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BOOK REVIEW – KEPT by SALLY BRADLEY                                  

 

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According to Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/keep,

Keep verb \ˈkēp\ 1. to continue in a specified state, condition, or position; 2. to cause (someone or something) to continue in a specified state, condition, or position

 

With the many connotations, to keep, or to be kept can be a good thing – or a bad thing. Merriam-Webster goes on to define keep:

preserve, maintain as: a – to watch over and defend, keep us from harm; b to take care of; c –  to continue to maintain, keep watch; d – to cause to remain in a given place, situation, or condition, keep him waiting; e – to have or maintain in an established position or relationship, keep a mistress…

 

Miska Tomlinson was a kept woman. And it wasn’t pretty. She had pretty things, but they came with a price.

Miska had no godly examples in her life, least of all how a godly man honors a woman. Her history had taught her that men use women; she played the game and played it well. But still, she couldn’t win.

But God had a plan for Miska. When a new neighbor shows her the love of Christ, it turns her world upside down. Untrusting, Miska returns to what she’s always known – that men are undependable. But as her world crashes down around her, who is the one who stands by her through it all? Who is her friend when everyone else has turned on her?

Is God’s love deep enough, patient enough to reach Miska? Is the man of God, determined enough – and dedicated to his faith in God – to continue to reach out to her? Can Miska ever truly grasp the love he wants to share with her, the love of God?

Or is it too late when she realizes her attraction to him? Has she ruined herself for this man? And for God?

 

 

Ms. Bradley builds tension after tension in this heart wrenching story. I found myself wanting to step into the pages and be a friend to Miska, to join in with her neighbors who shared the love of God. I cried with her when she stumbled back into old patterns, I rejoiced with her as she tentatively reached out to try new things. Real and genuine characters made the story authentic and believable. Poignant emotions the reader will relate to makes this story a page-turner, and I look forward to more by this author.

 

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SALLY BRADLEY has worked for two publishers, writing sales and marketing materials, sorting through the slush pile, and proofreading and editing fiction. She has a BA in English and a love for perfecting novels, whether it’s her work or the work of others.

A judge in fiction-writing contests, Sally is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, The Christian PEN, and the Christian Editor Network. In 2000, she left the working world to have her first child. She now runs Bradley Writing and Editing Services from her home outside Kansas City. A mother of three, Sally is married to a pastor who moonlights as a small-town cop. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, doing laundry, and rooting on her favorite Chicago sports team of the season.

You can find Sally at Sally Bradley, Writer on Facebook.

 

#kept, #sallybradley, #chicago, #scandal, #Godslove, #thepoweroffiction

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The month of October is a special time for me:

my debut novel, my baby,

Tessa,

will be released IN PRINT on Halloween!

WHEEEEE!!!!!

 

I’d like to give a big welcome to Sally Bradley to my blog. Sally, you are my first ever Author interview! Thank you for joining me today. I’m excited to have you here.

 

Sally Bradley writes big-city fiction with real issues and real hope. A Chicagoan since age five, she now lives in the Kansas City area with her family, but they still get back to Chicago once in a while for important things—like good pizza and a White Sox game. Fiction has been her passion since childhood, and she’s thrilled now to be writing books that not only entertain, but point back to Christ. A freelance fiction editor, you can find Sally at sallybradley.com and on Facebook at Sally Bradley, Writer. Kept is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

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Robin E. Mason: Sally, you majored in English, what prompted that love to make you choose that as your major?

Sally Bradley: I wanted to write! That’s all it was. I’ve wanted to write fiction since I was nine, and a degree in English seemed like the best option. The ins and outs of the English language do seem to come easy to me, and I attribute that to God making me that way because of what He wanted me to do. I’m not an English nerd, honestly, and will not correct your grammar and word usage. Unless your last name is Bradley, I’ve changed your diapers, and you live in my house.  🙂

 

rem: I’m a language aficionado too, especially etymology and word history, and I agree it’s God imparted. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

SB: I wrote books all through high school and junior high. Took college off because I had these college papers to write! Once I got out, I started writing again, thanks to a much-needed prod from my husband, and have been writing for the last seventeen years. I’ve had interest from agents and editors a number of times, and some even asked to see other manuscripts, but they never seemed to want the book I was writing at the time. I’ve come to realize I write fiction outside of CBA’s box. Combine that with being a no-name with no track record, and my fiction was too much of a risk.

