Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Guest House by Barbara K. Richardson - Giveaway

The Guest House
By Barbara K. Richardson

About the Author: 

I chose landscape design as a profession because it balances the slow, sedentary nature of novel writing. Designs quickly become real, clients are happy, and I’ve hiked several miles per day placing plants and looking up at beautiful trees. I’ve worked as a landscape designer for thirteen years. It is very important to build success into your life while attempting to write and publish novels.
Prior to that, I taught for ten years. Great, exhausting work. I read aloud to students every day, entering the magic zone where each of us is at our best and the quest for meaning is rewarded.
After college, I had my own sailboat refinishing business in the Bay Area for seven years. I helped sail a 44’ boat from Kauai to San Francisco, a far more boring process than ever imagined. The horizon closes down and it’s you, your boat mates, your ship, eighteen days/nights, and once in a long while a glass float or really tired bird.
I managed an independent bookstore while in college, Waking Owl Book Company—a beloved Salt Lake City institution that closed its doors after 22 years. It housed the first Tibetan buddhist meditation center in SLC in the late ‘70s, the Dharma Bums.
From 1990-1992, I earned an MFA in creative writing, studying with John Keeble, Ursula Hegi and Nance Van Winckel. I published two essays on Philip Larkin, both based on primary research done in the Reading Room of the British Museum (sacred ground) and at the University of Hull, using Larkin’s first manuscript notebook and corresponding letters. I loved seeing his birth as a poet.
Renovating houses has been a pastime and a necessity. Once the dust settles, the house is home. I have loved tango, tai chi, identifying wildflowers, cooking for friends, gardening and canning the harvest. I believe most people would do better with less.
Give me an old three-speed bike and an afternoon off. I call that happy. ~From Barbara K. Richardson's website~

About The Book:
Let love change you.
     Driving home from work on a summer afternoon, Melba Burns witnesses a nightmare collision. The wreck ends her pursuit of success at any cost—Melba parks her car, quits her job and stops driving. She retreats into her beloved old farmhouse, yearning for a simpler peace. 
     But peace and Melba’s new roommate, JoLee Garry, have never met. A shallow, self-absorbed stunner, JoLee magnetizes messes and trouble. She brings boyfriends, booze and a tag-along son with her—a series of unexpected guests who transform Melba’s solo life into something different, daring and richer.

     This fast-paced, contemporary novel moves between Portland, Oregon and Atomic City, Idaho, the absolute center of nowhere. GUEST HOUSE explores the grace that comes from daring to intervene in a stranger’s suffering. It will appeal to those who have forgotten the power that comes from living simply, and to anyone in their middle years whose life has been hijacked by love.
     “This being human is a guest house,” Rumi says, “Every morning a new arrival…” Arrivals come and go in Melba Burn’s life: JoLee Gary who can’t shake her addictions, her husband Gene Garry, who won’t give up on
love, and Matt Garry, their unwanted son who will stop at nothing until he has found his own way home.

My Thoughts: WOW! I'm so tense after reading the Guest House that I'll need at least a day before I read it again. LOL  It's pacing shifts from snail level to speeding bullet, it's dialogue from cozy to I don't believe my ears! Author Barbara K. Richardson has crafted an array of characters like none other, well, there may be a few in your home, poor you! Just kidding, you'll love them all, even if some of them make you want to smack them once in a while. Love, conflict, and resolution partner up for a very satisfying read.

Caroline has made two copies available for giveaway 
  • You must be 18 or older to win
  • You must leave a comment tellingme what you found appealing about the books introduction above. And don't forget to leave your email address
  • Giveaway ends 10/30/2010
An additional note: Caroline also has a giveaway running on GoodReads that expires on 10/20/2010.


  1. First, I love the thought about having some success going in one's life before attempting to write a novel. Hopefully, that keeps food on the table while providing the self confidence required to tell a story no matter how many drafts and false starts it takes to get it said.

    Looking at synopsis here, I am tempted by the novel because I think a lot of us go somewhere or otherwise arrange our schedule for the peace and tranquility required to put our lives back together after a tragedy only to have needy people showing up asking for more than we think we can give.

    Best of luck with the book.


  2. This sounds like an interesting book. I am anxious to learn how Melba deals with all of the "interruptions" in the peaceful and simple life she wanted. Ans also how JoLee deals with a slower pace of life than she is apparently used to. (Obviously she brings alot of rowdiness with her). Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  3. Your comments make me interested in reading this book. I love books with real 'characters' that could be like someone I already know! Just found your website and I have become a follower and look forward to other book reviews.

  4. I was very interested in the concept of getting back to a simple way of life. I would love to be able to "retire" to a small farmhouse in the country where I could read, quilt and garden but the thing that really grabbed me was the setting of Atomic City-I actually know where that is, have been there, and live about 50 miles from it. Now I have to read the book!

    I forgot to leave my e-mail address (sorry):