Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Women On Writing Blog Tour Stop: Until My Soul Gets it Right Review and Guest Post

Today I'm happy to be bringing you a review of Until My Soul Gets It Right by Karen Wojcik Berner as part of WOW Blog Tours. First though, I'd like to direct your attention to the following guest post by Karen herself.

By Karen Wojcik Berner

Thank you so much for having me here today.

In my latest novel, “Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two),” the Bibliophiles classics book club members go on a field trip to All Hallow’s Eve at Naper Settlement, a local living history museum. They see Edgar Allan Poe and the three witches from “MacBeth,” plus Dracula and a Puritan witch trial, all good, frightening, classic literary festivity .

One of the best things about Halloween is that for one day each year, you can be whomever or whatever you want. Well, that and the fact that you can walk down the street wearing said costume without people thinking you are a little nuts.

This year, what about a character from classic horror or gothic literature?

Sure, people always dress as Frankenstein, but it’s usually the green and square-headed Universal Studios version. What about a monster that looks sewn together with mismatched body parts like in Mary Shelley’s book?

How about the Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux style? Or Lucifer from  Shakespearean contemporary Christopher Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus?”  Wouldn’t that be fun?

Here are some of my favorite literary costume ideas.

The Portrait of Dorian Gray. Assemble a frame around you, dress in a debonair suit, and gradually age you face with makeup from one side to the other.

Ichabod Crane or the Headless Horseman from Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and other Classic Tales.”

Dracula’s mistresses. Remember the three vampire women in Dracula’s castle who torment Jonathan Harker?

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It could be a great two-face concept or a couple’s costume.

What about the famous ladies of gothic literature, such as Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca or Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre?

Any character created by the Brothers Grimm, scary, as they were intended to be, not happy children’s fairy tales. Maybe the wolf dressed as grandma, hiding to ensnare Little Red Riding Hood, a wicked queen, or even Rumpelstiltskin?

These are just a few of the many possible options. How about you? What would your favorite literary Halloween costume look like?

My Thoughts on the Book:
A couple of days ago, I reviewed A Whisper to A Scream which is Book 1 in the Bibliophiles series. You can check out that review HERE 

Here's some information about  Until My Soul Gets it Right which is the next book in the Bibliophiles series:

Until My Soul Gets It Right (The Bibliophiles: Book Two)

Title: Until My Soul Gets It Right
Author: Karen Wojcik Berner
Series: The Bibliophiles-Book Two
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: May 23 2012
Pages:  294
Source: Provided by the author for the purposes of this blog tour
in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 4 Stars
Buy The Book: Amazon


The ladies (and men) of the Bibliophiles Book Club are back!  This time the spotlight is on Catherine. Catherine Elbert has never been good at making decisions, whether it was choosing an ice cream flavor as a child or figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up. The only thing Catherine knew for sure was there had to be more to her life than being stuck on her family’s farm.

So Catherine became enamored with the complete opposite of the flat farmlands of Burkesville, Wisconsin – the ocean, lobsters, and rugged coast of Portland, Oregon. Despite her parents’ threat to disown her and her brothers’ bets on how many days until she comes home Catherine heads for Peaks Island, off the coast of Portland.

She is finally free. Or so she thought. What Catherine forgot was that you can’t run away from yourself!

Melissa's Musings:

This book provides an in depth look at the life of Catherine Elbert, who we met only briefly in A Whisper to A Scream. I have to admit that although I was curious about her in the first book, she's not quite what I thought she would be. 

Catherine grows up on a farm in the midwest with one goal in mind. Get the heck out of there. And who can blame her? Her brothers pick on her and blame her for everything, (even as adults) and her mother only tells her what she's doing wrong. I'd want to escape that life too if I were her. 

So, she does. She sees a travel show on PBS about Maine, and she decides to move there. She meets some wonderful people and makes some good friends, but she also gets into a  bit of trouble, and eventually has to escape that situation too. I won't say what happens so I don't spoil anything but lets just say that it's serious. The only thing that I have a problem with in this section of the story and in another spot too is that she gets a job really quickly and doesn't have to struggle at all. Call me cynical, but that just seems too unrealistic to me. 

Catherine does go through a lot though and her growth is nice to watch. She starts to stick up for herself once she is free of her family. And although she doesn't quite fit in with her husband's family she tries her best to make it work.

The juxtaposition between "normal Catherine" and "actress Catherine" has to be hard for her to maintain, so I'm hoping that if we see more of her in the next book, these two parts of her personality will have merged a little bit better.

In my first review I mentioned that the dialogue is a bit stiff. I'm happy to say that the dialogue is much improved in this book. It's still stiff in a few spots but it has a more natural flow to it now, it seemed to me like the author has found her flow and it shows. There's harsher language in this book too. Nothing crazy, just some cussing. But there are also some scenes of violence as well which is a bit of a change from the first book. Not a bad one, because it completely furthers the story, it's just different.

The one thing I wish there were more of is involvement of the actual books in the book club. It's probably just because I love books so much myself but I'd really like to see them apply some of the life lessons in the books they're reading in the club to their own lives as the story goes on.

Overall this was  a great book. Other than a few minor issues I really enjoyed it. I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series, Sarah and Annie: A Bibliophiles Christmas which is due out in November 2012.

I want to thank WOW Blog Tours for letting me be a part of the tour and allowing me to review this book*
*I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this honest review.

Special note:
Be sure to check out the contest that Karen is having on her website. Until the end of the tour, October 12, she is holding a giveaway where TEN lucky people can win a copy of  A Whisper to a Scream

1 comment:

kimbacaffeinate said...

Great post and i am curious about both books now!