Praise for Shadow of a Smile
"…Valerie Joan Connor's writing is so vivid, so intimate, that Meredith's travails and triumphs become your own. I miss her already, now that she's gone on with her life and I must go back to my own…"—Linda Hughes, author of Becoming Jessie Belle and What We Talk About
About the Book"Shadow of a Smile examines the large price paid for secrets and cover-ups, not just by the perpetrators but also by generations before and after them. Ms. Connors has written a novel for anyone who likes family and relationship stories that are emotional, complex, and altogether satisfying."—George Weinstein, author ofHardscrabble Road and The Five Destinies of Carlos Moreno
Following the untimely death of her mother in 1992, thirty year-old Meredith Springfield learns the shocking truth about her origins, the father she never knew, and the mother whose life was very different than it appeared. When the attorney who prepared her mother’s will delivers Anastasia’s personal journals along with the keys to a trust fund Meredith never suspected she had, she and her boyfriend Derek embark upon a journey from Chicago to Los Angeles in search of answers, and to carry out Anastasia’s wish to have her ashes scattered in the Hollywood Hills.
In 1960, at twenty years old, Anastasia left her parents and the cold mid-western winter behind in Milwaukee and drove her powder blue Ford Fairlane down Route 66 all the way to Los Angeles, certain that’s where all her dreams would come true. Just two years later, Anastasia is forced to retrace her steps, traveling back to Milwaukee with her dreams already shattered, a broken heart, and a daughter she would have to raise alone.
Shadow of a Smile takes the reader on two journeys across historic Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles, and back. The first follows Anastasia to 1960 Los Angeles and the beachfront hotels where she would meet the man of her dreams and take to the stage for the first time. The second, thirty-two years later, takes Meredith and Derek on a journey of discovery that has a greater impact on their lives than they could ever have imagined.
Once Anastasia is gone, and her carefully hidden secrets are revealed, Meredith gains a new perspective on her own choices, and must come to terms with the grey area between what our hearts desire and what is right. Shadow of a Smile is a story about family secrets, the choices we let our hearts make, and living with the consequences.
About the Author
Valerie Joan Connors is the author of three novels. Her first, Give Me Liberty, was self-published in 2010. In 2013, Bell Bridge Books published her second novel, In Her Keeping, and in 2014, Deeds Publishing released her latest novel, Shadow of a Smile.
Give Me Liberty is a historical novel, set in New York City just after World War II. It’s the story of a courageous woman who breaks away from her abusive husband and moves to New York with her three year old son to start a new life, at a time in our history when women rarely did that sort of thing.
In Her Keeping is a story about a tiger sanctuary, set in the North Carolina Mountains, whose protagonist finds both meaning for her life, and an outlet for her maternal instincts, when she finds herself caring for a tiger cub.
Her most recent release, Shadow of a Smile, is about a woman who, upon the untimely death of her mother, embarks upon a journey to discover the truth about the father she believed had been dead for thirty years.
Valerie is currently the President of the Atlanta Writers Club, an organization that has been in existence for a hundred years, and has approximately 700 active members. She has a B.S. in Business from Portland State University.
During business hours, Valerie is the CFO of an architecture, engineering and interior design firm. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two dogs, and is working on her next novel.
The Giveaway is for one (1) copy of Shadow of a Smile for US and Canada only. Please leave a comment below with your email so you can be contacted should you win. Thank you and Good Luck!!