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.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Comfort of Fences by Stacy Overman Morrison (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Premier Virtual Author Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Comfort of Fences by Author Stacy Overman Morrison!

Author Guest Post

10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

1. I am NOT a grammar Nazi. I love language and emotion not the rules that determine how language reveals itself on the page. I do see grammar as a necessary evil, though.

2. I married the first time at 17 years old. I do not recommend this! I stayed married for 10 years by sheer determination and desire to prove I was not wrong. I was. I got over it.

3. I love horses, dog, and cats. I break out in hives after petting them because I am highly allergic to all three. When my Clydesdale died last year, I decided not to get another horse because losing one hurt my heart so bad. Also because of said allergies. Loving animals, and inevitably losing them, breaks my heart. Loving on animals breaks out my skin. Therefore, I am on an animal fast.

4. I am 41 years old and think I am doing pretty darn well. I am happy but still working to cultivate my best self. I am moving forward but not in competition. I am in love and in like with my spouse. I adore and like my children and if I met me, I’d want to be friends.

5. I still struggle with the preceding statements because society has conditioned me to make self-deprecating remarks about myself instead of self-edifying statements about myself.

6. My daughters are 12 years apart and are on opposite ends of the personality spectrum. Think Wednesday Adams and Shirley Temple. It is like having two only children.

7. I am an intellectual rebel but pragmatic prude. I have big, open ideas but lead a pretty traditional lifestyle.

8. I love the Pacific Northwest and could see myself living there in my old age.

9. I love Playa Del Carmen and wish I could live there someday.

10. I love people. I love humanity—so many stories, characters, motivations, and revelations in every encounter!

There you have ten random things about me. Thanks for letting me introduce myself and if I am completely honest, I will admit of all my characters I’m most like Ruth. This is not necessarily a good thing!

About The Author

Stacy Overman Morrison was born and raised in Texas. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Arts degrees in English from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Upon completion of her Master’s, she taught secondary English and adjuncted at the University. She took time off from her teaching career after the birth of her second daughter and has pursued her writing since. She continues to live in Texas with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and two horses. Comfort of Fences is her first novel and she is hard at work listening to the voices of her characters in her second.


Comfort of Fences - Book Trailer

Book Review

Comfort of Fences by Stacy Overman Morrison
Publisher: Telemachus Press, LLC 
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Format: Paperback - 244 pages / Kindle - 504 KB / Nook - 586
ISBN: 1939927560
BNID: 2940045356770
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Comfort of Fences
AMAZON *Kindle eBook currently on sale $2.99*

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Premier Virtual Author Book Tours.

Book Description: 

Comfort of Fences explores the unconditional love between a trio of women: Ruth, the matriarch and builder of boundaries; Denise, her special-needs adult daughter with powerful secrets of her own; and Georgia, Ruth’s best friend and source of strength and practicality. The dynamics of their relationships expose the ironies that the people we love the most can also be the people we most underestimate and that the strongest of loves has nothing to do with romance.

Praise for Comfort of Fences:

“I enjoyed reading Stacy’s book very much. It was a very strong story of a mother’s love for her daughter from birth to adulthood and how being protective can be a double edged sword. I don’t want to give too much away so I won’t go into detail. If you are or have ever been a single mother, this story will hit home with you however, that doesn’t mean that any mother wouldn’t appreciate what a mother does for her child. From my own personal experiences so many years ago, it’s also a story about how friends can come through when family doesn’t. All I can say is read it!! You won’t be disappointed!”-Barbara, This and That, As I Bounce Thru Life

“The dynamics of mother and daughter, the ties that bind together family and friends, the way we try to protect ourselves and the ones we love from pain suffering only to realize that we’ve isolated ourselves… These themes and so much more resonate through this very powerful book that stands as a wonderful and unique pillar in the women’s fiction genre. Ruth is an unforgettable character and as you follow her on the long and trying journey of her life, watching the difficult and often infuriating choices she makes (which of course are always for the right reasons, at least to her), you get the sense that she is a very real person. The same goes for the other characters in the book, Georgia and Denise. You laugh and cry with them. You don’t want it to end. I appreciate the vibrancy and the wisdom with which Morrison writes, and the way she weaves together a tapestry of textures that imprint themselves on your mind and stay there for the long haul. I guarantee five years down the road, you’ll still remember Ruth and Denise.”-Allison Dickson, Author

“I am always searching for a book that I can fall into; one that wraps itself around me like a warm, comfy blanket that doesn’t let me escape so easily from its soothing fibers. Stacy Overman Morrison’s novel, Comfort of Fences, pulled me in from the very first paragraph and kept me intrigued into the wee morning hours. This is a story about the intensity of relationships that weather life’s most difficult battles. In today’s literature, there are so many weak female characters that it was refreshing to find three female protagonists that exemplified strength, yet conveyed a myriad of emotions that made them as familiar to you as your own mother, daughter, or best friend. If you are looking for an honest tale that makes your heart sing and cry at the same time, this is the novel for you. Comfort of Fences is a smart novel that will leave you examining your own female relationships.”-Piper Punches, Author

“In writing her novel, Comfort of Fences, Midland author Stacy Overman Morrison has reached a higher level of literary expertise. She moves the reader emotionally as nuanced feelings either suppressed or forgotten rise from what the characters say, feel or experience. Morrison’s writing style is such that when Ruth speaks the reader feels a two-way conversation with her. When she is speaking to a third person, the reader is included as a witness to what’s being said. Denise is an absolute delight with not only wit but simple logic and wisdom. Then, there is Georgia, the outside anchor of unwavering friendship, who is practical and there to help when stress peaks or emergency arises. Even as these players may be so characterized, there is an irony that underlies the unconditional love between this trio of women. The people we love the most can also be the people we most underestimate. You will recognize this underlying current when you read the book, and read it you must. Comfort of Fences will touch your deepest emotions, yet comfort you with real-life understanding.”-Glen Aaron, My West Texas

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Spring 2008

The little paper gown doesn’t cover or protect a thing, but I pull it closer and hug my arms up to my flat, mutilated chest. No one told me how cold I’d get, or how my whole body chemistry would be forever thrown off by chemo. They also neglected to tell me that I would look down in the shower and be shocked, over and over again, at the sight of my absent breasts. My seventy year old body is an atlas of scars.

The scars are a homing device and the cancer has located me once again. I feel it clawing at the backs of my eyeballs and I see it in the hieroglyphics it splatters across my vision in squiggly black dots and lines. The poor little physician’s assistant doesn’t have to say a word; the tear that hovers at the edge of her eyelid makes the diagnosis.

“Honey, why in the world did a doctor ever paint the walls in this place blood red? I can’t look at that wall without thinking about permanent blood stains. Makes my stomach roll. You tell Dr. Ranga she needs to paint it a different color.” I try to play my role of crotchety but funny old woman because if I break down, this girl will be falling to pieces right along with me. I wonder how many of these diagnoses she’s had to make, and I feel sorry for her. Stupid, since I am the one dying.

“I’ll tell her, Mrs. Yoakum. She’ll be in here in a second. Got tied up on the phone. Can I call someone for you?” she asks, concerned that I am alone.

“Oh no, dear. I’ve been through this before without somebody holding my hand. I figure I’ll get through it this time too. Don’t worry about me, unless Dr. Ranga’s gonna make me wait another hour. Then I’m gonna need you to call for a pizza.” I only half-joke and think of my sweet Denise sitting at home. I hope she’s eaten the salad I left for her in the refrigerator.

“It should only be a few more minutes. Are you cold? Let me get you a blanket.” The PA digs in the coat-sized closet and pulls out a neatly folded pink blanket, and places it on my lap, tucking the corners underneath my thighs. “Why don’t I get you some socks, too? Your feet feel like ice.” She makes herself busy with my comfort and I let her. It gives her something to do and helps me think of something more pleasant than the news I feel coming with a thunder-following-lightning certainty.

After three short knocks, Dr. Ranga enters and sits on the wheeled backless stool. She scoots up next to the exam table and puts her hand on my knee. “I’m so sorry, Ruth. The MRI shows growths on the brain. I’ve been on the phone talking to a hospital in Dallas. They have a program where they target the tumor with direct radiation, gamma knife, they call it. We have some options here, too, but we need to act quickly.”

“How long?” I ask.

“That depends on you, what you want. How far do you want to go to fight this?”

“What kind of treatment are we talking about? Will I lose my hair again? I know it’s stupid and shallow, but I don’t want to die bald. I want my own hair on my head when they bury me.” My voice catches on the word bury.

“We’ll plan on radiation first, and then we’ll take this a step at a time,” Dr. Ranga pats my hand. “You’d be surprised how often I get that question. It isn’t shallow and surprisingly, as many men ask as women. It doesn’t matter how cool guys like Michael Jordan are, everybody still wants a full head of hair. I’ll do my best, okay?”

“Okay,” I agree and clutch her hand to seal the deal.

My Book Review:

Sometimes you come across an inspirational novel that just takes your breath away, for me, that novel is Comfort of Fences.

Comfort of Fences is a poignant story that follows the intertwining relationship bond between a dying mother, a special needs adult daughter, and a best friend. Author Stacy Overman Morrison weaves an emotional tale that draws the reader into the lives of Ruth, Denise and Georgia. Ruth is dying from cancer and is trying to make arrangements to provide for her daughter Denise, she is aided by the strong anchor and bond of a longtime friendship with her best friend Georgia. As Ruth prepares for her death, she writes their life story for Denise, a loving journey of their fifty-two year mother-daughter relationship.

Written in alternating perspectives, the reader is transported from the past to the present as Ruth and Denise's story unfolds. This is a heartwarming story about three strong women and their intertwining relationship bond that is born out of love, loyalty, friendship, secrets, choices, mistakes, consequences, and acceptance. This story is beautifully written with so much thoughtful emotion and compassion, the author easily draws the reader into the complex dynamic of the mother-daughter relationship and the loyal best friends relationship. Through laughter and tears, the reader can't help but embrace these three remarkable and unforgettable women, they will simply hold you captive until the conclusion.

Comfort of Fences is an amazing women's fiction novel that will tug at your heartstrings, speak to your soul, and leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling long after the last word has been read.


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

Chicklit Central Mar. 31-Apr. 7 Bookshelf Feature
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 1 Spotlight & Giveaway
Reader’s Muse Apr 2 Review
Reader’s Muse Apr 3 Guest Post
Jody’s Book Reviews April 3 Guest Post
From L.A. to LA Apr 4 Review & Giveaway
Indie Review’s Behind the Scenes Apr 5 Live Interview 11am cst
Wall to Wall Books Apr 8 Review & Giveaway
From Isi Apr 14 Review & Giveaway
Dr Bill’s Book Bazaar Apr 15 Review
Deal Sharing Aunt Apr 17 Review & Guest Post
Tracy Riva Books & Reviews Apr 22 Review
Books, Books, & More Books Apr 22 Review
Manic Mama of 2 Apr 22 Review
The Eclectic Reader Apr 23 Review & Giveaway
Heck Of A Bunch Apr 24 Review & Giveaway
Jersey Girl Book Reviews Apr 25 Review & Guest Post
Melissa’s Midnight Musings Apr 28 Review
Aspired Writer Apr 29 Review & Guest Post
Open Book Society Apr 30 Review
Crystal’s Many Reviewers May 1 Review
Giveaways & Glitter May 2 Review & Guest Post & Giveaway


  1. Thank you for such a lovely review and for posting so much information about the book and even the book trailer! I am thrilled you loved these characters. I do too, and it is making writing another book hard! I wish you all the best. Thank you, again!

    1. Hi Stacy! I loved, loved, loved reading Comfort of Fences, it was truly a beautiful soul stirring and inspirational story. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)

  2. Thanks for taking part in the tour and hosting Stacy. I'm so glad you loved Comfort of Fences!

    1. Hi Teddy Rose! Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event for this wonderful story. :)