No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn

no ordinary life

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

No Ordinary Life

Faye Martin is a mom to 3 children- Emily, Tom and Molly. Faye is a woman who does not have a lot of choices. Abandoned by her husband, Sean, Faye soon realizes that her job as a waitress is not going to be enough to keep 3 kids fed and in a home.

She heads to LA to move in with her mother for a bit- find a new job, save some money, decide what the next plan for life is to be.

Fate, Youtube and Hollywood step in.

On a normal day, a day while Faye is looking for a job- she lets the kids play at the outdoor mall. While they can’t shop- there is plenty to see- street performers and such. Continue reading

Help Suzanne Redfearn Pick New Cover/Title For Next Book!

help suzanne redfearnLast year I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Suzanne Redfearn’s debut, HUSH LITTLE BABY. I enjoyed it so much and thought Suzanne was so lovely- so when one of Suzanne’s PR contacts asked me to help promote a contest to choose her next book cover/title, I immediately agreed! Continue reading

Week 3 Discussion Questions for Book Lovers Unite: Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn

hush little baby

Photo Credit: Goodreads

 

This is the last week of questions- we have discussed and had a great time!

I hope you have enjoyed reading Hush Little Baby with Book Lovers Unite.

Please know that if you have read- but have not commented- you can still join in! It’s not too late.

Next week- Thanksgiving and Black Friday will be happening- and I wish you and your family a happy holiday. And if you go out and Black Friday shop- have fun!

 

Questions for Week 3:

1. What was your overall thoughts about the book?

 

2. How did you like the ending? Fitting? Would you like to know more about Jillian or is her story over?

 

3. What do you think- did Gordon kill Jeffrey? Was Jeffrey just in the wrong place, wrong time? Suzanne never really tells us 100% absolutely if Gordon did or not.

 

4. I asked you when we first started this book- what would you do if you were in Jillian’s place and told you to think about it. After finishing the book- are you still certain of what you would do?

 

5. A father’s love was another theme in this book. Jillian’s dad loved her and worked hard to save her. And Claudia’s dad was another father who did what he could to help Jillian. Did Claudia’s father help out because of Jillian- or was it strictly love for his daughter and Jillian just benefited?

 

 

Week 1 Book Lovers Unite Discussion: Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn

hush little baby

Photo Credit: Goodreads

 

It’s here! It’s time! This is Week 1 Discussion of Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn.

Some guidelines:

Each week (on Friday) new questions will be posted. We’ll only discuss what happens in the book during the pages designated for that week’s reading. Please know you can read ahead or stick with the group or play catch-up (just #nospoilers please!)

You don’t have to answer all the questions! Just answer the ones you want! And feel free to ask questions (if there is not something that I covered!)

Lastly, just have fun! Because if it’s not fun- it’s not worth it. #truthoftheday

To see the reading schedule, visit here.

Week 1 Questions

1. “We look like the perfect family and I’m happy to pretend.” Jillian, page 1. What does this statement tell us as readers? Did it give you a tingle of nervousness about what was to happen in the next 300+ pages?

2. Gordon is a police officer. How does Gordon’s career work against Jillian? Are wives of police officers almost always doomed in this kind of situation (if their husband is abusive?)

3. Jillian is smart. She’s confident in her work environment. Jillian is not confident as a mother, though. How does Gordon use her fears and perceived shortcomings against her?

4. “I can’t handle what I have” is a theme that runs through Hush Little Baby. What does this mean? Do you ever wonder about Jillian’s state of mind as she repeats this?

5. When Gordon speaks of Jillian’s temper to a friend- Jillian is shocked.  What was Gordon’s goal?

6. Jillian tells her friend Connor about the abuse. After seeing the bruises, though, Connor has a harder time believing her story (though he still supports her).  How does Jillian’s vanity tie her hands when it comes to Gordon?

7. This week I want you to think about what you would do if you were in Jillian’s place. You don’t have to post (if it’s not something you want to share). Our last discussion will have a question about has your opinion changed (in any way) after reading the book?

 

Thank you for joining in! Be sure and tell your mama, your book loving friends and anyone else!

 

Reading Schedule for Hush Little Baby: November Book Lovers Unite selection

hush little baby

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Here is the reading schedule for Hush Little Baby, the November Book Lovers Unite selection!

 

Week 1 (November 8th):  pgs 1-115 Ch 1-end of 26

Week 2 (November 15th) pgs 116- 234 Ch 27-end of 48

Week 3 (November 22th) pgs 235-end Ch 49- end of 78.

 

 

Please know a few things- the questions will be posted for that week’s discussion on Nov 8, 15, and 22- however, comment when you get a chance. Please do not spoil ahead in the discussion if you have read ahead or finished the book (it’s fine to read ahead, though!)

With Thanksgiving being in November, I wanted us to have a chance to finish before traveling happened. Take your time and read at your own pace- these chapters are VERY short, though. The plot is fast-paced as well.

 

Tell your mama, tell your friends, tell everyone! Come and discuss Hush Little Baby in November!

