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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

{Blog Tour} BITTER LIKE ORANGE PEEL by Jessica Bell -- with giveaway and review!

Bitter Like Orange Peel by Jessica Bell
Publication date: November 1st 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary


Six women. One man. Seven secrets. One could ruin them all.

Kit is a twenty-five-year-old archaeology undergrad, who doesn’t like to get her hands dirty. Life seems purposeless. But if she could track down her father, Roger, maybe her perspective would change.

The only problem—Roger is as rotten as the decomposing oranges in her back yard according to the women in her life: Ailish, her mother—an English literature professor who communicates in quotes and clich├ęs, and who still hasn’t learned how to express emotion on her face; Ivy, her half-sister—a depressed archaeologist, with a slight case of nymphomania who fled to America after a divorce to become a waitress; and Eleanor, Ivy’s mother—a pediatric surgeon who embellishes her feelings with medical jargon, and named her daughter after “Intravenous.”

Against all three women’s wishes, Kit decides to find Roger.
Enter a sister Kit never knew about.
But everyone else did.
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An entertaining book about six women, three daughters and three mothers, and the man they are all related to in someway. The daughters, never knowing the man, are now grown and wanting to know. The moms, who have not disclosed about the man whom they had loved so well but were left behind by in the end, kept silent about the man and why he was absent from their lives.

The lives of all six women become complex as the younger daughter, who later finds out that she is in fact the middle one, begins the quest to locate the man, their father. She discovers that she has a younger sister, news that elates her, confuses her, and yet she ultimately accepts happily to have another sister.  And that sister is just one of the secrets the mothers have kept. Of course, as mothers do, their mind set at keeping this secret and others is in the thought of keeping their children safe. But, as all secrets tend to do, it is found out in the end, some in more hurtful ways than others.

This is how the novel ascends: it jumps from one daughter to another and whereabouts they stand in their lives, their own relationships with their own men, and their love of them. And in the end, coming to terms with what they discover.

On the other hand, this quest of the daughters involve their mothers, too, and they must face their own demons of the past and the secrets they've kept. Only then are they able to move forward. They discover that for the past twenty five years, they've kept their torches burning for the man who abandoned them to raise their daughters alone. By far, the first two women are extremely intelligent and successful women who, in the heart and love and relationships, are complete failures. The third mother is totally incongruent to the first two.

This is a novel that grasps your attention and holds it tightly as you want to discover the secrets these women are keeping. It moves along swimmingly and keeps you engaged. The ending was a bit troublesome for me. It was very enigmatic and ambiguous, giving two person's perspectives, leaving the reader to determine what may have happened but not that actual occurrence. So, was it that particular misunderstanding that caused the rift? You can't be quite certain.  

If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she currently resides in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she’s written. Jessica is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and annually runs the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. For more information, please visit her website:


Grand prize giveaway
Prize (open internationally):
--The winner has a choice of 3 prizes:

Choice 1: Paperback copies of my novels: String Bridge (+ MP3 downloads of original soundtrack), The Book, and Bitter Like Orange Peel
Choice 2: Paperback copies of my Writing in a Nutshell Series (three pocket-sized writing craft books)
Choice 3: Paperback copies of my poetry books: Muted, Fabric and Twisted Velvet Chains.

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