Gardenia Garden Club Hosts Author

group photo of club members

Rare Evening Event for Club

Many thanks to Hostess Lisa Pearce and the Gardenia Garden Club of Winter Haven, Florida for inviting me to talk about my books and my writing process. The club held a rare evening meeting for this event!

I was an active member of the club for twelve years and took a hiatus to fulfill my dream of publishing novels. My Gardenia Garden Club sisters have cheered me on throughout this journey.

Author Joni M Fisher earns an achievement coin
Author Joni M Fisher conducting research

Research is the fun part of writing a novel. I have enjoyed learning about weapons, boats, aircraft, police procedures, fraud, self-defense, and more. The ladies asked questions about the process of writing a novel and about the upcoming book in the series.

As I complete the fourth and final book in the Compass Crimes series, the characters have become part of my life. Friends and colleagues have helped me tremendously through encouraging words, slogging through rough drafts, and introducing me to experts in various fields, vocations, and hobbies.

I’ve documented highlights of my research in this blog: Love of Research

Thank you, Gardenia sisters!

author presenting her work

Goodbye, Miss Emily by Martha Sibley George

book cover shows young girl watching car leave

Goodbye, Miss Emily
by Martha Sibley George

After Morgan Bigley’s wife Emily dies leaving him with two daughters in the 1940s, the society ladies swoop in like vultures. This is the old South of traditions and manners, so Mr. Bigley brings a widow into the house to guide his daughters in matters of how to behave, but when the widow’s lessons include prejudices resistance ensues. Told with deep love and appreciation for Southern life, this story brings the grandeur and the divisions of the south to life through the eyes of Morgan Bigley and his youngest daughter Agnes. Just as the nation comes of age in the face of World War II prejudices and hatreds, so the family struggles to let go of wife and mother Emily to embrace their future and their maturing views on life and love. Change comes hard to the family. Agnes was my favorite character. She comes of age during this tragedy in her life. The sisterly squabbles between older sister Josy and Agnes rang true.
The narrative voice of the story rings of authenticity and grace through the deft prose of author Martha Sibley George. This story generated unanimous approval and good discussions in my book club!

Read an excerpt on Amazon.

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Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Orphan TrainOrphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book humanizes a lesser-known part of American history in how orphans were shipped by train from New York City to the Midwest in hopes of providing them a better life. What happens often falls short of the lofty, good intentions of the orphan train planners. After reading this story, thoughts will linger about how we measure the value of what is lost and what is kept through our lives. See life through the perspective of a rebellious 17-year-old orphan and the ninety-year-old woman with an attic of belongings to catalogue and sort through. The women discover common ground and unexpected friendship.

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The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

The Kitchen HouseThe Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With a large cast, the story spanned so many years, I had a little trouble keeping track of the convoluted relationships between the slaves and their owners. Told between alternating points of view helped anchor the story and bring it depth. Lies, misunderstandings and cruelty abounded. The parts of the story that held the most weight for me were the fierce loyalties and the longing for family between the characters who all experience loss.

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