Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Reconstructing Jackson by Holly Bush

Jackson Reed is a broken man after the Civil War. Returning home in a wheelchair, his father hands his birthright,including his fiancee, off to his younger brother. Needing clarity in his life, he travels West to Fenton Missouri, to live with his cousin who owns a hotel. There life is different. Former slaves are now free and help his cousin and wife run their hotel. Jackson's upbringing contrast with the freedom of the hotel. Jackson's melancholy is interrupted when Belle, a poor dirt farmer's daughter, is caught learning to read from Beulah, a former slave. Belle is beaten almost to death by her family and crawls to Beulah at the hotel. Jackson know he must protect her, and does the only thing he knows how to do.

Reconstructing Jackson is a book that focuses on a hard time in US history. Racial and class biases dominate this book. Jackson drastically changes through out the course of the book and Belle becomes even more feisty. This book had some unexpected twists and turns. It also had violence and racial biases and slurs, so be forewarned. The character redemption make this book well worth your time.

Reconstructing Jackson
Publication Date: September 25, 2012 | BookBaby | 191p

1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.

Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them.

Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle's courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.

Romancing Olive

Publication Date: November 1, 2011 | BookBaby | 205p

In 1891, spinster librarian, Olive Wilkins, is shocked to learn of her brother’s violent death at a saloon gaming table and her sister-in-law’s subsequent murder, traveling far from her staid life to rescue her niece and nephew, now orphans. She arrives to find the circumstances of her brother’s life deplorable and her long held beliefs of family and tradition, shaken.

Accustomed to the sophistication of Philadelphia, Olive arrives in Spencer, Ohio, a rough and tumble world she is not familiar with, facing two traumatized children. Her niece and nephew, Mary and John, have been living with a neighboring farmer, widower Jacob Butler, the father of three young children of his own and a man still in pain from the recent loss of his wife.

Real danger threatens Olive and Mary and John while Jacob and his own brood battle the day-to-day struggles for survival. Will Olive and Jacob find the strength to fight their battles alone or together? Will love conquer the bitterness of loss and broken dreams?
About the Author

Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out.  Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.

Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.

Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.

Link to Tour Schedule:
Twitter Hashtag: #HollyBushVirtualTour

I reviewed this book as part of the HFVBT for Holly Bush. Thank you to Amy!!



  1. I think I nearly bought this the other day (unless it was something else)....
    But sounds really good.

  2. Ha. Carole! You crack me up! But I know, books run together!