Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Better To Have Loved by Christy Jackson Nicholas (Excerpt, review and GIVEAWAY) GFT






Better To Have Loved
by Christy Nicholas


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GENRE: Women's Fiction/Romance

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BLURB:

Based on a true story.


In 1967, Julie was searching for adventure. What she found was herself, alone and pregnant, in a foreign country.

In 1985, Kristen was searching for her father. But did he want to be found?

Follow these two young women in a tale of a 30 year search for true love.


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EXCERPT


1967, East Grinstead, England

Juggling her large battered suitcase and her portfolio over her back, Julie trudged up the gravel driveway to the huge manor house. Her feet were terribly unhappy with the long trip from the bus stop, and the portfolio kept catching the wind, threatening to make her into a kite’s tail with each gust.

Saint Hill Manor was palatial. Perhaps it was indeed a palace.

She could count at least twenty windows in the façade. How many rooms did it have? Certainly there were dozens of people shuffling in and out of the place. It was like a beehive of activity.

“You! Girl! Have you checked in yet?” A gruff voice with a London accent called out above the din.

Julie turned around to find an older man with a fringe of white hair around his head pointing a clipboard at her.

“I… no, I don’t know where—“

“Over here, quickly now. What’s your name?” He started flipping through the pages, looking up at her when she didn’t immediately supply him with information.

“Jensen. Julie Jensen. From Detroit.” She put down her suitcase and portfolio while he searched for her name. The wind picked up, tossing her thick chestnut-brown curls into her face. With disgust, she pulled them back out of her eyes and repaired the ponytail loosened by travel.

She looked again at the grand house. Would she be in one of the upper rooms? Perhaps with a view across the extensive gardens? She smiled at the idea of waking up to such a view each morning.

“Aha! Found you. You’re down in Hayward’s Heath. Just a half mile down the path there. It used to be servant’s quarters. You’re in Unit C. Next!” He dismissed her and looked to an Indian woman in a bright blue sari.


Amazon link

 
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Christy Nicholas, also known as Green Dragon, has her hands in many crafts, including writing, digital art, beaded jewelry, writing, and photography. In real life, she's a CPA, but having grown up with art all around her (her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are/were all artists), it sort of infected her, as it were. She loves to draw and to create things. She says it's more of an obsession than a hobby. She likes looking up into the sky and seeing a beautiful sunset, or seeing a fragrant blossom or a dramatic seaside. She takes a picture or creates a piece of jewelry as her way of sharing this serenity, this joy, this beauty with others. Sometimes this sharing requires explanation - and thus she writes. Combine this love of beauty with a bit of financial sense and you get an art business. She does local art and craft shows, as well as sending her art to various science fiction conventions throughout the country and abroad.

Blog

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GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here

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My review:
  
3.75 out of 5 stars



Better to Have Loved by Christy Jackson Nicholas is a story centering around a young artist, Julie, and her adventures during the late 60s, interspersed with the saga of a young girl, Kirsten, and her persistent search for her never-met father. Julie’s career as an employee of a church takes her to several countries and across the United States and she encounters several individuals who will change her life forever. Kirsten has her own journey to undertake and must decide whether she can live with the results she has or if it is worthwhile to continue.



 
The title refers to a well-known phrase by Tennyson and this story indeed prompts one to contemplate the truth of the maxim.  Julie’s travels are intriguingly described by the author, particularly the laid-back psychedelic culture of San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury, and one gets a glimpse of multiple countries throughout the story.  I am not a big fan of flashbacks and it was disconcerting to me to shift between Kirsten and Julie’s stories, plus I was a bit puzzled about the church Julie worked with and how and why it was so pervasive and needed a publicity department.  It was disappointing to me that there was not more depth to most of the other characters as the majority of the story is in Julie's point of view. There are several particularly heart-wrenching events that are covered, and one has to admire Julie’s courage in living her life as she pleased but I was not impressed by Paul, despite the ultimate outcome of their relationship.  

Learning that the story is a homage to the author’s parents and that there are distinctly autobiographical elements to the tale makes it a little uncomfortable to critique these characters but I can truly say that I admire the courage and tenacity displayed by both Julie and Kirsten and salute their real-life models for being willing to share their story with the world.  I think this story will be appreciated by those who enjoy memoirs as well as those who would like to read about an intrepid woman who was not afraid to open up her heart to others and experience new cultures and new and sometimes risky adventures.

  A copy of this title was provided to me for review

26 comments:

  1. Thanks much for hosting and the lovely review!

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    1. You are welcome! Thank you for your courage in sharing your story and kudos to you for your persistence and your role in bringing your family back together. Good luck on the tour!

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  2. I am back and thanking you once again for the great giveaway. I appreciate it!

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  3. I am excited to read this book. I love the title, and I also love the cover. On my TBR list.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it, Misty! Thanks for visiting!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your review. I've enjoyed following the tour for Better to Have Loved and I'm looking forward to reading it!

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    1. You know me, Victoria, happy to share my reviews. Hope you're enjoying the tour and that you enjoy reading the book!

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  5. Sounds like an interesting book :)

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    1. Wonderful to see you, Crystal! It was a great way to armchair (and time-) travel. Thanks for visiting!

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  6. This sounds like a great story. Thanks for sharing

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    1. You are quite welcome, amy. Thanks for dropping by.

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    1. That's an understatement, Mary, lol. Thanks for coming by!

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  8. Loving the time period! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Glad you like it, Samantha. Thanks for visiting!

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  9. Was there a scene in this book that was harder to write than others?

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    1. Absolutely! You do not know awkward until you have written not only a sex scene between your own parents, but the sex scene that you were conceived with! :)

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    2. Lovely to see you, Mai! And wow, that took some incredible fortitude!

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Rita! I hope you get a chance to read it.

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  11. Great review! Excited to read this book!

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    1. Thanks for the compliment, Ally! I appreciate you taking the time to visit.

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