Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review & Interview Secrets of the Red Box

I'm excited to be part of a blog tour for Secrets of the Red Box by Vickie Hall.  This was an interesting book for me.  It wasn't one that kept me up late at night reading, but there was a steady thread of tension that kept me coming back to it.  It's like a large mud puddle, once you step in it, you are softly sucked in until you lose yourself (or at least your shoe) in it.

The main character, Bonnie, is running away from her secrets, her deeds, and her life.  She's suffered a lot through an abusive childhood and her choices haven't been the best since she reached adulthood.  She runs away to Omaha where she meets a family that is the epitome of everything she wished she could have had as a child.  Her lies begin to unravel and her old life comes back to haunt her forcing her to face what she's done and who she's been.  The question is, can she overcome it?

We also have a parallel story with our hero Glen.  We are introduced to him as he's serving in World War II.  He's doing his best to survive and help his friend Charlie survive as well.  The horror of war has scarred him and the experiences he has there are particularly well-written.  I actually found myself wanting to skip over some of Bonnie's story to get back to Glen's.  But once he's home, the story picks up with the two of them as they try to heal from their emotional wounds.  

There was a lot of great imagery in the book and I enjoyed how much the secondary characters fleshed out the story.  It definitely could have used a good edit, but the author does have a gift for turn of phrase.  I would classify it as a slow suspense, one you'd want to read on a snowy winter afternoon.  

I was lucky enough to snag an interview with the author, Vickie Hall.  Some of her answers surprised me and that's hard to do with all the authors I know.

1.  What inspired you to write this book?

An event that happened to my father. I can't reveal that event without tipping my hand to the plot! But it was something I thought about over the years and decided it should make a pretty good story.

2.  If you had to describe the book in eight words, what would you say?

A riveting tale of deceit and redemptive love.

3.  Can you tell us what your writing process is?  Do you write daily?  Morning?  Evening?

I'm a combination of a plotter and a pantzer. I plot the basic story line, the beginning, middel and end. Then I write by the seat of my pants for the rest.  Because I work a full-time job, I write at night and on the weekends. I try to write every day and miss it when I don't.

4.  If you could be one of your characters, who would you be?

I think it would be Irene Orton. She is a loving, gentle soul who influences Bonnie (the protagonist) with her sweet example. She's a loving mother and wife, and a wonderful friend to Bonnie. I want to be more like Irene.

5.  What is the best writing tip you ever received?

Years ago, I was reading about Charles Dickens. He offered some writing advice that has been with me ever since (in fact I did a needlepoint picture of it and it hangs in my office): Make then laugh, make them cry, make them wait.

6.  What are you working on now?

I'm working on a fun project now about a fake medium in 1910 Baltimore who receives a visit from a murdered man's ghost and gets pulled into finding his murderer. It's light and funny and quite different than anything I've written before!

7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be?

It would still have to be something in the creative field. I write music and have always wanted to score a movie - that would be awesome. If not that, I would love to be a graphic artist. I dipped my toe into this pool, with designing the cover for Secrets of the Red Box!
8.  What is something unique about you that your readers don't know? 

I have what is called a pronated hip. This allows me to turn my right foot 180 degrees to the back so it looks like my foot was put on backward! Pretty unique I'd say!

Thank you so much for the interview, Vickie!  

Here is the back copy for the book:

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!

Purchase Link: Amazon 

Click here for a Rafflecopter giveaway for
  • $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)

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.

Links: Blog * Website * Facebook * Goodreads


ann said...

Thanks for the great review. I especially like how you describe how you write a book. You are unique with that pronated hip - I bet thats weird to see you do . Have a great day

Debra Allen Erfert said...

I love the cover, and I especially love the fact that the author designed it. This sounds like a great read.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

You're welcome, Ann.

Debra, I liked the cover, too. Very well done. :)