Monday, September 7, 2015

Shadow of the Hawk - Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros

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Shadow of the Hawk is so rich in detail and has such a compelling plot that I had a hard time putting it down to go to sleep at night. Seems like one catastrophe after another piles onto the Williams family's shoulders, all told in the voice of sixteen-year-old Sooze. The author's attention to the day-to-day realities of life in rural Arkansas during the Great Depression adds depth to the story without slowing down the action and gave me a greater appreciation for the hardships many people experienced during that era. I found much to admire in the characters K. S. Jones created.

I didn't realize Shadow of the Hawk was classified as young adult until I started putting together this post. The book would appeal to all ages. The plot and the themes of family, loyalty, perseverance, and love kept me intrigued until the story's end.

First Paragraph(s):
     The town of Coaldale wound through the timbered valley like a black snake in the dark hole of an outhouse. Folks knew it was there by the grim feeling it posed, but the need to stay overpowered the urge to run.
     I had lived my whole life in the low-lying basin between the Arkansas Western Railroad and the Poteau River--the only river in the state which flowed north. Fitting, I suppose. It seemed everything had turned around backwards and was running the wrong way. I wasn't blaming God though. A lot of trouble we caused ourselves.

Teaser from 35% on my Kindle - You'll appreciate your microwave after reading the author's descriptions of cooking:
     I filled two small saucepots with water, set them on the stovetop, and then added kindling to the coal inside the stove's belly and lit it. Our heavy cast iron skillet took two hands to lift onto the stovetop, but as soon as I placed it, I dropped in a glob of butter and readied it for the pork and mush.

Genre: Young Adult
Amazon Link: Shadow of the Hawk
Length: 347 Pages
Author Website: K. S. Jones

Synopsis:
     It is May 1932 and life in the timbered rise and fall of Western Arkansas has just gotten harder for sixteen-year-old Sooze Williams. With debt mounting and both friends and family fleeing, Sooze is determined to ‘do the right thing’. She promises her heart to a well-to-do man believing true love is just another loss along the way. 
     But when her uncle is murdered and family is accused of the crime, Sooze vows not to be beaten. Is salvation within her grasp by relying solely on truth, or is it in the security of her intended’s money? Sooze must decide before it’s too late.


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please!




First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.

63 comments:

Literary Feline said...

It says a lot when an author can focus on day to day realities of life and still keep you reading late into the night. This sounds like such an interesting story. I haven't read too many books set during the Great Depression. From your teaser and the opening, the author captures that time period well. And the murder twist especially appeals to me, as a mystery reader. Thank you for sharing!

Cleo Bannister said...

This sounds like a very interesting historical novel - I did like the opening, and the section about the outhouse was a good way of explaining the situation. Here is my Tuesday post for this week https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/first-chapter-first-paragraph-september-8/

Margot said...

I like to read good depression era stories. As you said, they make me appreciate what I have been blessed with. I like the sound of this one, especially because it is told in the voice of a sixteen-year-old. I will find this book. Thanks for the recommendation.

Emma Littlefield said...

This sounds interesting but not for me I don't think. Enjoy though. Emma

nikki @bookpunks said...

Hmm, the author lost me on the snake metaphor, though for a second I was drawn in. Ah well. There are too many books in the world to read them all myself I guess! Happy reading!

My opener is posted over here, if you're interested: http://www.bookpunks.com/so-it-begins-the-daylight-gate-by-jeanette-winterson/

Jacqueline Gum said...

I always find fiction written in the era of the depression appealing. Though, I have to say I wasn't too fond of the snake metaphor! LOL

Brownie said...

Sandra is right, I couldn't put this book down either. It's wonderful. I read somewhere it's up for some pretty big awards. It's fantastic.

Beth F said...

This sounds like a winner. I'll have to put it on my list.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

The intro isn't bad Sandra, I'm just not that fond of novels set in that time period, so I probably would pass.

Hope you love this one.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian said...

I'm intrigued by the opening and synopsis. Sounds like a story I'd enjoy.

Karen Jones said...

Hello Sandra! Thank you for the kind words about my debut novel SHADOW OF THE HAWK. It is an honor to be here with you and so many others who enjoy Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros. What a great way to learn about books! For anyone interested, a print edition will be available on October 31st. I'll be stopping by here Tuesdays to learn about other wonderful books!

Karen Jones said...

Hello Literary Feline! Thanks for your comments on my Depression-era novel. The murder portion of the novel is a reader favorite!

Karen Jones said...

Hello Cleo! I enjoyed your comments on the opening to this novel. Some love it, others do not, but you are correct in saying that it explains the situation. It's one of those "I have a bad feeling" moments, yet we know we cannot change our course. Sailing into a storm with no land in sight ...

Karen Jones said...

