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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Sinner's Guide to Confession Virtual Book Tour

Hello Friends,

Today I'm hosting author Phyllis Schieber whose book, Sinner's Guide to Confession is on Virtual Book Tour with Nikki Leigh Promotions.

In light of Tuesday's post let me warn you: This book is not inspirational but mainstream women's fiction. One of the characters writes erotic romance and some scenes may not be suitable for young/conservative readers.

About Sinner's Guide to Confession:
Kaye and Barbara are longtime friends, now in their fifties. Ellen, who is several years younger, develops a friendship with the other two women years later, solidifying this close-knit group. The three women are inseparable, yet each nurtures a secret that she keeps from the others.

About Author Phyllis Schieber:
The first great irony of my life was that I was born in a Catholic hospital. My parents, survivors of the Holocaust, had settled in the South Bronx among other new immigrants. .In the mid-fifties, my family moved to Washington Heights. The area offered scenic views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, as well as access to Fort Tryon Park and the mysteries of the Cloisters. Her first novel, Strictly Personal, for young adults, was published by Fawcett-Juniper. The Sinner's Guide to Confession, was released by Berkley Putnam and in March 2008, Berkley Putnam will issue the first paperback publication of Willing Spirits.

Win A Free Book from Phyllis Schieber! – Its very easy to be entered in a drawing for a FREE book by Phyllis Schieber. Post comments on any blogs during the virtual tour and you will have a chance to win a book from Phyllis. One random person will win – but we are also asking visitors to share a secret and one secret will also win a free book. As a bonus the blog owner that hosted the winning comments will also win a book. Share some interesting stories and questions with Phyllis Schieber during her tour – and have a chance to win a book.

Read an Excerpt

Note From Author: Although I didn’t originally intend it to be that way, this book became Ellen’s story as soon it became evident that her secret was the most profound. Ellen is the youngest and the most self-contained in the group. A bit younger and almost entirely estranged from her family, Ellen is also betrayed by her husband Bill—the only one with whom she has every shared her secret—when she was 16, her parents, her mother especially, forced her to give up her daughter at birth. Unable to ever conceive again, Ellen is unable to convince Bill to adopt a child. When he leaves her for a younger, soon pregnant, woman Ellen is completely alone, except for Barbara and Kaye who are there when Ellen is ready to confess her greatest loss. In this excerpt, Ellen recalls her last days in the maternity home, what life was like after the baby’s birth and about sharing her secret with Bill many years later.

Chapter Three:
During the long walks she took each morning, Ellen told her baby about herself, hoping Faith would understand and forgive her mother’s awful predicament. Although everyone was kind, no one could understand the depth of her sadness. They tried to reassure her that she was doing the right thing, giving her baby a chance for a good life. That made Ellen cringe each time. She could not wrap her mind around that phrase. A good life. Ellen was told to put it all behind her. She was assured that she would forget all about the baby. It would be as if it had never happened. Alice offered parting words that chilled Ellen to the core. “Unless you want everyone to know you’re a whore,” Alice said, “you will never tell anyone that you got yourself pregnant.” After all, Alice said, no one wanted the cow if the milk was free.

After Faith was taken away, Ellen returned to her parents’ home, where everyone pretended that she had never been pregnant. When her breasts became engorged, Ellen’s mother gave her a breast pump and an instruction booklet, advising her to wrap her chest between expressing. But the ache of Ellen’s breasts was nothing compared with the dull, persistent pain that accompanied every waking moment since she had said goodbye to Faith. Ellen had studied her daughter’s tiny face, memorizing every detail, forcing herself to believe that the years would not change the miniature physiognomy of this tiny perfect creature. At the final moment, Ellen kissed her full on the mouth, tasting the sweetness of her breath and blowing gently into her, wanting to give something of herself. That very same day, a Wednesday, Ellen went home. By Monday, she was back at school, wearing her old clothes and participating in the charade her parents had invented. She kept her promise not to talk about The Baby. (They never referred to her as Faith.) And Ellen never broke that promise until she met Bill. The tenderness of his response when she divulged her secret unleashed a lifetime of sadness. He clucked his tongue, just like a woman would, and kept repeating how sorry he was for her loss. Loss. The import of that statement made Ellen reel. In Bill’s arms, she cried for her lost baby as if years had not passed.

Bill even offered to help find Faith. There were ways. It was done all the time now. The Internet had made everything possible. Even closed adoptions had been revoked in some states. But Ellen felt that she had to follow Faith’s cue. She had never come in search of her birth mother, and Ellen felt compelled to respect her daughter’s wishes. Bill thought it was nonsense. Perhaps Baby Faith, as he called her, did not even know she was adopted. It was a possibility, Ellen agreed. Maybe her adoptive parents had cautioned her against a search. There was any number of possibilities. Still, she would not take the lead in this search. Faith would come to her when she was ready.

The next cruelest blow was also the greatest irony. Ellen’s yearning to be a mother again could not be met on any level. The infertility procedures were futile and humiliating. Bill had probably already been thinking that she had suddenly become too old for him could, therefore, be cavalier about her desire to mother. He scoffed at her unsatisfied emotions and encouraged her to find other outlets for her maternal energies. He could afford such disregard for her feelings because while Ellen was engrossed with the Internet researching adoption alternatives, he was no longer interested in her. But he was not entirely indifferent to her anguish. Perhaps, he even suggested to Ellen, she might volunteer at the local hospital. They were always looking for people to hold crack babies. Yes, Ellen agreed, blinking back tears, holding crack babies was much better than having a child of her own. She could not imagine why she had not thought of it herself. And off Bill went, smug with self-satisfaction, while Ellen reassured herself he would come round eventually.

And now she was alone. Ellen did not mind being alone. The humiliation of Bill’s betrayal still smarted, but she refused to hate him. When she looked in the mirror, she was not saddened by the lines around her eyes or the slack in the skin on her neck. Bill used to tease her that being pretty was more important than anything else in her life. Bill had been wrong about that too, of course. Nothing had ever been as important to Ellen as finding Faith. Not then . . . and not now. Not ever.

For full details about Phyllis Schieber's virtual tour, visit her tour home page - http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/12/sinners-guide-to-confession-by-phyllis.html

Order Your Copy here - http://tr.im/2x1g

Visit Phyllis Schieber http://www.thesinnersguidetoconfession.com/ or http://www.phyllisschieber.blogspot.com/

Well Friends, hope you enjoyed this special guest!

See you Saturday when I Spotlight Cindy K Green!

Until later....take care and God Bless!


Phyllis Schieber said...

Good morning, Pam, and thank you for hosting me on your blog. I especially appreciate your disclaimer to "young and conservative readers" since it is never my intent to offend anyone. On the other hand, I believe there are a great many "inspirational" moments in this novel. The main characters all have some sort of epiphany that leads each one to make a good choice. I find that inspirational in its own way. What do you think?

Susan Wingate said...

Hello Phyllis,
Isn't Pam's blog great? And, yes, I must agree with you. There are many wonderful poignant moments throughout "The Sinner's Guide to Confession." Not only do the characters have critical realizations and epiphanies, but so does the reader.

Phyllis Schieber said...

Yes, Susan, it is a wonderful blog--so fair-minded and responsible. Thank you for your observations about the characters in THE SINNER'S GUIDE TO CONFESSION. And thank you for your kind words about how you were impacted by them!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Hi Phyllis!

I read your book and yes, the epiphanies/good choices the characters have/make are inspirational in and of themselves.

I simply meant to inform my readers that this was not an Inspirational as in Christian.

No offense taken and none meant.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Hey Susan,

Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

Glad you like the blog.


Phyllis Schieber said...

Oh, Pam! I was not offended in any way at all--it takes more than that to offend me! And you are quite right to inform your readers about the content of the book. It's the only responsible thing to do. Actually, I feel quite delighted to be on your blog considering its standard. Thank you.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Hey Phyllis,

Thank YOU for letting me host your tour. I wish you the BEST of success and GOD'S BLESSINGS with your books.


Phyllis Schieber said...

Thanks, Pam. Blessings to you as well.