November Book Lovers Unite selection: Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn

hush little baby

Photo Credit: Goodreads

It’s getting that time of the month to announce to the next Book Lovers Unite selection!

And for November- we will be reading Hush Little Baby by debut author, Suzanne Redfearn.

Reading schedule to be posted in the next few days- just know that if you want to join in- go buy, reserve at the library, or beg a book from someone!

Comment and let me know if you are planning on joining in the read for November (I hope so!)

Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing and featuring in an author spotlight for Suzanne Redfearn, debut author of Hush Little Baby.

Today, I post my review of Hush Little Baby (and have a special treat for readers of Traveling With T!

Hush Little Baby

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Look at them. Picture perfect family. Loving. Happy. Mom-perfectly put together. Dad- loving and caring. Kids- happy and thriving. Look closer. Look beyond what they want you to see. Some monsters live under the bed. Some, though, live out in the open- living, breathing, kind and gentle. Until the door is closed, the windows are covered and the monster can show it’s true colors. This is the story of a monster.

Jillian Kane lives a life that looks perfect on the outside- she is a well-respected architect, has every creature comfort she could want, 2 beautiful children, and a husband who appears to adore her. Inside, Jill is dying a slow and terrible death- all at the hands of her wonderful looking husband. Gordon is abusive- not just physically, but emotionally. Gordon beats Jill, is horribly abusive to her- and yet Jill stays. She doesn’t tell. She hides the bruises. Why? Her 2 kids.

One day, though, Jill begins to realize that Gordon will kill her. He will kill her and he will get away with it. Jillian knows then that she must get away- she must get her kids from him. Jillian does not under-estimate Gordon on his level of violence- but his smart and cunning ways, she does. Systematically, Gordon has painted Jillian as the bad mother- he used her vanity against her, her questioning of her motherhood skills- he even used a time that he almost killed her against Jillian.

When Jillian begins to realize that she has nothing to lose, absolutely nothing- she does the thing that no one expects- she takes the kids. She runs. She knows that if she is found- she’ll not live long. Gordon will make sure her punishment is brutal and permanent. But Jillian knows that if she is to even have a chance at a happy life- she, and the children have got to get away from Gordon.

Hush Little Baby tells the story of a mother who is pushed to the limit. A mother who knows that she has 2 choices- stay and be killed or run and hope for a better life. Hush Little Baby tells the story of a mother, a woman who makes a desperate choice- a choice that was made after her back was pushed against the wall. Does Jillian live to tell her tale? Or like so many others- is her tale silenced by a man who promised to love, honor and cherish her for the rest of their lives?

 

Traveling With T’s Thoughts

Hush Little Baby is a quick, engrossing tale- a tale that will make you wonder about life behind the perfect picture. Short chapters, tension filled scenes- a book that is discussable. Suzanne Redfearn does an excellent job of showing off Gordon’s Jekyl and Hyde sides; as well as the creation of Jillian- her victim side. However, Suzanne does not make Jillian one-dimensional as only a victim- she shows the sides of Jillian that led a town to believe in Gordon and to question Jillian.

Believable, interesting and worth a read- Hush Little Baby should be put on the to be read list.

 

*Giveaway: I have 1 copy of Hush Little Baby to give to a lucky commenter! Comment on this post for a chance to win! Please leave your email (You may use the AT and DOT). Giveaway is open to US only (sorry!) Oh and did I mention that it will be a SIGNED book?! Giveaway begins October 15th and ends October 24th at 11:59pmEST. Winner will be notified October 25th.

Author Spotlight: Suzanne Redfearn

hush little baby

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Earlier this week, I interviewed Suzanne Redfearn, author of Hush Little Baby. Today she is back to reveal her #literarycrush and what literary character she would be!

Author Spotlight: Suzanne Redfearn

What are some of your favorite books, Suzanne?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Power of One by Bryce Courtney, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would you choose?

Okay, I thought about the obvious amazing literary protagonists like Jane Eyre and Katniss, but let’s be real here.  If I could choose to be anyone?  Wonder Woman of course.  I mean let’s face it, the woman looks great, she hasn’t aged a bit since 1941.  She has bullet-deflecting bracelets, a deathly tiara, and the amazing lasso of truth.  She kicks butt on injustice and looks great doing it, every woman’s dream.

Do you have any #literaryconfessions?

I am not well read in the classics.  Always on my to do list, but they never quite make it to the bedside table.

Do you have a #literarycrush?

I’m in love with Jean Valjean from Les Miserables, a quiet beaten hero like no other.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

My secret guilty pleasure it watching cheesy reality television with my kids!  I especially love Survivor and Love in the Wild  (it’s so bad, it’s irresistibly good).

Are you a hardback, paperback, or e-book kind of reader?

When I’m writing and doing research, I use my iPad because I need to access a lot of books quickly, but for pleasure, there is nothing better than a real book.  Hardback is a rare treat, mostly I read paperback.

What are some of the books in your TBR (To Be Read) list?

