K.Crigger lives with her husband and three feisty dogs in Spokane Valley, WA, where she crafts stories set in the Inland Northwest. She is a 2008 Eppie Award winner for Black Crossing, a western, and a two-time Spur Award finalist in short story and audio. She reviews books and writes occasional articles for Roundup Magazine. Recently, she's begun reviewing for CnC Bookstore in the mystery and science fiction categories.

"Marsha Ward must have a door to the past. She steps through it to the Old West, watches, listens, then comes back and writes about it vividly."
 ~Robert J. Randisi

Robert J. Randisi is an American author who writes in the detective and Western genres. He has authored more than 500 published books and has edited more than 30 anthologies of short stories. Booklist magazine said he "may be the last of the pulp writers.” 
He co-founded and edited Mystery Scene magazine and co-founded the American Crime Writers League. He founded The Private Eye Writers of America in 1981, where he created the Shamus Award. (Wikipedia)

“With a great sense of time and place, crackerjack dialogue and rich characters, Marsha Ward delivers Spinster’s Folly, a romance, Western and historical novel rolled into one—and one fun read.” ~Johnny D. Boggs Six time Spur Award-winning author of Camp Ford and Legacy of a Lawman

Booklist has called Johnny D. Boggs "among the best western writers at work today."  He has won the prestigious Spur Award from Western Writers of America six times. A prolific writer of short nonfiction, Boggs has written about all aspects of the American West as well being a staff writer for Persimmon Hill and a frequent contributor to True West, Wild West and Boys' Life.

If you can imagine asking these writers who you respect to, not only read, but to give their opinion of your book? Now that takes true grit.

Marsha Ward is an award-winning poet, writer and editor whose published work includes four novels in The Owen Family SagaThe Man from Shenandoah, Ride to Raton, Trail of Storms, and Spinster’s Folly; and over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She also is a workshop presenter and writing teacher.

 Yes, that’s our Marsha!

You can find an actual hold-in-your-hands copy of Spinster's Folly by going to Create Space and BUYING IT!

Go here and you'll see that Marsha has published ELEVEN books, and you can purchase each of them, including her newest, Spinster's Folly, in e-book editions. 

To encourage you to click over to Amazon and buy Spinster's Folly, leave a comment and earn a chance to win a $15.00 Amazon e-gift card. I'll pick the winner out of my husband's cowboy hat (how appropriate is that?) next Friday. Please leave your email address or I might have a problem contacting you.  


Kerry Blair said...

It seems like I've waited FOREVER for this story! Hurray, Marsha!

Kari Pike said...

Great review! Thanks! I love Spinster's Folly!

Marsha Ward said...

Kerry, you're so sweet, and you are, too, Kari. How about that! Two of my favorite people, and they're both named Care-ee.

Thank you, Debra, for this surprising and she-truly-went-the-extra-mile review! I appreciate the time and effort you put into helping me publicize Spinster's Folly.

Debra Allen Erfert said...

Kerry and Kari, thank you so much for leaving comments, but I noticed you didn't leave email addresses. I can only conclude you understand my love for a good mystery. By next Friday, I will contact all my informants, willing and reluctant, to obtain the as yet unknown winner's email addy.

Good luck! ;D

Debra Allen Erfert said...

Marsha, I even Tweeted it. I feel so 21st Century! ;D

Shawnette Nielson said...

What a great opportunity! I love Marsha as well, and this was a great article. Cheers.

Shannon Ro said...

Sounds like a great novel! The cover is amaing, love the sunrise

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

GoofyJ said...

Great review and congrats to Marsha for another publication! :-D goofyjwags at gmail dot com

SNOWDRIFT a romance novel

I have a new novel on pre-order. Snowdrift is my first romance, and I love the characters so much!  Here is what the story is about....