Let’s Hear it for Strong Women!

My grandma back in her heyday. She’s the mischievous one on the right hiking up her skirt.

If you’re not already a regular follower of Sylvia Dickey Smith’s blog, Writing Strong Women, you’re in for a treat! Visiting her website is like sipping a cup of coffee with a good friend, the kind of friend you turn to for sage advice and encouragement. Sylvia’s blog gives me the kick in the pants I need harness my inner girl-power and face adversity head on! Can I get a Ya Ya!

I couldn’t think of a better place to post a tribute to the strongest woman I’ve ever known, my grandma. As you can see in this picture, she was a real firecracker! I’d like to think we share the same qualities, especially her smile and ability to love unconditionally. For more about this incredibly important woman in my life, stop on over at Writing Strong Women to read my guest post!

Who’s your favorite strong female character (in fiction or real life)?

Listen Up! Ellen Byerumm on Writing Strong Women Blog Talk Radio

Any mystery-loving fashionista worth her salt should know Ellen Byerrum’s Crimes of Fashion mysteries are just as exciting as a Kate Spade sample sale! Her crime-solving protagonist, Lacey Smithsonian, always finds herself entangled in a murder mystery while chasing down leads for stories about toe cleavage and the return of legwarmers. Even though she abhors pink (my signature color!), this girl has a knack for fashion and never hesitates to chase down murderous fiends – even in four-inch Jimmy Choos!

Want to know more about this fabulous vintage couture-clad protagonist? Well tune in to Sylvia Dickey Smith’s Writing Strong Women Blog Talk Radio Show this Monday at 1 p.m.  Who’s your favorite strong female character?

Listen Up! Joni B. Cole on Writing Strong Women Blog Talk Radio

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Joni Cole , author of Another Bad Dog Book: Tales of Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior, will Imagediscuss her book and her approach to writing strong women today at 1 p.m. on Sylvia Dickey Smith’s Writing Strong Women Blog Talk Radio Show!

From Sylvia’s blog: She also taught writing for years, and has a book out for writers (Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive). About writing strong women, Joni says:

“I write strong women because they’re the most interesting! But of course even the strongest women have quirks, flaws, insecurities, and neuroses. Those are the things that often test their strength, sometimes as much as external challenges. In my book of personal essays “Another Bad Dog Book: Tales of Life, Love, and Neurotic Human Behavior” I write about times when I find myself in funny but also heartfelt situations–dealing with issues related to my aging parents, losing a best friend to suicide,  feeling insecure as a writer or parent. But in each essay, I don’t just outline the struggles inherent in these difficult situations, but also the opportunities for insight and triumph and even humor.

For more about this fabulous radio show, visit this website. Read my review for Joni’s memoir, “Another Bad Dog Book” here.

“A War of Her Own” by Sylvia Dickey Smith

  Austin author Sylvia Dickey Smith is a woman after my own heart. She writes about strong-willed women who solve mysteries, face danger head-on and take the bull by the horns when the going gets tough. And Bea Meade, a Texas version of Rosie the Riveter, does all this and more in A War of Her Own.

In the summer of 1943, life was good for the people of Orange, Texas. With plenty of jobs to go around, thousands of people flocked to the wooded patch of southeast Texas to work in the wartime shipyards. With extra cash in their pockets and steady jobs, the town’s residents were finally getting a taste of the American dream. But in the midst of the excitement, Bea Meade’s world shatters to pieces after her no-good husband leaves her and their newborn baby to shack up with his pregnant mistress.

With no other choice but to take on a “man’s job” at the shipyard, Bea doubts she has what it takes –mentally or physically – to make it on her own. But with some help from her next-door neighbors and her feisty big sister, she puts on her big-girl pants and takes on a rigorous night job. In defiance of the constant catcalls and insults from her fellow workers, Bea works her way up in the ranks and lands a coveted position as a riveter. Discovering skills she never knew she had, she realizes she could be so much more than a homemaker.

As the young mother begins to embrace her newfound independence, she no longer feels a need for a man in her life. That is until she meets Oskar Eichel, a mysterious blond stranger  who came to Orange in search of his missing brother. Unable to resist the inexplicable pull he has on her, Bea discovers a fire in her belly she never knew existed.

But for everything that’s changed, some things remain the same. Even with her toxic  husband out of her life, she still cries herself to sleep at night. What is it about the dark and solitude that drives her unstoppable tears? Why does she still feel so alone?

Desperate for answers, Bea probes into her past and uncovers a tangled web of family secrets. And as she puts the pieces together, she must figure out who she is, who she wants to be and how the old Bea evolved in the first place.

In this richly textured novel, Sylvia combines romance, family drama and a splash of mystery. In Bea Meade, she has created a deeply wonderful character, brave and true. Sylvia Dickey Smith just keeps getting better and better!

Want to know more about this talented author? Check out her website for more about her books and her super-cool radio show Writing Strong Women. For more about her Sidra Smart mystery series, check out my review here.