Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi

Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi
Published By: CreateSpace
Release Date: December 18, 2011
Format: Paperback - 325 pages / Kindle - 420 KB
ISBN: 1468111728
Genre: Historical Fiction / Mystery - Suspense - Thriller / Romance

About The Author:

Carol Tibaldi was born and raised in Bayside, New York and attended Queens College of the City University of New York. She loves to travel and has lived in London and Los Angeles. For twenty five years she worked as a newspaper reporter and covered the crime beat. She is a history bluff and loves to research different time periods having a special affinity of the prohibition era and the Civil War. Willow Pond is her first novel and she is hard at work on the sequel.

BUY THE BOOK: Willow Pond

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event.

Virtual Book Tour Event: On Saturday, June 9, 2012, in association with Chick Lit Plus, author Carol Tibaldi participated in a virtual book tour event with an Author Guest Post and Book Excerpt on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.

Book Description:

As the Roaring Twenties crumble into the Great Depression, Virginia Kingsley, New York's toughest and most successful speakeasy owner, is doing just fine; with the whole world falling apart, for so many, bootlegging is a flourishing business.

But when a former lover, Rudy Strauss, attempts to coerce his way into her business, Virginia sends him packing and her entire family pays the price: Her niece, Laura, is devastated when her infant son vanishes without a trace. Speculation and rumors abound in the media circus that follows the abduction, and the police have few leads, most of which point straight back at Virginia and her fellow bootleggers.

Suspicious of Rudy but unable to go to the police, Virginia pursues her own investigation, shaking down, threatening, and killing one petty crook after another as she races against time to find her missing great-nephew. In the mean time, Laura's lover and Herald Tribune reporter, Erich, tries to convince Laura that Virginia knows more than she is telling ... and may be behind the boy's disappearance. 

With time flying past and hope thinning, Virginia, Laura, and Erich must set aside their differences and work together in one last, desperate bid to find the missing child and whoever really abducted him.

Book Excerpt:

Laura lifted the damp hair from the back of her neck and stretched, hoping for some relief from the heat. Digging in a drawer, she found a barrette to pin up her hair, then glanced at the clock. It was almost noon. Laura stared at the paper in front of her, but the heat had made her as dull and lifeless as the two main characters in her novel. No matter how many times she rewrote the first chapter, the dialogue sounded flat.

What was Todd doing now? Probably playing in the water. She imagined the little boy splashing in the pond behind the mansion and smiled. Mrs. Nickerson would have taken him there to cool off.

Slumping to her room, Laura peeled off her robe and tugged on a much cooler pair of Chinese pajamas. The only possible place to sit in this heat was in front of the electric fan, which is where she went to attempt Thomas Wolfe’s new novel, Look Homeward Angel. No use. She couldn’t concentrate. She considered calling one of her girlfriends and going to a movie. One of those air-cooled theatres would feel good.

The phone rang, jarring her from her musings. Ordinarily, the sound would have irritated Laura. It interrupted her train of thought when she was writing. Today she welcomed the distraction.


At first all Laura heard was someone breathing hard on the other end, then a muffled sob. She rolled her eyes. Not again. She'd gotten a crank call a couple of days earlier and was about to hang up when Mrs. Nickerson’s hoarse voice crackled over the wire.

“Mrs. Nickerson? Is that you? What’s wrong?” Laura demanded.

“Oh dear God!” The nanny's voice rose and fell as she sobbed. “The baby’s been kidnapped!”

My Book Review:

The year is 1930 ... the decade of the Roaring Twenties has just ended, and the Great Depression is setting in, but speakeasies, bootleggers, gangsters, flappers and the remnants of the Golden Decade still remain. Virginia Kingsley is a successful and feared speakeasy owner in New York. But Virginia's connections with some unsavory characters may have been behind the kidnapping of her great-nephew. Virginia's niece, Laura Kingsley Austin, is separated from her movie star husband, Phillip Austin. It is during a two week visitation at Phillip's estate, Willow Pond, that their eighteen month old son, Todd, is kidnapped in front of his nanny. With the swirling rumors of Virginia's or bootleggers involvement in the kidnapping, the possibility that Phillip had staged the kidnapping as a publicity stunt, and the police bungling the investigation, New York Herald Tribune reporter Erich Muller is determined to find the missing child and bring the kidnapper to justice. But that isn't all that Erich is interested in, he is also attracted to Laura, can they build a relationship while Laura's son is still missing? Virginia has also been doing her own investigating into the case, with time slipping away and no sign of her great-nephew, she bands together with Erich and Laura to find Todd. Will their attempt to find Todd succeed, or is he lost to them forever?

Willow Pond is an entertaining historical romantic suspense thriller. Set in the time period at the end of the Roaring Twenties and early 1930s, the attention to historical details easily transports the reader back to that Golden Decade. As a history buff, I have always been fascinated by this time period, and I really enjoyed the author's realistic depiction of this decade. The storyline is told in alternating point of view chapters between the characters, the narration is fast paced and moves fluidly from chapter to chapter, it keeps the readers on their toes as the story evolves. The story is filled with enough intrigue, suspense, twists and turns to keep the reader engaged and guessing who kidnapped the toddler and how the case will be solved. With a budding romance between Laura and Erich intricately interwoven within the mystery thriller, what more entertainment can a reader want? The characters are realistic to that time period, their complexities and individual stories make the story that much more compelling. I really enjoyed Virginia's sassy take-no-prisoners personality, I thought that her strong/ruthless businesswoman's character was interesting in consideration to that time period. I had mixed feeling about Laura, I wanted to shake her sometimes, but I also couldn't help but feel for her too. I liked Erich's passion and determination to solve the case, it was fun reading about his adventures, now that's a true investigative newspaper reporter! As for the egomaniac Phillip, one word describes him ... despicable ... ugghh. Nonetheless, there are a lot of interesting supporting cast of characters that are interwoven into the mix to provide an entertaining story.

Willow Pond is the debut novel for author Carol Tibaldi. This intricate mystery suspense thriller grabs the reader's attention, and will keep them sitting on the edge of their seat until the surprising conclusion.



  1. Great review, I read a few books set in the 20's (Devil's Garden and Infamous both by Ace Atkins and really liked them both.

    I like that you said that the book is entertaining and complex, have to put it on my TBR list.

    1. Thank you for stopping by and posting your kind comment. I hope that you do get a chance to read Willow Pond, I don't think you will be disappointed. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host the virtual book tour event. I really enjoyed reading the book, my interest in that time period as well as a good romantic mystery thriller really was entertaining. :)