Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Additional Review Notes


Here’s what reviewers are saying about Shirley Kiger Connolly’s new release, Flame from Within.

Set in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1864, Shirley Kiger Connolly's novel, Flame from Within, traces the grief of Amethyst Rose at the tragic loss of her family. Southern bitterness "runs as deep and wide as the Mississippi," and the sight of the blue Yankee uniform stirs anger, hatred and horrid memories.

With nothing left of her home, Amethyst, or Aimee, and her former slave, now loyal companion, Lulu, set out in search of her sister, to break the news of their loss. Less than welcomed by "Florette," Aimee is put to work and intended as a commodity in a brothel.

A series of events takes Amethyst from one location to another, her path unwillingly crossing that of the blue-uniformed Yankee.

A story of bitterness, healing, forgiveness and romance, Flame from Within provides a glimpse of Civil War life in the south, while offering hope in the face of loss and hurt. Worth the read, Connolly's novel is entertaining and encouraging.
—Author's Choice Reviews

... A larger-than-life novel by a woman who truly knows how to develop a plot. This epic work of fiction is an unbelievable tale of the Civil War story of a young woman named Amethyst Rose (Aimee) Lebrun who, as the story expands, has not one, but four possibilities as her love interest.

Flame from Within is an incredibly well-written, easy to read, impossible to put down, chronicle of one young lady's journey through the years of the Civil War. Kudos to the author, Ms. Connolly!

—The Romance Studio

... Engaging, well written and entertaining.

—Coffee Time Romance

An exclusive message from the author regarding The Flame from Within.

Sometimes it is important to read between the lines. Such as learning Flame From Within speaks to more than simply the outer manifestation of a war going on between states. You saw the war going on in Aimée’s heart.

To some readers she may have appeared rather callous, self-centered, perhaps too spoiled. There is a reason for that.

It is a fact many who have come from dysfunctional or troubled homes where there has been abuse spoken or unspoken often vent out in various ways. Sometimes they mask the traits of their true character. Eventually even, they no longer know who they are. The pain and suffering they feel within has grown too deep. Perhaps you know someone like that.

Although we do not read the specifics of what happened to Aimée who was physically abused as a child by her sister Florette, the undercurrent of her earlier trauma continues to thread its way throughout the story revealing itself, by her own fear of men drawing too close, and showing in her difficulty to forgive and to love others. The emotional sufferings of her abusive past grows deeper and builds into bitterness when she loses her home, especially her father who knew about her sister. By then she could blame her feelings on the war.

Life is so often like that. Those who live in darkness quickly become, filled with hidden emotions just waiting to come alive.

Aimée Lebrún finally found her way out. She was able to learn to love and forgive again. Thankfully, her sister whose brother abused her as well was able to also.

It is my desire others who have had troubled pasts can read this story and like Aimée and Florette learn the way out of their own inner darkness by opening their hearts and allowing God to come in and spark that Flame From Within them too.

Shirley Kiger Connolly

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