Hi Brownie! I am so glad you enjoyed the book! (And you're right ... hopefully you'll see some award announcements soon ...)

Karen Jones said...

Margot, you are so right! I spent fifteen years researching and writing this Depression-era novel, but more than that, the near-non-existent community featured in the book is where my own mother was born. Although the book is fictional, the time-period details are quite factual. I hope the book brings as much heart, soul, and spirit to you as it did to me in its writing.

Karen Jones said...

Hi Emma! I finished reading an epic YA fantasy recently called MERCY'S PRINCE by Katy Huth Jones that is fabulous, and a wonderful Women's Fiction novel called LADIES IN WAITING by Linda Rettstatt (I think I spelled her last name correctly!) that might be worth checking into. Happy reading!

Karen Jones said...

Hello Jacqueline! Ha! Well, I promise, that's the only snake in the story, well ... other than saying a few of characters might be considered snakes. :)

Karen Jones said...

Hi Beth! I am so glad the story appeals to you. It is close to my heart. I hope it finds a place in your heart, too.

Karen Jones said...

Hi Nikki! Sorry I lost you on my opening line! If you enjoy Historical Fiction, I hope you'll give the sample a try at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TEPXNOW ... I love reading samples! I'll check out your post on www.bookpunks.com in the next few minutes.

Karen Jones said...

Hi Diane! I'm sure you have a ton of book choices, but if you prefer a time shortly after WWI, may I suggest WILLOW VALE by Alethea Williams? It is one of my favorites. She also has WALLS FOR THE WIND, but my personal favorite is the story of "Francesca Sittoni who was brought against her will to America by the husband she never loved." Happy reading!

Karen Jones said...

Hello Catherine! I hope you get the chance to read about Sooze and her family in SHADOW OF THE HAWK. Sometimes a writer gets the incredible chance to live and breathe with their characters, hearing every word they say and feeling everything that touches their heart. I was the lucky writer in this case. I hope they'll touch your life, too.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I do love stories that show us daily realities, even the grim ones. Just reading the opening lines took me back to growing up on a farm in the 1940s, and the outhouse we had for the first four years of my life. It was a frightening reality for me, as I got locked in once, for about half an hour...LOL. Didn't see any snakes, however, although that image in the first paragraph, when describing the winding road of the town, reminded me of my most scary thoughts.

I like the sound of this one...thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “MY SALINGER YEAR”

Karen Jones said...

Hi Laurel-Rain Snow! Right? One has to experience the true outhouse to understand that it often generated a fear that made you want to get out as fast as you could, unfortunately circumstances often dictated when you could leave and when you couldn't! Those experiences are hard to beat. I actually remember visiting an aunt and uncle in Eastern Oklahoma in 1976 (yes, 1976) who still used an outhouse and had no indoor plumbing at all. They were installing water lines to the kitchen while I was visiting. My aunt was very excited!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Thank you, Karen, for stopping by the blog. It's always a treat when the featured author responds to comments.

Topazshell said...

Know the feeling, everybody is moving forward. I'm moving backwards.

Karen Jones said...

You are so welcome! I am grateful to you for your interest in SHADOW OF THE HAWK.

Karen Jones said...

Oh, Topazshell, sometimes backwards is the best direction to go!

JoAnn said...

I don't read muchYA, but like the sounds of this one! Thanks.

Karen Jones said...

Hi JoAnn! When Sandra mentioned that she hadn't originally realized the story was YA, I had to laugh, because I didn't write it as YA. But since the protagonist is sixteen-years-old, my publisher decided to market it as a young adult book. Personally, I love lots of YA novels, but I'm glad readers don't necessarily see SHADOW OF THE HAWK as strictly young adult. It has found a much bigger audience with women readers and historical fiction fans. I hope you get the chance to read the story!

Monica's Bookish Life said...

Hi Sandra! I like this intro and the sound of this book, so I'd keep reading!

madamevauquer said...

Ha, that's about right about those cast iron skillets. Thanks for stopping by mine for Graveyard Dust. http://wp.me/pZnGI-ps

Running N Reading said...

WOW! This sounds like a keeper, Sandra! I love the writing in the first paragraph; thanks for sharing this one!

Karen Jones said...

Hello Monica! Goodness, I love your comment! Feedback on the first page is incredibly important. Thank you!

Karen Jones said...

Hi madamevauquer! You've had experience with old cast iron skillets, haven't you? LOL! When you look at old 1900-1940 cooking photos, have you ever noticed how "thick" the women's wrists used to be? Now we know why! Headed over to your "Graveyard Dust" link now!

Stephen P. Bianchini said...

Hi, I think you're right, it doesn't sound YA from what you said in the opening.
I like historical fiction, so I might give it a try :)

Karen Jones said...

Hello Running N Reading! Thank you for your nice words! That first paragraph/first page was fifteen years in the making. Every word on that page was rearranged and/or rewritten so ... many ... times. It wasn't until I allowed myself to completely sink into the mindset of those living in the region during that time that I heard the voice that finally said it all. I knew I had it right when some of today's greatest writers said, "Wow!" when I asked for feedback. Needless to say, your comment warms my writer's heart. :)

Karen Jones said...

Hi Stephen! Not only do we have sixteen-year-old Sooze as the main character, but there are a few powerful men to round out the story. If you're interested in the 1930s, or the decade before and after, I think you'll enjoy the story. Thank you for considering it for your reading list!

Trish said...

oh great tease! I can envision that whole scene.

trish - my teaser

Heather said...

Sounds interesting, but a bit weightier than I like my YA. Thanks for visiting!

Kathy Martin said...

This does sound like an interesting historical novel. I haven't heard of the author before. Looks there is another book to go on my wishlist. Happy reading!

Tribute Books Mama said...

Sounds like a fascinating read.

http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2015/09/teaser-tuesday_8.html

Karen Jones said...

Hello Kathy! You are right -- SHADOW OF THE HAWK is my debut novel. For years, I spent my time writing for magazines under the name Karen S. Jones, all the while writing this novel. In 2014, I won the SOUTHERN WRITERS Annual Short Story contest and that same day/week, I received three publishing offers for my novel! I am finishing two Middle Grade Fantasy novels now, and I have just started another historical novel which takes place in the Gold Rush days. I hope to have more books available soon!

Karen Jones said...

Hi Heather! If you enjoy book trailers, this might give you a better feel for the story: http://youtu.be/Rh3xLlp0-t0

Karen Jones said...

Hello Tribute Books Mama! Boy, you posted a terrific Teaser on your site today! One of my favorites from SHADOW OF THE HAWK is from Chapter 20: The shadows inside the bedroom were eerie, as if Mama and Daddy were somewhere between life and death. Maybe it was the dark before dawn, but it seemed I could almost see through them. Daddy moved in flickered steps while Mama's cry sounded miles away. As I watched, a smoky haze formed as if a gray veil had fallen over the room, but it didn't scare me none. I knew I was watching something extraordinary.

Katy Huth Jones said...

SHADOW OF THE HAWK is one of THE best books I've read all year (and honestly, one of the best I've ever read). Makes me wish I was still teaching so I could use it in the classroom!

Laura said...

It sounds like a good book. And you were right. I definitely appreciate my stove and microwave after reading the description of what it was going to take to cook.

Karen Jones said...

Hi Katy! Thanks for stopping by today! Funny you should say that, because I mentioned your newest novel, Mercy's Prince, here today, too! I am still reveling in the beauty of your book.

Karen Jones said...

Oh, Laura, I want you to know that there are a few honest-to-goodness real old-time recipes in SHADOW OF THE HAWK and I made each one of them the old-fashioned way (just like Mama used to make!) so that I could get the details exact. And just so you know, they were delicious!

Paulita said...

I can see why you'd be impressed with the details. Thanks for telling us about this one. Here's My Tuesday Intro

Karen Jones said...

Thanks for the comments, Paulita! I am heading over to your Tuesday intro now!

Karen Jones said...

Hi Trish! Thanks for commenting! You made my day! :)

Katiria Rodriguez said...

Ohh great teaser I most certainly do appreciate having my microwave after reading that teaser lol :). Thank you for stopping by my blog. :)

Yvonne said...

Sounds good to me!

karen said...

It definitely sounds like one I enjoy! I'm a huge fan of historical stories and especially of ones that involve a mystery!

melovebooks said...

I like the sound of this novel! I will have to add it to my wishlist.

Karen Jones said...

Hello Katiria! Thanks for your comments on SHADOW OF THE HAWK! I love this whole "Tuesday" thing -- I have found so many new books to read!

Karen Jones said...

Thanks for reading Sandra's post, Yvonne! If you find yourself with Shadow of the Hawk in your hands, I hope you love the story!

Karen Jones said...

Oh, hi Karen! You and I could probably sit beachside together with twin books!

Karen Jones said...

Hi melovebooks! Thank you so much for considering Shadow of the Hawk for your wishlist. I am grateful and humbled by the 5-star ratings that keep coming in. I hope you love the book, too. :)

The Candid Cover YA book blogger said...

Such an interesting teaser! I haven't heard of this book before and it looks like one that I definitely need to check out!

Kym Thorpe said...

This isn't a time period I'm usually interested in, but it sounds like a great real-life-experience story. Thanks for visiting my Teaser this week!

Lexxie Lin said...

Your teaser definitely made me appreciate my modern kitchen appliances, Sandra! Thanks for sharing :)

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Cyn @ Bookmunchies said...

Lovely teaser. I can already smell the butter melting on the skillet! Thanks for sharing (: