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, November 10, 2012

The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Reading Addiction Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Bette Lee Crosby, author of The Twelfth Child!

Author Guest Post

10 Reasons Why Every Writer Needs A Dog

No, I'm not talking about a dog of a story, I'm talking about the yapping, tail wagging, love you forever kind of friend that writers should not be without. However, in deference to all my kitty-loving friends I must admit that some cats have been able to capture the same wonderful traits found in dogs. 

Katie is my baby ... well, she's actually a Bichon Frise, but as far as I'm concerned she's my baby. She loves me unconditionally, pines for me when I go out and jumps for joy when I return. Okay hubby loves me, but doesn't miss me if I'm gone for hours, nor does he jump for joy when I return.

Katie is thrilled with a piece of bologna ... hubby not so thrilled. 

Katie is content to sit beside me while I work ... hubby prefers to watch a ballgame. 

Now let me share a secret, Katie is a replacement dog. She was adopted from a rescue center after my first Bichon died at the ripe old age of 18. My first dog was the love of my life and after I lost her, I was heartsick. 

Although I had no interest in buying another dog, I finally decided that I could at least give a less fortunate pooch a home. While her predecessor was fluffed, puffed and adorable, poor Katie was shaved, newly spayed and looking like she'd just escaped a concentration camp ... how could I not compare this scraggly creature to the adorable dog I'd just lost? But God in His Wisdom gives dogs something that people sometimes lack ... the ability to keep on trying to win your heart regardless of rejection. Within the week I was hers. 

Now, here are the Ten Reasons Every Writer Needs A Dog:

1) A dog needs to pee, so you are forced to take periodic breaks from the computer.
2) A dog happily listens to that revised manuscript as many times as you want to read it.
3) On a cold afternoon, a dog in your lap keeps you warmer than a space heater.
4) A dog does not expect you to actually cook dinner ... a slice of bologna or take out is fine.
5) You're always #1 on your dog's best person list.
6) A dog doesn't punch a time clock, they'll keep you company for as long as you work.
7) A dog will join you in a lazy day nap, or stay in bed beside you if you're sick.
8) A dog will prevent you from getting fat (they get half of every cookie!)
9) A dog eliminates the need for a doorbell.
10) A dog will teach you what unconditional love actually is.

But a word of warning ... once you fall in love with a dog it is a forever thing! I know. Trust me, I know! 

About The Author

Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

Born in Detroit and raised in a plethora of states scattered across the South and Northeast, Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back. “Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since that, she has gone on to win several more awards, including another NLAPW award, three Royal Palm Literary Awards, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal and most recently the 2011 Reviewer’s Choice Award and Reader’s View Southeast Fiction Literary Award.

Her published works to date are: Cracks in the Sidewalk (2009), Spare Change (2011), The Twelfth Child (2012), and Life in the Land of IS (2012). Life in the Land of IS is a memoir written for Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world’s longest living quadriplegic.

Crosby's newest novel Cupid's Christmas was released in September 2012 and following that, What Matters Most will be released in early 2013.

Bette Lee Crosby's The Twelfth Child Virtual Book Tour Page On Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A Copy of Spare Change 

Grand Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card 
& Copy Of Spare Change

Contest Dates: Oct 15 - Nov 16

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Book Review

The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing
Publication Date: April 27, 2012 (Paperback ) / May 14, 2012 (Kindle)
Format: Paperback - 259 pages / Kindle - 568 KB
ISBN: 0983887977
Genre: Southern Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Twelfth Child

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 hosted by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Trust, love and friendship—Abigail Anne Lannigan searched for these things all her life. Now, when she is at the tail end of her years, she teams up with a free-spirited young woman. A nobody from nowhere, who suddenly moves in across the street. This unlikely friendship comes under suspicion when a million dollars goes missing and a distant relative, claims embezzlement. Abigail knows the truth of what happened, but she’ll never get the chance to tell.

Reminiscent of Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes, the unlikely friendship of these two women is sure to settle in the soft spot of your heart.

The Twelfth Child, a novel rich with emotion, humor and tenderness, explores the splintered relationships of a Shenandoah Valley family and their willful daughter’s struggle to survive America’s Great Depression and overcome the past.

Book Excerpt:

Abigail Lannigan

 Born - August, 1912

I was barely thirteen years old when Mama died and left me and Will in the care of Papa, a man who’d think nothing of shoving a dose of castor oil down my throat just so he could watch my face turn inside out. “It’s good for what ails you,” he’d say; yet, I noticed he never gave Will the same big dose. Papa didn’t say it in precise words, but he made it clear enough he wouldn’t give two hoots if all the girl babies in Chestnut Ridge, Virginia, were in the graveyard along with Mama. Of course with him being a staunch Methodist, I don’t believe Papa was capable of taking a butcher knife and slicing off heads or anything; but he surely knew how to destroy people from the inside—a sliver of spirit, a piece of pride, a chunk of heart—until one day there’s nothing left but a walking around shell to do the cooking and laundry.

It’s a roundabout story, but Papa’s blind-sightedness is the very reason Destiny Fairchild may end up in the Women’s Correctional Facility—which is a fancy way of saying penitentiary. Everybody’s life could have been a whole lot different if Mama hadn’t died before she got a chance to set things right. She was the one to tell Papa there were two sides to every story and he should have the fairness of mind to hear them all the way through. Will, bless his heart, wasn’t the least bit like Papa; nonetheless, we’d get to scrapping over something—who was smarter, who slacked on their chores, who said what and who didn’t—and that’s when Mama stepped in. She’d make us sit at the kitchen table and tell both versions of how the tussle got started. After everything was all explained, she’d generally say we should be ashamed of ourselves, fussing over such a bit of nonsense when here we were twins, born of the same seed, a brother and sister, linked together for life. More often than not, she’d dole out a punishment that involved standing in opposite corners of the room and thinking things over for a while.

Unfortunately, Destiny didn’t have Mama to see to the fairness of things before they got out of hand; besides, in her case there were three sides, hers, Elliott’s and mine. Problem is, no one’s ever heard mine—not even Judge Kensington.

My Book Review:

The Twelfth Child is the poignant story of two strong women, who form an unlikely bond of friendship and love that transcends the generation gap between them. It is the story of Abigail Anne Lannigan, a woman who has led a hard life, but who had the determination and strength to survive. It is also the story of Destiny Fairchild, a young woman in her early twenties, who also has a difficult life and befriends Abigail Anne in her senior years. Though separated by their age difference, Abigail Anne sees a lot of herself in Destiny and in their shared commonalities: a rugged spirit, determination and strength in the face of adversity, and generosity; that she takes the young woman under her wing. When Abigail dies, she leaves her estate to Destiny, but a greedy distant relative tries to lay claim to Abigail's estate, and a lawsuit ensues with the departed Abigail watching over the proceedings from heaven. Will justice prevail in Destiny's favor, or will it prevail on the side of greed?

The Twelfth Child follows the life of Abigail Anne Lannigan from her birth in 1912 in Chestnut Ridge, Virginia, the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, through the years of her life until her death. Told in the first person narrative that alternates between Abigail's childhood to her senior years, Abigail recounts the story of her life that will leave the reader spellbound. Abigail's voice leaps off the pages as she describes the choices, decisions, successes and regrets that shaped her life. Filled with life lessons, this woman's story is one of inspiration, courage and determination that will engage the reader in some introspection of their own lives.

Set in the Great Depression era, the reader is transported to a nostalgic and simpler time period that is rich in detail and vivid descriptions. With characters who are realistic and down-to-earth, they draw the reader into their lives and compel you to care about them and the trials and tribulations that they endure in their lives. Abigail Anne and Destiny are two strong caring women who are unforgettable.

The Twelfth Child is a touching story about the beauty and power of a strong bond of friendship that transcends age and time. The lessons learned from Abigail Anne and Destiny's story will pull at your heart strings.



  1. I loved this book....nice post.

    My review is up on November 15.

    Silver's Reviews

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for stopping by, I will have to check out your review on the 15th. :)

  2. Spare Change has such a high rating on amazon, I put this book on my wish list.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

    1. Hi Marjorie! Thank you for visiting my blog. I have Spare Change on my TBR list. :)

  3. Very interesting guest post topic. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Hi Christine! Thank you for stopping by, good luck in the giveaway. :)