Showcase Post: HOUSE OF GLASS by Sophie Littlefield

House of Glass by Sophie Littlefield
ISBN:  9780778314783 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781460327067 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00FNJVSYU  (Kindle edition)
Publication date: February 25, 2014
Publisher:  Harlequin Mira

Jen Glass has worked hard to achieve the ideal life: a successful career, a beautiful home in an affluent suburb of Minneapolis, a seemingly perfect family. But inside the Glass house, everything is spinning out of Jen’s control. Her marriage to her husband, Ted, is on the brink of collapse; her fifteen-year-old daughter grows more distant each day; and her five-year-old son barely speaks a word. Jen is on the verge of breaking, but nothing could have prepared her for what is to come…

On an evening that was supposed to be like any other, two men force their way into the Glasses’ home, but what begins as a common robbery takes an even more terrifying turn. Held hostage in the basement for more than forty-eight hours, Jen and Ted must put aside their differences if they have any hope of survival. They will stop at nothing to keep their family safe — even if it means risking their own lives.

A taut and emotional tale of a family brought together by extraordinary forces, House of Glass is a harrowing exploration of both the lengths a mother will go to protect her children, and the power of tragedy to teach us what truly matters.

Read an Excerpt:

Chapter Six

“Oh, God,” Livvy said, a split second after they heard the lock at the top of the stairs. She was standing apart from her parents, her arms hugging her body. Tears threatened to spill from her eyes. “It smells so bad down here!”

   Ted reached for Livvy, and she fell against him. He wrapped his arms around her and hugged her close, and she sobbed against his chest. Jen picked Teddy up and rocked him gently, whispering that he shouldn’t worry about Livvy, that his sister would be just fine.

   After a few moments, Livvy’s sobs subsided and she pulled away from Ted. She went to stand near the shelf where all her trophies were lined up — Mini Marlins swim, eight years of soccer, a few for softball, one from the American Legion speech contest back in middle school. Jen could see her shoulders trembling.

   “Honey, it’s going to be okay,” Jen said, handing Teddy to her husband approaching Livvy cautiously. She had to keep her calm, had to make her believe she and Ted had things under control. “Once they get what they want, they’ll go.”

   “But what do they even want?”

   Jen put her hand on Livvy’s shoulder and gently turned her so she could look into her eyes. “Anything they can sell, I would guess. There’s the silver, my jewelry, the computers–any number of things. They’ll take it and they’ll go.”

   She could see Livvy trying, wanting to believe her. She tried to make herself believe it, so her face would convince Livvy.

   “I need to talk to Daddy,” she said, as calmly as she could. “Can you play with Teddy and keep him busy for a few minutes?”

   Livvy nodded. She looked a little better, some of the panic gone from her eyes.

   “His old toys are in here,” Jen said, getting a cardboard box down off the shelf. “I haven’t had a chance to get them over to St. Vincent De Paul’s yet. Go ahead and get them out. Whatever he wants.”

   Livvy talked softly to her brother, kneeling down on the cold concrete floor next to him and peeling the tape off the box. Jenn and Ted went to the box. Jen and Ted went to the far side of the basement where the old living room furniture was stored, the pieces that Ted kept meaning to put on Craigslist. Ted lifted the old lamp shades off the couch and brushed off the cushions. When they sat down, he took her hands in his.

Meet the author:

Sophie Littlefield grew up in rural Missouri, the middle child of a professor and an artist. She has been writing stories since childhood. After taking a hiatus to raise her children, she sold her first book in 2008, and has since authored over a dozen novels in several genres. Sophie’s novels have won Anthony and RT Book Awards and has been shortlisted for Edgar, Barry, Crimespree, Macavity, and Goodreads Choice Awards. In addition women’s fiction, she writes the post-apocalyptic Aftertime series, the Stella Hardesty and Joe Bashir crime series, and thrillers for young adults. She is past president of the San Francisco Romance Writers of America chapter. Sophie makes her home in northern California.

Connect with the author:     Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

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Book 43: GARDEN OF STONES Review

Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield
ISBN: 9780778313526 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781460300305 (ebook)
ASIN: B009NEISWG (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Publication date: February 28, 2013

In the dark days of war, a mother makes the ultimate sacrifice Lucy Takeda is just fourteen years old, living in Los Angeles, when the bombs rain down on Pearl Harbor. Within weeks, she and her mother, Miyako, are ripped from their home, rounded up-along with thousands of other innocent Japanese-Americans-and taken to the Manzanar prison camp. 

Buffeted by blistering heat and choking dust, Lucy and Miyako must endure the harsh living conditions of the camp. Corruption and abuse creep into every corner of Manzanar, eventually ensnaring beautiful, vulnerable Miyako. Ruined and unwilling to surrender her daughter to the same fate, Miyako soon breaks. Her final act of desperation will stay with Lucy forever…and spur her to sins of her own. 

Bestselling author Sophie Littlefield weaves a powerful tale of stolen innocence and survival that echoes through generations, reverberating between mothers and daughters. It is a moving chronicle of injustice, triumph and the unspeakable acts we commit in the name of love. 

Lucy Takeda has had an unusual life (major understatement). An only child, she was adored by her father and the spitting image of her mother. Although Lucy grew up with a mother suffering with manic depression, she has led a very sheltered and privileged life. All of that changes with the death of her father, followed by the loss of her family home and relocation to an internment camp. It is here at Manzanar that Lucy witnesses great brutality and prejudice. She bears witness to the rape and continued sexual abuse of her mother, not to mention the sexual abuse of her only friend, sixteen year-old Jessie, at the hands of the men in charge at the camp. She also slowly watches her mother fall into deep depression that results in a horrible accident that will scar Lucy for life, a murder, and then her mother’s suicide. With the help of a nun, Lucy is eventually able to leave Manzanar before the war ends. She is given a job as a maid at a small hotel, where she eventually befriends the cook and her family, as well as the owner of the hotel, an injured war veteran, Garvey. 

Fast forward to 1978 and Lucy’s daughter, Patty, is preparing to get married. Days before the wedding is to occur, Lucy is being questioned and investigated as the prime suspect in a murder case. The murder victim just so happens to be one of the men that had been charged with overseeing Manzanar. Patty Takeda is already on edge about the wedding and she knows that her mother is keeping secrets. Will she be able to uncover those secrets in time to save her mother or will those secrets destroy what little peace of mind Lucy has obtained since 1944?

Ms. Littlefield has done a remarkable job in creating characters and a story that engaged me from the very beginning. Lucy’s story is told in flashback style, alternating between 1943/1944 and 1978. Lucy Takeda is a victim of circumstance, but she overcomes her adversity to make a life for herself and her child. Her physical scars seem to be a manifestation of not only an accident but also the emotional scars she has suffered during her lifetime. Patty Takeda is just as tenacious as her mother as she delves into the history of her mother and grandmother while at Manzanar. Ms. Littlefield presents an emotionally-charged drama with Garden of Stones. There are a few twists at the end that were completely unexpected and only added to my reading pleasure with this story. If you enjoy historical dramas with a bit of suspense and hint of romance, then I recommend you add Garden of Stones to your reading list.

Read an excerpt:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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