The Write Time & Place!











I’ve been sent an advance review copy of a new book by acclaimed journalist and fellow writer, Patricia Lieb.  When I received the book I thought, “I’ll just take a peek and read it tomorrow.”  Well, I couldn’t put it down! 

The Adventures of A Squirrel Named Peanut is a photo book about the cutest little squirrel whose name is Peanut.  The photographs–taken by the author herself–are excellent and add so much detail to this book that the prose comes to life because of them.

Peanut is a chubby, baby squirrel whose bravery allows him to befriend the author, who happens to provide at least one square meal a day for Peanut.

Peanut narrates this charming story, which is broken into eleven little adventures.  Peanut is a delight…from his scratching at the screen for food to eating out of the author’s hand to eating a potted avocado plant…he’s as irresistible to the reader as he is to his benefactor!

Children will love the photographs of this chubby little squirrel.  Adults will like the little lessons woven into some of the adventures such as learning that being rude is not a nice trait to have.

All in all, I enjoyed this little squirrel’s narrative.

Patricia Lieb is an accomplished journalist and a talented writer.  I’ve enjoyed her work and I wish her the very best success with The Adventures of A Squirrel Named Peanut.

When the book is released, I’ll post purchasing information.  To learn more about Patricia, visit her website at:  http://writerswriteon.com/

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{October 6, 2009}   Cover Corner: Patricia Lieb

The Write Time & Place is so very pleased to welcome the very accomplished and talented author, Patricia Lieb.  Patricia is an award-winning journalist this writer is happy to see make the transition to fiction and non-fiction writing.  Her work has taken her to many places, to meet many interesting people, and enabled her to turn those experiences into wonderfully written books.  Settle in and enjoy getting to know Patricia!  When your journey ends–at the bottom of the post–please leave her a comment with your thoughts! … Thanks! … ~Valerie

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An Excerpt:

Down in the Caddo Parish marshlands, a young Indian stood in a tiny back room adjoining the butcher shop at Jake Minor’s Fish Camp. She clutched a tarnished knife handle in her fist and rested the sharp blade against the feed-sack dress draped from her shoulders and over her protruding belly. The knife, hidden in her bedding the day before, had been a tool used in butchering a hog for one of the camp’s regular customers. He had come late in the evening to pick up his pork. He had then left a steer—a steer that might hang in the smokehouse forever. Within the hour, neither she nor Jake Minor would be on hand to butcher it. She’d be gone and he’d be dead.

Her thoughts briefly touched upon the familiar face of the handsome young Mexican, Rowe…the only man she had ever trusted. Or loved. If only he could have taken her away. Now she had no choice but to continue this path.

On the other side of the rustic log wall, Jake’s skeleton key scraped inside the door lock. Shanna braced herself, each screech freezing the sweat beads bubbling from her forehead. Then came the familiar click as the brass lock slid from the doorjamb. In less than a moment, Jake pushed and the door sprang open.

Shanna was too terrified to move.

The flames in Jake’s icy-blue eyes flared at her through strands of straw-colored hair. Hair that circled his head like a fallen halo. Her body jerked in fear. What had she planned to do? But the knife seemed to have a mind of its own. Quick as a snap, her hand raised and the blade plunged into flesh covering Jake’s heart.

Vacantly, she watched blood spew from his hairy chest like muddy water from a broken dam. For an instant, a scene of the Red River flashed through her mind. Her father, mother and brother had camped along its shore. That day, she was nabbed and brought to Jake’s place by a terrorizing group of masked horsemen.

“You…c-crazy…sq-squaw,” Jake stammered, barely able to speak. He stumbled, his white hairy arms reaching for her.

Her body seemed still, yet she felt herself backing into a crate box used for a nightstand in the dim room. Her focus stayed glued on the one who had owned her half her sixteen years. Now, she watched the scene unfold: the fat man gasped, his white stare rolling over something on the dingy plank ceiling above her. And then—WHUMP!—his belly smacked hard onto the dank floor, humping twice before it sank to a final climax.

“Jake Minor is dead now,” she whispered, her unsure words bouncing from the four walls encasing her. Her psyche spun in and out of the scene. She stared at the bloody knife in her trembling hand. At the body lying on the floor alongside the narrow unmade bed where she had lain awake most of the night comprehending freedom. Now this panorama was surely a nightmare, even though she had accomplished this mission many times in her dreams. Jake Minor was an evil man, and death became him. Getting a grip on herself, her mind settled somewhat and she inched closer to Jake’s motionless body. There had been so many nights over the last eight years she had wanted to destroy this bad man. And now that she had, she was mystified. She must run away from this Caddo Lake marsh, from this parish, from all Louisiana without hesitation. She must find the main stream of the Red River and follow it north through the Arkansas backlands, and then northwest to the Land of Indians.

She watched as blood slowly formed a pool around Jake’s lifeless body. His obese lard-white trunk was now splattered with maroon, the muscles in his big arms useless to fight, and the thick pee-stained underwear covering his buttocks and legs now darkened with blood and muck. She had seen Jake passed out many times, but always from his consumption of too much corn-mash rather than death. During some of his blackouts, she had run away but had never made it out of the marshlands. Times when Jake had slept through her absence, his outlaw and whisky-making friends had hunted her down and brought her back like a trapped animal. After a painful flee attempt last winter, she had become too frightened to try again. Rather than for herself, she now considered the destiny of the seed ready to sprout from her womanhood.

Shanna put her hand to her stomach. “Soon you will be safe Little Soul.”

Unexpectedly—was it stomping on the plank porch outside the store? And then the cowbell on the screened door dinged as somebody entered. Heavy boots jarred the soft pine floor so the joists cracked. Shanna slapped her knife-filled fist over her mouth.

