Friday, May 27, 2016

VBT: Take Me to the Willow by Shelly Brimley

Take Me to the Willow
by Shelly Brimley


GENRE: Historical Fiction

BLURB:In defending his life-long friendship with Charlie, Will may have inadvertently had a hand in the growing chaos that leads to the horrifying night when his familiar world is shattered.

When Will Wright, the eighteen year old son of a small-town Arkansas sheep herder in 1905, begins reading his mother’s journal, he is inspired by its startling content to start putting his own experiences to paper for posterity. An unsophisticated but principled young man, Will is becoming increasingly aware of the hatred that exists in the world. When he begins his own journal, Will can’t know what events are to take place in the next five years – from his mother’s battle with a life threatening illness, to his embarrassments of learning how to be in love for the first time, to witnessing Charlie’s fate at the hands of the bigoted townspeople. While part of him wishes the pain in those pages didn’t exist, he knows that the original purpose for keeping the journal has been realized - to show his kin how he became the man he is. He will probably never go back through and read again the pages he’s written, but someday, someone will, and they will see that along with the hurt, Will’s life had been one that knew true joy, absolute love, and undying friendship.


Excerpt One:

I’ve only been in this cell for three days, but it feels like a might lot longer than that. I know what I did wasn’t considered proper by most folks down here in the South, but I don’t regret doin’ it. And I’d do it again, if I had the chance. Charlie never did anything wrong. He’s just colored. Not much he can do about that, and even if he could, I suppose he wouldn’t want to anyhow. I didn’t feel it right that Charlie be ignored when all he came to do was buy feed and tools like the rest of us. So when Eli Carver said he don’t take no “colored” money, I thought it best to point out that he must be blind as a bat since Charlie’s dollar and my dollar are both the same shade of green. And when I held the two right in front of Mr. Carver’s face and politely asked him to show me the difference, he later told Sheriff Coleman I was threatenin’ and causin’ a disturbance. When I heard that, it just made my blood boil, and I decided Eli Carver needed to be taught a lesson. I went back to that store, although Charlie tried to get me to leave it be, but the next thing I knew, I was holdin’ Eli a foot off the ground against the door to his very own supply store. If Sheriff Coleman hadn’t been right there, I might have been able to argue my side, but there’s no point arguin’ against proof and common sense. Besides that, Sherriff Coleman is known for his feelin’s about colored people, so I knew I was beat before I started. I suppose I just didn’t care.  


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Shelly Brimley was born in Flagstaff, AZ, where she lived most of her life until moving to Mexico to study abroad. After graduation, Shelly did some volunteer work in Africa and completed her graduate degree while working in an adolescent drug treatment center. After acquiring her Master’s degree, she worked as a counselor at a residential shelter for children who had been smuggled and trafficked into the USA from different countries around the world. She also taught English to adult refugees before resigning to raise her children. Shelly wanted to use her experience working with others as a source of inspiration in her writing, offering a voice for those who are not typically heard or considered.

Website link –

Author Facebook-


Amazon – On sale for only $0.99 until May 22

Interview with Shelly Brimley

Do you have any tattoos?  Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?
  • No tattoos.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
  • For the past six years, my life has been a whirlwind of raising a young family. Two years ago I was contemplating the idea of having another baby, raising my two little girls, and working on another revision of Take Me to the Willow. Things are too different today. I’ve had a baby boy since then and have published my book. Now I’m working on the sequel and trying to keep up with the needs of my family.

How long have you been writing?
  • I’ve written little things here and there, but I got really serious about writing five years ago.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
  • I would strongly encourage them to dive in! I would suggest getting into a really great writer’s critique group right away, attend regularly, and develop a thick skin. I would talk to them about the realities of being a writer… that it’s very difficult to be criticized, it’s difficult to get picked up, it’s difficult to self-publish. But if you are passionate about writing, then you write! Take classes, read and learn how to improve, go to seminars and conferences.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
  • There were a couple of personal experiences in my own life that shaped the final scene of the book. I had written the scene prior to these things happening, then went back and rewrote it. Now every time I read that scene it makes me cry.


One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.


  1. I enjoyed reading the excerpt. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read. Looking forward to checking out this book.

    1. Thanks again, Ally! I'd love to hear back from you after you've read it!

  2. Good morning, and thank you for hosting today! I'm looking forward to interacting with your followers.

  3. I'm glad things worked out!


  4. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Victoria! Thanks for reading.

  5. Great and interesting excerpt.

  6. I appreciate you hosting me today! Signing out... goodnight!

  7. Hope you are having a fabulous weekend! Looking forward to reading this book!

  8. I have added this book to my TBR list and look forward to reading this book!