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My BOOKS

Before She Was a Finley
Before She Was a Finley

In Carol Hoenig’s previous novel, Without Grace, it is believed that Grace Finley walked out on her husband and two young children to fulfill a selfish dream of becoming a famous singer, leaving behind rumors and questions among her family and townsfolk in the mountains of Upstate New York.

 

Now in Before She Was a Finley, it is years later when Adele, a reluctant young journalism student is assigned to “get” a story from a local nursing home where she comes across elderly Grace Finley. Over time, Grace slowly takes Adele back to the 1930s and subsequent years that follow as she provides bits and pieces that eventually reveal the dark truth as to why she walked out on her family carrying only a guitar and suitcase. Adele knows that the class assignment was simply to write about a local person, and even though journalists aren’t supposed to be a part of the story, she cannot shake what she discovered and wants to do more to set the record straight. But is there anyone still alive who would care?

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Testimonials for
Before She Was a Finley

Phenomenal deep dive into the secrets we keep, the decisions we make, and the consequences that haunt us.

Before She Was A Finley is perfect for anyone who loved the coming of age story of Where The Crawdads Sing, mixed with the grit and perseverance of an up-and-coming star like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and sprinkled with a love story reminiscent of The Notebook.

Usually I’m a slow reader — taking two weeks to a month to finish a book. I finished this book in 6 days. I found myself stealing any moment I had to check in on the main character Grace. I was showing up early to appointments to get a few pages in and then staying up late to finish chapters. I was definitely consumed and there were surprises and revelations up until the very end of the book.

The reader is treated almost as a character in this book as the author takes care of us from the very beginning. I was sucked in right away and completely forgot I was reading. We were seamlessly transported from the present to the past throughout the book and never lost our place because of the clear writing. This is expertly executed craft at its best.

Grace is the star of the show but even secondary characters like Adele, the young journalism student who tells her story, shine.

The story explores so many themes like the choices we make, the perceptions of a child, coming of age, growing up poor, being self sufficient, having a dream, falling in love, friendships changing, found family, kindness of strangers, perseverance, grit, survival, love, and heartbreak in many ways.

I’m looking forward to reading the author's earlier book, Without Grace, which follows her daughter Vicky on her journey of what it was like to grow up without her mother.

Highly recommend! You’ll be talking about and thinking about this book for a long time to come! 

--Paula Rizzo, best-selling author and Emmy-award winning television producer for nearly 20 years

Without Grace
Without Grace
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After the death of her grandmother, Vicky Finley is left to create a place for herself in a houseful of men and becomes consumed by the notion of finding Grace, the mother who abandoned the family when Vicky was just a baby. Vicky's devoted and protective older brother Kevin does his best to look after her while fighting to keep their land and spare their farming community from a ruthless developer who threatens to forever change the world they know. The Finleys learn firsthand how memories can betray us, how secrets of the past can burden the present, and how tragedy can test our resolve. And as Vicky ambitiously pursues her passion for cooking, honors a promise to her brother, and manages to bring a struggling community together, she discovers what really makes a family. Without Grace is a heartening portrait of small-town life and a tender and triumphant coming-of-age tale about the complexities and comforts of family and the healing that comes with letting go of the past.

Testimonials for
Without Grace

I so completely enjoyed your novel.  Got completely hooked on it, loved Vicky especially — of course with my food obsessions, of course I would — but got very involved with her journey.  She’s a wonderful heroine and the ultimate encounter with her mother is powerful.Congratulations to you for writing such a moving book.

Delia Ephron, author of Siracusa

Of Little Faith
Of Little Faith

The Vietnam War is on the nightly news and women are burning bras in the fast-changing world of the 1960s, but thirty-year old Laura wonders why her choice as a feminist couldn't be to have a baby without marriage. Laura not only has to justify her desire to her forward-thinking friends but to her fundamentally religious siblings as well. Yet, her most important mission is to find a man who will agree to impregnate her and then get out of the picture once the act is accomplished. Four narrators push along the events in Of Little Faith, set in 1960s Seabrook, Long Island, as three adult siblings converge in their recently deceased father's home. Laura is a 30-year-old newspaper columnist from New York. Her brother, Eric, is a compassionate minister trying to find his faith, and sister Beth is an angry and disapproving fundamentalist who is determined to hinder her siblings' desires in the name of her religion. They share the narration with Eric's wife, Jenny. Tragic secrets are revealed without resorting to high drama in this portrayal of two separate halves of counterculture and suburban banality. Readers will find Of Little Faith to be uplifting and heartfelt in the most surprising of ways.

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Testimonials for
Of Little Faith

Two sisters and a brother are bound to a dark past by their shared interest in the family home. Painful memories render them unable to come to an agreement that would open the door to the possibility of healing. Hoenig skillfully shifts between four narrators to tell this gripping story, avoiding excess sentimentality. A real page-turner I found hard to put down. 

Anna Jean Mayhew, author of The Dry Grass of August

The Author's Guide to Planning Book Events
The Author's Guide to Planning Book Events
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In The Author's Guide to Planning Book Events, award-winning author and accomplished book-event coordinator Carol Hoenig provides the know-how to show authors how to find and choose the perfect venue, plan an event for optimum results, and build on each success to reach more readers.  Hoenig has worked with hundreds of successful authors and book publicists and shares the best of her stories and theirs. She explains why nontraditional venue functions can be much more lucrative than traditional events at a local bookstore, and she provides step-by-step instructions for planning, organizing-and enjoying-publication and book-signing events. The result is a must-have resource for every author's bookshelf.

Testimonials for
The Author's Guide to Planning
Book Events

I love this book about planning book events. As an author of two books myself, I got a lot of great ideas about launching events both outside and in bookstores. In addition, the author gives detailed descriptions and templates that she used in her own book events. I can see why this book has won awards. All authors have to market their books and this book is a must to give authors fresh and new ideas for their PR for their own books.

Mary Greenwood, author of award-winning How to Mediate Like a Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes and How to Negotiate Like a Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes

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