At least a dozen including The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Circle by Dave Eggers.

 

*Thank you Suzanne Redfearn for agreeing to this author spotlight!

 

If you would like to read the interview with Suzanne I posted earlier, please click here.

Interview with Suzanne Redfearn, author of Hush Little Baby

hush little baby

A few weeks ago, through a set of happy circumstances for a California friend of mine, I was asked to consider for review Hush Little Baby. Intrigued, I looked for information- and was quite pleased by what I saw. Mother-bear? Good vs evil? A mystery/suspense story? Yes, please!

I’m reading Hush Little Baby right now- and it is very good. My review will be posted in the next few days, but I have an interview with Suzanne Redfearn to get you, my readers of Traveling With T, interested in Hush Little Baby!

Interview with Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed!

Thank you for asking me.

What was the inspiration for Hush Little Baby?

A friend of mine was going through a divorce. Until she separated from her husband, the two seemed like the picture of happiness. But the story she told over drinks one night of the abuse and cruelty she endured behind closed doors was so frightening it made me wonder how many other marriages are not what they appear.

 The curveball came about a month later when we went out again and my friend’s story had changed, the tale altered and now with glaring inconsistencies from the earlier version that caused an alarm to blare in my brain. What if she was making it up? Custody of the kids was at stake. Could she be setting her husband up? For over 10 years, I’d known her husband as a stand-up guy, the baseball coach who never yelled, the neighbor who happily carted your Christmas tree home in his truck, the kind of guy who always showed up and did his part. Yet, how quickly I dismissed all that based on a story over drinks; how quickly everyone dismissed it, so easily accepting that he was abusive and dangerous.

 So I got to thinking; how easy it is to sabotage a life, that if my husband set out to destroy me, to preemptively strike before I realized what was going on, he could do it. He knows my weaknesses, my failings, my vulnerabilities. If he had the inclination, he could easily undermine my reputation and portray me as unstable or a bad mother, ensuring that if we divorced, he’d get custody of the kids.

 My friend loves her children above all else, three beautiful boys. At the time they were 4, 9 and 12, and their futures, as well as her own, hung in the balance. To this day, nearly three years later, I don’t know if she was telling the truth or manufacturing lies. Either way, her story was a captivating cautionary tale that made me wonder how far someone might go to keep their spouse from getting custody of their kids, and then, if the kids were in danger, real danger, how far the other spouse might go to get them back.

Hush Little Baby is your debut novel.  As a debut author, are you finding social media as a powerful tool in connecting with fans or potential readers?

Absolutely. It is an amazing way to reach out to your audience. Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter allow me to get the word out.  It’s grassroots marketing at its best.  I love the enthusiasm of the readers and how they share their perspective and spread the word.  It’s extraordinarily powerful.  I feel like I’m connected to this incredible community and they’re connected to me, both of us able to interact at the click of a button.

What is the best advice that you have received in the course of writing Hush Little Baby?

I stumbled upon this quote, “Drama is anticipation with uncertainty.”  I was about halfway through the novel and I pasted the saying to my computer.  It drove the novel.

Domestic violence is a part of Hush Little BabyAs a woman, did writing about something serious as domestic violence trouble you ?

I did extensive research on the subject of domestic violence and it was very troubling.  What I found most disturbing was the psychological subterfuge that creates the entrapment.  It made me realize that every woman is susceptible to that kind of fear and manipulation, and that any woman could be a victim. I became incredibly sympathetic to the victims and much more understanding of their plight.

How do you create characters? Are the characters based on people you know?

The story was inspired by a couple I know and the difficult divorce they were going through, but Jillian and Gordon are not them.  I keep photos from the internet beside my computer to give me a physical reference for my characters, but aside from that, the characters evolve organically.  There are lines I’ve taken from people I know as well as ticks and habits, but each character is a compilation of different characteristics that emerge as the story develops and meld together until the character is as real and unique as any actual person I know.

When writing Hush Little Baby, did you know how it would end? Or did the ending reveal itself as you were writing?

I never have any idea where my stories are going to lead.  I start with a big idea, “How far will a woman go to save herself and her children from her abusive husband?” then I begin.  I was right there with Jillian throughout her struggles, and there were nights I couldn’t sleep as I wondered how I was going to get her out of the trouble she was in. 

Any ideas as to what the next book will be about?

I am working on an exciting new story about another mother protecting her kids.  Though the mother-bear theme is similar to HUSH LITTLE BABY, the story is entirely new and the protagonist wonderfully different from Jillian.  She is more of an every-woman – a young, single mom, bumbling her way through life who finds herself in an extraordinary circumstance that quickly spins out of control.  One kid thrives while the other two struggle, and difficult choices need to be made, this mild-mannered mom faced with the daunting challenge of taking the reins of the her runaway life before they all go over the edge, and she loses everything.

 

*Thanks to Suzanne Redfearn for agreeing to this interview!

 

suzanne refearn

Want to connect with Suzanne Redfearn, author of Hush Little Baby? Here is Suzanne’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages.