Sheila: Book Reviewer,writer and great lover of books...sharing her wonderful finds of fantastic authors,their books, writing tips, and also other things of interest to her and those following the blog. Thanks for visiting! Follow today and don't miss out on news of great new books and giveaways!
FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Susan Combs had long ago found the love of her life. The only problem was the other party still didn’t know he had been found.
Every day Susan saw Calder Hurtz, her next door neighbor and childhood best friend. They always enjoyed the short drive to school down the dusty streets of their small Texas town. She was happy in those perfect moments, for her life at home was most imperfect. The challenging homestead she inhabited was also the favorite subject of local gossip.
But one autumn day she overhears Calder and another boy having a conversation. This occasion of accidental audience sets Susan’s life on an unforeseen path. In the seasons to come, her future will be changed by two hospitalizations, two confessions of love, and one betrayal.
Compulsively readable, The Simple Soul of Susan is an engaging, soul-endearing romance and a mesmerizing debut.
The Simple Soul of Susan Book Trailer
My Review: It was so nice to read a book about a beautiful and uncomplicated character. Even though she was painfully shy, she had such wonderful hopes and dreams that every other girl has in life. Her life long best friend is her neighbor, Calder. The secret is that she's always been in love with him, but he doesn't know. I love Susan and how strong, kind, and loving she is. She has sacrificed so much her whole life taking care of others. People in the town and at school see her as strange and plain. Those that truly know her see so much more. It was a beautiful journey to take as the reader sees Susan for who she really is and you can't help but love her and want things to work for her. This realistic look at small town living and everyone knowing everyone else's business is perfectly shown. It is a wonder that this is the author's first published novel. It is such a beautifully written novel full of hopes, dreams, unfulfilled promises, and redemption leading to love. The cover is gorgeous and also designed by the author. She is so talented! If you want to read a book with an uncomplicated plot that will hit you straight in the heart, The Simple Soul of Susan should be your next read.
“Is this really your first book? I’m having a hard time believing it!” Yes, it is! I wrote it when I was homesick for Texas. It helped me remember all the things I love about Texas and eased my homesickness a bit. One of the reasons I decided to follow through with publishing it was so that I could always take a bit of home with me wherever I ended up.
“Who published this? It is very well written and put together beautifully.” This is a self-published book. I had two incredible editors who made this a possibility. Julia Roller was my main editor and over the course of six months, she essentially helped me rewrite it twice… talk about passion and dedication! She is also an accomplished author and has some fantastic writings out, one of them being Mom Seeks God which I recommend checking out! Lee Ann A. was my copy-editor. Besides working for NASA before she became a stay-at-home-mom, she is a talented editor and book lover. Ask her about any of the classics and receive a better than New-York-Times explanation and review. All of her children are equally brilliant and incredible writers. Her youngest daughter even assisted in editing the final revision of the book!
“Who designed the cover and interior?” Before I began writing I did digital marketing for a living. That said, I designed the cover and put together the interior. I’m a watercolor fanatic and to be honest I finished making the cover almost a year before I finished writing the book. The cover inspired me to tell the story behind it.
“Where is Walnut Springs?” I named Walnut Springs after my hometown of Seguin, Texas. Seguin is named after Alamo defender Juan Seguin and he is buried near the coliseum in town. The town’s name was originally Walnut Springs until the famed Alamo defender was dug up in Mexico and buried in town to honor his service. I went with Walnut Springs solely because its easier for most people to pronounce, but in the book, there is a street named “Seguin Street” to honor its namesake. Remember the Alamo!
“How long did it take you to write this?” I started writing it on September 25, 2015, when the first snow fell in St. Louis, Missouri. I was homesick and needed an escape from the cold weather and foreign culture. The first chapter written was Armadillos n’ Critters and the last whole chapter written was Graduation an’ Gumption. I filled in the rest in between. Now a little more than two years later, it is published.
Meet Author Noel Branham:
Born and raised in a small Texas town, Noel Branham started her career in digital communications after graduating with a degree in English. Now she writes from her home in Florida about things closest to your heart: home, family and life. Her debut novel, The Simple Soul of Susan, is now available.Contact Noel Here: firstname.lastname@example.org