Just a quick note tonight to let you know my memoir, Reversible Skirt, is now available in ebook on Amazon and Smashwords. It’s half off ($2.50) on Smashwords for the month of July, too. My toolbar isn’t displaying the linking tool, so I’ll just paste the link to Smashwords in here. Maybe it’ll go live automatically (optimism at work here). If not, I hope you don’t mind just pasting it into your browser’s address bar: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/71015
Here’s what Karynda Lewis of Apex Reviews just wrote about Reversible Skirt:
Official Apex Reviews Rating: Five Stars
When her mother commits suicide, little Laura’s father remarries – rather hastily – and promptly informs his three daughters that his new wife is their mother. As the young girls struggle to adjust to their new family life, their father’s untimely death soon thrusts their collective world into even greater chaos – culminating in their stepmother’s brutal, escalating abuse. With no one but each other left in the world, it remains to be seen if the sisters’ tortured bond can endure through the worst of adversity…
Reversible Skirt is a thoroughly heartrending read. In her moving new memoir, author Laura McHale Holland takes the reader through the deepest recesses of grief, sorrow, and abuse – all from the fragile perspective of an innocent, unsuspecting child. What ultimately proves most impressive about Holland’s spiritual sojourn is that – despite the unchecked chaos of her upbringing – she perseveres through it all with an unbreakable, sweet spirit. Such unflappable strength is highly commendable – not to mention rare – and your appreciation of Holland’s genuine loving warmth is sure to grow by leaps and bounds with the turning of each fresh page. A highly recommended tale of learning to overcome the worst that life has to offer.
Got a proof of Reversible Skirt today, and all the pages are formatted like left-hand pages. Somehow the right-hand page formatting got lost. So, my dear sister Kathy, who is also my design guru, is going to figure that out, and I’ll be uploading the corrected PDF to Lightning Source for a second try.
The cover looks terrific though. I’m going to insert the final version here. Kathy changed the background from gray to sepia. She also added a hint of blue to our mother’s eyes and a touch of pink to her blouse to suggest old-fashioned colorized photos.
This is a quick celebratory post: my flash fiction story, Invasion, published online by Every Day Fiction back in November 2009 was selected for the print anthology, The Best of Every Day Fiction Three. Yippee!
How’s this for the description to go on the back cover of Reversible Skirt?
When the mother of three little girls commits suicide, her husband wants more than anything to keep his family together, though his in-laws believe the children should be split up for proper care. He remarries in haste and tells his daughters his new wife is their mother. The youngest, Laura, believes her mother must have gone through a kind of magical transformation.
Reversible Skirt is written from Laura’s point of view as she sifts through remnants of her mother’s existence and struggles to fit into a community where her family’s strict rules are not the norm. When Laura’s father dies, her stepmother grows increasingly abusive, which propels Laura and her sisters into a lasting alliance. Thus their father’s wish that they stay together comes true, although not in the way he’d imagined.
I’ve been working on a little pitch, something brief I can say about Reversible Skirt when people ask, “What is your book about?” Here’s what I’ve come up with. Depending on the situation it could be either just the first two paragraphs below or all three. I’d love to receive feedback from you, so please don’t be shy about leaving comments on this blog:
Reversible Skirt is a memoir about my childhood, specifically my mother’s disappearance when I was a toddler. She had, in fact, committed suicide, but I was never told. Then one day my father introduced me to a stranger and said she was my mother. Being very young and certain my father was always right, I thought my mother must have gone through a kind of magical transformation.
Written from a child’s point of view, Reversible Skirt conveys what it was like to live with my family’s façade of normalcy, while I sifted alone through remnants of my mother’s existence, and later, dealt with my father’s death and stepmother’s scorn, which propelled me into an alliance with my sisters that lasts to this day.
All families suffer losses. At this moment, a child somewhere is losing a parent. That alone is painful, but some families compound the problem, making the aftermath worse than the initial loss. Reversible Skirt will, I hope, help people be mindful when children who have lost one or both parents come into their lives.