 

rem: If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?

SB: This is tough. I really enjoyed Bodie Thoene’s series on pre-World War II Europe. Elisa Murphy was gorgeous and talented, and who wouldn’t want that? Plus her life had a lot of drama that turned out well. And all that drama was for a good cause. So I’d probably say her!
rem: Gorgeous, talented, and drama for a good cause – why not indeed! What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?

SB: I’d love to follow a regular routine, but life doesn’t allow that. I’m a homeschooling mom plus a pastor’s wife. So there’s always something popping up that I need to take care of. Typically, though, school takes up the morning, and my writing and editing gets the afternoon. And sometimes the evening.

 

 

rem: Kudos to you! I’ve several friends who home school, I understand the commitment. What was your inspiration for “Kept?”

SB: Kept came straight from ESPN’s SportsCenter! The show ran a series on temptations pro athletes face, and one of them was about women who made their living off pro athletes. One woman they interviewed was completely silhouetted, but she did have a very unique short haircut. As the interview went on, she confessed that not only was she “kept” by one pro athlete, being available only to him when his team came to town, but by a second—and each man thought they were the only one. My immediate thought was, Honey, I hope you’re wearing a wig. Or they know now.

 

I couldn’t get her out of my head and had to figure out what would make her live that way and what it would take for her to see—and want—the truth. Plus she just needed a truly happy ending.

 

rem: It released last month; what were some of your release events?

SB: I’ve done a number of blog tours and shared images with quotes from the book, given away a number of copies and tried to really connect with readers to thank them for spending their time and money on me.

 

rem: I know readers appreciate that! Do you have your next story in mind?

SB: I have three stories in mind. I’m debating what should be next. I’d love to do a sequel to Kept, but I kinda don’t have a plot yet so… I’ll probably either rewrite a previous book or finish another one I’m super excited about.

 

rem: A sequel to Kept would be most interesting! I look forward to that! What do you think is significant about Christian fiction? How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

SB: I think in today’s world Christian fiction provides readers another option from much of the general market fiction. So much of that is filled with graphic sex and violence, and we know that stuff can’t come into us and not affect us! My dream has always been to write fiction that’s really well done but also entertains—and provides a safe haven for readers. We so need that in today’s culture!

 

I really like your second question! No one’s asked me that before. It’s done so much—given me the chance to look at spiritual things from another viewpoint, maybe. When I was writing Kept, I got to experience the first few chapters of John through the eyes of someone who was wondering about God—and coming at it from that viewpoint was a lot of fun.

 

It’s also forced me to trust God and go to Him for wisdom. Writing is such a hard career! I don’t know how those who don’t believe in God stay sane because I remind myself over and over that God is in control. He hasn’t slipped up with me or forgotten me. He’s got a plan for me. That’s such a huge comfort.
rem: And I love your response! As a fellow Christian author, I agree that all we do as believers, should take us deeper into our own relationship with God. He surely keeps His hand on us, in sometimes the most surprising ways! We are in this world, but not of it!

What do you enjoy most about being a writer? What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?

SB: I’ve found that my favourite part of writing is the part I’m doing right now. I love the editing process. I’m a freelance fiction editor, in fact, and there’s nothing as fun as seeing a story come together and become something special. Because of this, I always fear that rough draft/creating stage. But once I get into it—wow, do I love it! I can’t tell you how many times I caught myself grinning as I wrote or getting all emotional in those tough scenes. For me, the story really happens as I write—I don’t know what’s coming!—so it’s as close as I get to experiencing the story the way my readers do. And it’s a ton of fun.

 

rem: So you’re a “pantzer” writer too? LOL Sally, thank you for being my very first interviewee! I’ve enjoyed having you on my blog, and getting to know a little more about Sally Bradley the person. Good luck with Kept! I look forward to your next big hit!

 

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Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her—all have proven undependable. But Miska has life under control. She runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago’s lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman.

 

Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father’s sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can’t help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she’s longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again.

 

When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes that her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who’s gone too far and done too much.

 

 

https://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robin-E-Mason-Author-Artist/224223274404877

http://www.amazon.com/Robin-E.-Mason/e/B00MR5IQ9S

https://twitter.com/amythyst212

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7808042.Robin_E_Mason

 

#sallybradley, #kept, #debutnovel, #bodiethoene, #honorablemen, #scandal

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