Monday, May 30, 2016

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Take Me to the Willow by Shelly Brimley @GoddessFish

Take Me to the Willow
by Shelly Brimley
GENRE: Historical Fiction


In defending his life-long friendship with Charlie, Will may have inadvertently had a hand in the growing chaos that leads to the horrifying night when his familiar world is shattered. 

When Will Wright, the eighteen year old son of a small-town Arkansas sheep herder in 1905, begins reading his mother’s journal, he is inspired by its startling content to start putting his own experiences to paper for posterity. An unsophisticated but principled young man, Will is becoming increasingly aware of the hatred that exists in the world. When he begins his own journal, Will can’t know what events are to take place in the next five years – from his mother’s battle with a life threatening illness, to his embarrassments of learning how to be in love for the first time, to witnessing Charlie’s fate at the hands of the bigoted townspeople. While part of him wishes the pain in those pages didn’t exist, he knows that the original purpose for keeping the journal has been realized - to show his kin how he became the man he is. He will probably never go back through and read again the pages he’s written, but someday, someone will, and they will see that along with the hurt, Will’s life had been one that knew true joy, absolute love, and undying friendship.


"Stop playin’ games, Maryanne!" I shouted.

Maryanne startled, and she got a real serious look on her face. A few people inside must have heard me yell, and watched us through the window for a minute or two.

"So you called me out here to yell at me?" Maryanne said with a face as pouty as an old dried up raisin. "I never took you for such a bully, Will!"

"You are unbelievable!" I shouted. "You trick me into bringin’ Hannah here by tellin’ me that you’ve got good intentions—then you send me away so you can tell her lies about me. And for what? What did you think was gonna happen, Maryanne?—that Hannah would leave me because of it, and I’d come runnin’ to you? Well let me tell you that you are…"

"I’m what?" yelled Maryanne.

I paused and took a deep breath. I played out the conversation in my mind the way my anger was wantin’ it to go, and I… I decided against it. I remembered Hannah tellin’ me not to be mean. 'Don’t be mean,' I told myself. Just say what needs to be said and don’t be mean. So I held my tongue; didn’t know I had that in me.

Finally gettin' myself under control, I said calmly, "You know what, Maryanne? Hannah’s right. It isn’t worth it."

Maryanne took to cryin’, and I think I actually saw real tears for once. I turned and started to leave.

"Will, I love you," she said imploringly.

I stopped and looked at her with a new kind of sadness… maybe even pity.

"You don’t love me, Maryanne," I said. "You just want me because I’m the only one who doesn’t want you."


What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?

          Okay, there is absolutely no way to narrow it down to one thing. My parents hired a housekeeper to clean my house for me when I was 9 months pregnant with my son. That was amazing! I’ve had siblings pay random bills, a close friend who painted my toes for me, again while very pregnant, and my husband, who without me asking him to, routinely brings a fan into the bathroom in the summertime while I’m drying my hair because it’s so hot. I’m the recipient of so much sweetness!

How would you spend ten thousand bucks?

          Well, if I had to spend it, I’d give my husband a gift card to the nursery so he could build his dream garden, take my family on a volunteer work trip/ vacation, go on a cruise with my siblings, and/ or do a bunch of house projects. Brian and I both love projects! Another option would be just to buy a ton of airline miles and see family and friends A LOT!

Where do you get your best ideas?

         I would have to say that I get my best ideas from having seen and felt what tragedy does to people. Watching people’s different reactions to life’s struggles has given me a lot to think about and a lot of perspective for my own life and how I handle tough things.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

        In Take Me to the Willow, my characters came first. As my characters developed, the plot started to take shape. I’m not sure it would work this way every time, but it did in this case. 


Shelly Brimley was born in Flagstaff, AZ, where she lived most of her life until moving to Mexico to study abroad. After graduation, Shelly did some volunteer work in Africa and completed her graduate degree while working in an adolescent drug treatment center. After acquiring her Master’s degree, she worked as a counselor at a residential shelter for children who had been smuggled and trafficked into the USA from different countries around the world. She also taught English to adult refugees before resigning to raise her children. Shelly wanted to use her experience working with others as a source of inspiration in her writing, offering a voice for those who are not typically heard or considered.

On sale for only $0.99 until May 22


$50 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Ally Swanson said...

Excellent interview! I also really enjoyed reading the excerpt. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read. Looking forward to checking out this book!

Mai T. said...

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Nikolina said...

I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you!

Rita Wray said...

Great excerpt.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the release!


Unknown said...

Thanks so much for hosting today! I'm sorry I was unavailable this morning, but I'm on board now. ;) Wishing everyone a lovely memorial day!

Unknown said...

Thank you Ally, Nikolina, Rita, and Trix! It's nice to have people following the tour. Touch base with me if you get a chance to read the book. I'd love your insights and feedback!

James Robert said...

Happy Memorial Day and saying thank you to all our military men and women who served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. God Bless our Military men and women and their families.
Thanks for this opportunity to win this giveaway

Unknown said...

Absolutely, James! Thanks for your comments.

Unknown said...

I appreciate you hosting me today! Thanks again.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post! I enjoyed reading the interview :)

James Robert said...

Happy Wednesday and thanks so much for the opportunity to win

Mary Preston said...

A great interview.