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Monday, August 20, 2012

Walking with Elephants by Karen S. Bell, Spotlight and Giveaway

Walking With Elephants

by Karen S. Bell


Bridget Jones meets Erma Bombeck.

Suze Hall is at a crossroads. Her nemesis at work, Wanda, has been promoted and now will be her boss. Her husband, Bob, is leaving her and the three kids for a six-month sabbatical down under. To top it off, her best friend, Marcia, is missing in action—playing footsie with some new boyfriend!

Adding to this disaster stew, David, the gorgeous hunk who broke her young-girl's heart has coincidentally popped back into her life and has something she desperately needs to keep her job.

Walking with Elephants, a lighthearted slice-of- life story, brings to the table the serious work/family issues facing women today. It explores the modern dichotomy of a workplace that is filled with homemakers who still must cook, clean, carpool on nights and weekends, shop for prom dresses, and "create" the holidays—such as Suze.

But it also is filled with women who have the  same drive as men, have no family responsibilities, and will do what ever it takes to get ahead.

So step into the shoes of Suze Hall and commiserate over workplace politics, titillate your sexual fantasies, ride the wave of a working mother, and fall-down laughing.



At some point, David and I became inseparable. His loft was my secret home and I defined myself by his rules. And David had no rules. He enjoyed all life’s pleasures to excess. He did not divide the day into hours, but into moods. “I’m in the mood for food,” he’d say, or, “I’m in the mood to paint.” He was always in the mood for sex. I can see him rolling a joint with that twinkle in his eyes. I can hear Jimi Hendrix’s screeching guitar playing on the turntable as we got high and kissed...and kissed. I loved the softness of his skin and his delicate touch. I can see him looking at me so intensely; his eyes boring right through mine and into my heart. We were as close and connected as two people could be.

Or so I thought.

David became ethereal and then finally disappeared, as I became solid and thick with talk of commitment. He evaporated as I materialized. We were no longer in sync. That final conversation waited to steal my bliss on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in spring. We had frolicked in the park near campus, immersing ourselves in the scent of budding flowers and new mown grass. I remember how the soft, warm breeze came in waves and brought in its wake the happy sounds of small birds chirping. We rolled down hills and kissed in broad daylight, showing off our rapture. The world existed just for our pleasure and we were the only human inhabitants.

Walking with Elephants by Suze Hall

I was born before the Women’s Movement when housewives vacuumed in high-heeled shoes and called their husbands “dear” or “darling” and were called so in return. At least that’s how it was on The Donna Reed Show or Father Knows Best.

In those days, families had only one television set placed shrine-like in the living room where the entire family watched it together. Nothing on TV today can beat Sid Caesar’s The Show of Shows or Sunday nights with Ed Sullivan and Mom and Dad. When my family went to the movies, we paid a dollar and fifty cents for a double feature. The B movie, in black and white, was like the flip side of a forty-five record. Because the movies ran continuously, you could stay and watch the shows over and over and no one threw you out. So, nobody cared what time the movies started. The audience was a steady flow of comings and goings. On scorching summer days, going to the movies was a singularly special occasion, since no one had air conditioning in our apartments or homes.

I hardly go to the movies anymore; I rent them because it’s much cheaper and I can start a movie in the middle if I want—like when I was kid.

When I was kid, sneakers came in two styles—high tops for basketball and low tops for everything else—and they were the cheapest footwear you could buy.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Walking with Elephants is my first novel, although I am not new to writing. I was a theater critic and celebrity interviewer for a weekly tabloid in Jacksonville, Fl and I earned a Master’s in Mass Communication from Oklahoma State University. For 15 years I worked in Corporate America as a technical editor/editor/writer. I experienced first hand the politics and intrigue that goes with that territory and the balancing act that comes with being a working mother. I salute all those mothers who are the glue that holds their families together while pursuing the nine to five brass ring.









Karen will be awarding a digital copy of "Walking With Elephants" to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

My Review:

I was intrigued by the logline for this book - Bridget Jones meets Erma Bombeck - and I thought it would be a fun read. Unfortunately, for me, it wasn't. I read a lot of books, so I am the type of reader that needs to be hooked immediately or I'll move on to the next one. I was not hooked by this book. The opening did nothing to make me want to finish this book, and so I didn't. Perhaps other readers will have better luck with this book.

1 Moonbeams (comments):

Karen S. Bell said...

Thanks for choosing two excerpts that might intrigue other readers. The second excerpt is the essay at the end of the novel that Suze writes suggesting a paradigm shift from the patriarchy women have lived under for centuries to a a matriarchal society, like elephants. Thus, the title of the essay and this novel. Have a great day!