Run, she told herself. She peered wide-eyed around the cluttered room. There was no exit. The only door led to the storefront. And Jake had nailed wooden bars over the window opening after her last escape attempt.

Her body stiff, she analyzed the knife in her hand, the body on the floor, and the four walls penning her in like a bound swine in a slaughterhouse. She saw two, now four, now numerous broken images of her life, of this room, of Jake zapping here and there. These fragments seemed to keep time with the thump of boot heels stamping through the storefront.

She had killed one man today. She really didn’t want another notch on her knife, but should the intruder be one of Jake’s Raider Outlaws there surely would be trouble.

Bert, from way down in the parish, was due in next week. Perhaps he had come for his meat early. But Bert’s steer was hanging in the smokehouse and yet to be butchered. He would know that.

“Minor, you here? Might as well show your face.”

Oh no! The demanding voice jarred Shanna like a lightening bolt.

Oh my Ayimat Caddi, she cried silently, and more to herself than to the Great Spirit. Why had this bad man returned? Yesterday, he and Jake had done business, trading guns, animal skins and whisky. It wasn’t like one to return so soon.

“Minor,” he called again. “You held out on me. You still owe me.”

Shanna trembled at his words, then the silence, and then the ruffle of products being shuffled about over store shelves.

“You here Minor? Better come on out. I’m taking what you owe me with or without your presence. Come on out if you’re not too drunk. Else I might take the wrong stuff.”

His boot heels clunked louder on the plank flooring. Then Shanna heard his stepping onto the gray slate surrounding the black cast-iron stove. She heard the soup ladle sloshing in the crock-pot. The thick aroma of day-old gumbo steam and the shocking taste of human blood blended in her nostrils. Gagging, she refused to vomit, and swallowed the sour matter bubbling in her throat.

The intruder sipped and slurped loudly.

This time she heaved, and everything inside her flew from her mouth and scattered with the bank of blood. She held her hand to her chest and hoped the man in the next room had not heard the commotion.

As seconds passed, blood flowed less and less from underneath Jake Minor. Suddenly, Shanna’s gaze fell to the sticky dark liquid now oozing like a nightmare underneath the door. To Continue Reading

The Reviews:

“Bridged by Love,” by Patricia Lieb – Spring Hill resident Lieb has written a historical adventure set in the late 1880s in Texarkana, a city that straddles the Texas-Arkansas line. Lieb draws on a bounty of historical knowledge to craft a tale of two women – one native American, the other white – linked together in a fight against injustice. ~ Tampa Tribune

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Bridged By Love by Patricia Lieb is aptly titled, and represents the connection between a young Native American girl who was kidnapped by an abusive white man, and a strong, independent western woman who makes her living as a lumberjack.

The book opens with a day in Shanna’s tortured life with Jake Minor—her owner—the man who stole her from her family when she was just a young girl. He uses her as a slave, as a whore for his friends, and as a means of pleasure for himself. To use a trite and overworked cliché, what doesn’t kill Shanna serves only to make her stronger and more resolved to find her way back to her people—back to her family.

Shanna—a full nine months pregnant—puts a plan into motion and leaves the fish camp where she’s been a captive for years, but she must constantly keep one eye on the way before her and one eye on the way behind her. She can’t risk being caught and brought back to the fish camp—to a way of life that only brought her pain and suffering. It’s shortly after her escape that she gives birth to a beautiful baby boy. All alone and with no safe haven to run to, Shanna forges on ahead in her goal of finding the one woman she hopes can help her.

Kathryn Williams is no stranger to pain and heartache, either. A failed marriage. A miscarriage. A divorce during a time when it was virtually unheard of. And a life that’s lonely for a woman who truly wants a husband and a family. Kathryn has much support in her life. Her mother resides with her plus there are several people who love and protect her. There’s one man who’s loved her all her life. There’s another Kathryn loves and wants to share the rest of her life. One knows her pain. The other knows she’s divorced and is allowing that to stand in his way. One wants nothing more than to shower her with affection. The other can’t seem to see past her strength and independence. Kathryn’s heart has room for both men in different ways.

When Shanna crosses paths with Kathryn, she immediately places her trust—as well as her son—in Kathryn’s hands. Shanna knows men are coming for her to take her back to the fish camp. She knows her son will not survive in that type of environment. If only she could get to the land where her people have relocated—to where her family is—she’ll finally find peace and happiness. But peace and happiness have a price for a woman on the run. Shanna must leave behind her son.

When Kathryn’s ex-husband, Alex returns, Kathryn immediately suspects he’s up to no good. Shanna knows Alex as well, and knows for a fact he’s up to no good. When Alex promises to take Shanna to the land of her people, she has no choice but to go with him. She walks away from Kathryn and from her son, and endures more mistreatment from Alex during the journey to her family. Soon after her departure, her son—now named Aaron by Kathryn—takes ill. Out of desperation, Kathryn takes the baby, hitches up a wagon, and heads out to find Shanna, knowing the young woman was the only one who could provide what Aaron needed.

The journeys both women take are riveting, pulling the reader right into their stories. You can’t help but cheer each on to happiness and the futures they deserve. If this reviewer had any complaints it would be that the man Kathryn chooses is not worthy of her. He’s too caught up in the reveries of another woman, in the fact that Kathryn can provide for herself and doesn’t need a man to make her a woman, and doesn’t truly get past her past to love her in the way she deserves to be loved.

If you’re looking for a book that brings you history, a hint or two of mystery, romance, and good strong characters that you’ll willingly love and dislike then Bridged By Love by Patricia Lieb is the book for you. Leave your cares behind and travel inside the lives of Shanna and Kathryn. Their stories will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

Bea

Reviewer, WritersWall.com

4 bricks out of 5

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