Today I’m giving a shout out to a historical fiction novel that is based on true events: Shadow by the Bridge by Suzanne Zewan. It takes place in the early 1900’s when a serial killer was stalking a small town in New York. Check it out!
Shadow by the Bridge by Suzanne Zewan
Publication Date: November 1, 2017
No Frills Buffalo
eBook & Paperback; 368 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
11-year-old Fritz Reynolds recalled his father telling him that man is the only creature who can find amusement in killing. Little did he realize that those words would become the theme for his teenage years growing up in the rural hamlet of Linden, New York. In this coming-of-age story, Fritz takes us back to a simpler time when neighbors gathered at the general store to listen to radio shows, drank barrel-aged cider, and worshiped at the Baptist church every Sunday. All was picturesque in his close-knit farming community until terror was unleashed on them.
About the Author
Suzanne is coordinator at Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and is an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. She has a M.A. in English and Creative Writing and a M.S.Ed. in Career and Technical Education. Other publications include a poem in Jigsaw (2014), a short story and two poems in Jigsaw (2016), and a short story in Amaranth Review (2016).
But wait! There’s more! A Giveaway!!
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of Shadow by the Bridge to one lucky winner! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on March 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
I recently received a copy of TALES OF A JAILHOUSE LIBRARIAN from my friends at Meryl Zegarek Publicists (just a note: anything I’ve ever gotten from MZPR I’ve loved!). This is a mini-memoir of one woman’s experience working as a library cart librarian and transition counselor in the juvenile section of a large prison in New York. For Marybeth Zeman, her relationship with the boys in this facility is centered around her library cart and the books and stories she brings to them each week. Reading, for these boys, is a sanctioned escape, a chance for the future, a little bit of freedom in their everyday life.
Told in short vignettes, Marybeth has captured numerous tales of different boys: how they came to be in prison, what their daily life is like, how bright or bleak their futures are. Their stories are touching, painful, and honest, and one is left with the knowledge that these boys are just a small percentage of the thousands of young men incarcerated in our country each year. Marybeth’s story highlights the workings of the justice system and shows where improvements could occur, especially in helping the boys to have the skills they need in order to not become repeat offenders. Most poignant of all, though, are the voices of the boys that stay with you long after reading this book.
I was so touched by this book that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Then I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Marybeth Zeman while I was in NY at BEA. We connected through her publicist and spent about 90 minutes together just chatting and talking about her work, the juvenile justice system, her experiences, etc. There was no formal interview, or a “how did you come to write this book” type of Q&A. Instead we were just two educators and readers, come together to discuss our concerns and feelings about these boys and our hopes for the future.
Marybeth’s story is one that deserves to be told. Readable, touching, and unforgettable, her TALES OF A JAILHOUSE LIBRARIAN reveals an intimate portrait of what life is like for many of our nation’s young citizens. And Marybeth is a spunky narrator, both in the book and in real life! I can’t believe I’ve heard the last from this woman — she is going places and, as her subtitle suggests, she is “challenging the juvenile justice system one book at a time”.
Here is a picture of Marybeth from our time together:
Coming out in January, THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS is the fictionalized story of the events surrounding the real life disappearance of NY Supreme Court Judge Joseph Crater in 1930 (see here for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Force_Crater). Judge Crater’s disappearance was never solved and he was declared dead after several years. Lawhon gives us her take on the event, through the points of view of Crater’s wife, Stella, his maid, Maria, and his showgirl mistress, Ritzi. In this novel, these women know what happened to Crater — and they aren’t telling!
I found this novel so intriguing that I couldn’t put it down. It does jump around in time, which can be confusing at times. We have Stella current day, the events as they happened in the 30’s, events prior to the disappearance, etc. all interwoven.
If I had one major complaint, it was that I did not really like the ending. Without giving too much away, I will say that I felt a lot was told at the end to explain events and wrap the story up quickly and neatly. However, I did enjoy this book and it made me interested enough to look up more about Judge Crater, his disappearance, and Tammany Hall.
Thank you, Net Galley and Doubleday, for my review copy!