Because I am influenced quite heavily by the remarkable books on mail order brides by Ruth Ann Nordin, such as Eye of the Beholder, it was no surprise I signed up for the book tour of Chasing Clovers by Kat Flannery, through Coffee Beans and Love Scenes Promotions.
Chasing Clovers is such a good story that I keep scratching my head with wonder as to why the author was subjected to many rejection letters from different publishing firms before Imajin Books had seen its potential and had it published.
Chasing Clovers started off with Livy Green and John Taylor meeting for the first time after corresponding to each other several times. They both have ulterior motives for entering a loveless marriage. For Livy, she was in desperate need to escape her dreadful and sad past. For John, who think he could not love another woman again after his wife died, he was in desperate need to have a mother (and a housekeeper) for his two children. But when Livy’s past catches up with her and suspicious events are happening on John’s ranch, she is tempted to come clean and tell John the truth, of what she used to be.
I won’t delve too much on the synopsis, because I might be tempted to reveal many spoilers. I wouldn’t want to do that; this is a book a fan of western historical fiction and romance should not miss. Oh, there are a lot of reasons!
First of all, the cover...it is beautiful. It shows a charming landscape with two beautiful individuals who looked like how I would imagine Livy and John to be; the whole picture faithfully reflects the story without giving away too much.
Then there are the characters themselves--John and Livy--who displayed so much awkwardness when in the company of each other at the beginning of the story. We couldn’t blame them; after all, they are strangers at the start, each coping with grief and pain on their own. And this, my dear fellow readers, is what makes the story stand out.
Do not expect that just because they are both gorgeous, they would immediately fall on each other’s feet, deep in love. No, what Chasing Clovers has is a relationship between husband and wife, which starts out as marriage of convenience and which progresses page by page into something more.
Do not expect John’s children to immediately warm up to Livy. No, expect Chasing Clovers to give you a reality check--that children may resent the presence of a stranger whom they think is trying very hard to replace their dear deceased mother; however, they could easily warm and open up if understood, loved, and being attended to.
While John is a strong character with sometimes unreasonable temper, my heart goes out to Livy, who had no parenting experience, who is on the run, who is living in nightmares both during the day and at night. Yet somehow, she is able to live through day to day, understandably with less smiles but with more courage to tell herself to move forward.
Clearly, Chasing Clovers is a realistic depiction of goodness and vileness of human nature and hope amid seemingly very helpless situations.
Chasing Clovers got my 4.5 stars! I look forward to the next book by Kat Flannery.
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Now, I welcome Kat Flannery, author of Chasing Clovers, to my blog with her guest post.
Dear Writer by Kat Flannery
It wasn’t long ago that I was going over my rejection letters from Chasing Clovers. Twelve white papers sat before me. Some with letterhead, some without, and even a few with coffee stains on them. Within the neatly typed letters, four stood out above the rest—four with the same inscription... Dear Writer.
I wasn’t important enough for them to address the letter to me. The letter they send all the rejects.
Nope, I am Dear Writer.
The first time I received a “Dear Writer” rejection letter I sighed loudly, and tossed the paper into the pile of NO’s slowly growing on the right side of my desk.
The second time my jaw clenched, and for a few seconds I think I lost my vision. I took a deep cleansing breath, and then off to the pile it went.
The third time my hand tightened, crinkling the paper a smidgen. I bit my lip from yelling out vulgar profanity, took ten deep breaths that burned my nostrils and throat. I waved the paper in the air and threw it into the pile on the right.
The fourth time I clenched the paper within both hands, spewed out “Dear Writer” in every mimicking way I could and crumpled the paper up into a tight ball. I went outside and lit it on fire. As I watched the orange flames lick the curled paper, my temper began to subside and I came back to reality. Every writer goes through this, right? It’s never the first time. Heck, it’s usually never the first book. I picked up the charred ball from the pavement, and went inside to run it under some cool water.
The only part that wasn’t burned beyond recognition...Dear Writer.
Dear Damn Writer. Ugh.
I stared at the two words for a long time, my eyes misting—my throat tight. Was I ever going to get this book published? I picked up what was left of my pride and dragging my feet, my chest tight, I went back to my office. I reached for the rejection letters, and spread them all over my desk. Words jumped out at me. “Good, but not good enough.” “You’re almost there, but this needs work.” “Keep trying.” “Sorry, no.” “We do not publish new writers.” “Please, do not waste our time.” (ouch)
I picked up my book, loose papers bound by two elastic bands, with scribbles from editing sprawled across the pages. I ruffled the edge with my thumb casting a faint breeze. The clean, dry scent filled my nostrils, and I smiled. The smell of paper is like homemade bread to a writer.
That was the day I put my book, Chasing Clovers in the drawer of my desk thinking it would never be published. A month later, with the encouragement of my husband I mailed it to Imajin Books. What followed next has been a dream come true. I am now a published author in ebook and paperback.
Last week I got to hold the story I wrote two years ago in my hands. And you know what? It was the best baked bread I have ever smelled.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing or in school, Kat enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book. Kat has had her writing published in numerous periodicals. Recently, she completed her first novel and is now hard at work on the next. When not focusing on her creative passions, Kat is busy with her three boys and doting husband.