Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Book Blast + #Giveaway: Slightest in the House by Barbara Casey @GoddessFish


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara Casey will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

On some level she was aware that an elderly woman had come out of the darkness and put her arms around her. Meredith heard her say that everything would be all right. But on another, more conscious level, the one where all of her senses saw, felt, processed and recorded what was happening, Meredith watched two black body bags being loaded into the back of an ambulance. Then she watched the ambulance turn around and drive off in the opposite direction. Her long, tumbling mass of blond curls hung loosely over her face, shielding it. For Beth, the reality of what had taken place would come later. But Meredith had seen what had happened and understood. That knowledge was now seeping through every pore of her body.

Seventeen-year-old Meredith and her four-year-old stepsister, Beth, face the numbing reality of suddenly losing their parents in a freak accident. With no other family, they are taken from their mobile home in Georgia to go live with a grandmother they have never met in a mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. Beth soon adjusts to her new environment; but Meredith withdraws from everyone and everything, unable to blot out the image of the horrible crash that killed her parents. It is only when she reaches out to a homeless woman that Meredith is finally able to find herself and face her demons. With the help of her grandmother’s long-employed staff, a family doctor, a museum curator, an attorney who is more than just her grandmother’s legal advisor, and, of course, her conniving grandmother who is dealing with her own guilt for having been estranged from her son and his wife (Meredith’s and Beth’s parents), Meredith is able to pull herself from the depths of despair into a life filled with faith, hope, and generosity.

Slightest in the House is a contemporary novel with strong, interesting characters from different walks of life, brought together because of life’s difficult and often unexpected circumstances, and bonded together by their faith and belief that everything works out as it should.

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Read an Excerpt

Ron stared wildly at the crumpled car. “You don’t think the girls were . . .” Ron didn’t finish. It was simply too horrible to say out loud. Instead he reached out and grabbed at the twisted metal frame of the car, yanking and clawing at it, as though once he got it out of the way, he would find two young girls miraculously sitting there, whole and perfect, and untouched by gore and death. Terror filled Ron’s face as he glanced back at his partner. “Oh, god, Mack, they would never leave the kids at home alone,” he yelled as he knelt down and wrenched harder, surreal, blood-soaked images flooding his mind that were simply too unbearable for words.

“Mr. Reynolds?”

The soft voice came from somewhere behind him, through the dust and the fumes of the wreckage, and through the noisy confusion of fire trucks, sirens, and frantic people. Ron turned around, searching through all the chaos made even more so by the flashing blue and red emergency lights, until his eyes stopped and focused on a young girl. A much smaller child had her arms wrapped around her neck, clinging to her. Both of them were covered with dirt, and their clothes were torn. But otherwise they looked to be all right. Ron’s panic was quickly replaced by a fa├žade of calmness. He glanced up at the elderly man standing behind them, his arms encircling them protectively. He was bleeding from a cut on the side of his face, and his eyes were glazed over in shock.

“Meredith. Beth.” Ron stood up and brushed off his hands. Then he gently took the little girl out of her sister’s arms and held her tightly against him. “Are you two all right?” he asked taking a deep breath.

“Yes,” answered Meredith. “We were in the candy shop.” Her eyes looked too large for her face, and her normally fair skin was ashen. “Mr. Devening has a cut.”

“I hurt my finger,” announced Beth sticking up her thumb. “And Oinky hurt his tail.” Beth then proceeded to poke the back end of a rather ugly stuffed toy pig into Ron’s face so he could examine that as well.

“I see,” said Ron, fighting down the sick feeling that was threatening to overtake him. He knew he couldn’t lose it now—not in front of the girls. They needed him. He must be strong for them. He would be able to go home later on to his wife and young daughter. But for Meredith and Beth, their nightmare was just beginning.

“I’ll tell you what,” he said. His voice was soothing—in control. “This man is my partner, and his name is Mack.”

Both girls looked at the man standing next to Ron.

“He’s going to drive us all to the hospital so we can get everyone taken care of.” Mack led Mr. Devening to the patrol car.

“Oinky’s tail, too?” asked Beth.

“Absolutely. Then he’s going to take us to my house. Would you like that?”

“And see Christie?” asked Beth.

“And see Christie,” Ron answered. “Is that O.K. with you, Meredith?”

Meredith didn’t answer. On some level she was aware that a woman had come out of the darkness and put her arms around her. Meredith heard her say that everything would be all right. That she was safe. And that she must be strong. But on another, more conscious level, the one where all of her senses processed and recorded what was happening, Meredith saw two black body bags being zipped and placed into the back of an ambulance. Then she watched the ambulance turn around and drive away. Her long, tumbling mass of blond curls hung loosely over her face guardedly, concealing it, preventing the horror from penetrating any deeper. For Beth, safeguarded by youth and innocence, the reality of what had taken place would come later. But Meredith had seen what had happened and understood. That knowledge was now seeping through every pore of her body. Ron glanced at the woman, nodded, and took Meredith’s hand.

About the Author:
Barbara Casey is the author of over two dozen award-winning novels and book-length works of nonfiction for both adults and young adults, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Several of her books have been optioned for major films and television series.

In addition to her own writing, Barbara is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency. Established in 1995, she represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan.

In 2018 Barbara received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas.

Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with three cats who adopted her: Homer, a Southern coon cat; Reese, a black cat; and Earl Gray, a gray cat and Reese’s best friend.


Connect with Barbara Casey



Giveaway:

$20 Amazon/BN GC




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


5 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting today! We appreciate it.

Marcy Meyer said...

The excerpt sounds really good.

Just Like Family said...

Thank you, Marcy. I am glad you are following my tour.

Sherry said...

I really like the cover.

Just Like Family said...

So do I, Sherry. The artist captured one of the scenes in my book where 17-year-old Meredith hides in her grandmother's secret garden to try to deal with her grief. It is emotional, yet beautiful. Thank you for commenting.