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Thursday, September 26, 2013



TheBoxcarBaby-Cover1200X800Born in a boxcar on a train bound for Georgia. At least that is what Papa Steel always told AB'Gale. But now, fifteen years later, the man who adopted and raised her as his own is missing and it's up to AB'Gale to find him. Aided only by a motley gang of friends, AB'Gale train hops her way across the United States in a desperate attempt to find her papa and put her life and family back the way it was. Her only guide is a map given to her by a mysterious hobo, with hand written clues she found hidden in her papa's spyglass. Here is the Great American Adventure in an alternate steampunk dystopian world, where fifteen-year-old AB'Gale Steel learns that nothing is as it seems, but instead is shrouded in secrets and mysteries ... and that monsters come in all shapes and forms.

The Boxcar Baby is the first book of the Steel Roots series.'

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JLMulvihill-PhotoAbout J.L. Mulvihill: Born in Hollywood and raised in San Diego, CA, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past fifteen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaing fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of steampunk, published through Kerlak Publishing. The Boxcar Baby, the first novel of her Steel Roots Series, was released by Seventh Star Press in the summer of 2013.

J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, among them "Chilled Meat", a steampunk thriller found in the Dreams of Steam II-Of Bolts and Brass, anthology (Kerlak Publishing) and "The Leprechaun’s Story", a steampunk urban Fantasy found in the anthology, Clockwork, Spells, & Magical Bells (Kerlak Publishing)

J.L. is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Arts Council of Clinton, and the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group.

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A_TiffyFit's Review: I received my e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review for a book tour. 

AB'gale, a 16 year old girl, is the Boxcar Baby. She is called that because she was found as a baby in one of the boxcars of a freight train by her Papa. He named her AB'gale because the boxcar was labeled as such. She's commonly called "Abby" or "Abbygale" by others who do not know her. 

One day, Abby's world goes to hell as her Papa has gone missing, not returning from his last job run over five weeks ago. With her grandmama's blessing, she sets off to the big city in search of her Papa. Upon her arrival at the train station, all she received were lies: that they had never heard of such a man nor did he ever work for the train station. However, Abby had noticed her father's yellow steam wagon parked on the lot. These lying men, the station master and his cronies, soon make it disappear after seeing Abby notice it. Unrelated to her search for her Papa, Abby inadvertently helps catch a murderer and his mother. 

Events occur one after another upon her return to the farm. The men of the "System" takes away grandmama and captures Abby. She's then placed in the "working house" where the poor are placed - locked up and forced to labor endless hours in sweatshop factories. Abby's faced with numerous humiliations and abuses at this place, headed by Mrs Marc, a heartless monster of a woman who totally lacks empathy toward any of the girls. Even the girls as young as four are under the abuse and miscare of these horrid human beings called women! 

But, not for long. Not for the high-spirited Boxcar Baby who has been educated by her papa and grandmama. Abby recalls all the lessons she learned and uses them to assist her escape along with her new friends whom she calls her new family. They bonded at this institution and helped one another survive against Mrs Marc and her two vile assistants. 

Along their adventurous escape, the girls meet up with two of the men who lend their hands in assisting Abby in finding her papa. The girls meet others helpers along their route, too, and Abby is constantly reminded not to trust anyone, soon learning why she cannot. However, she and the girls also meet a few who she can rely on and do!

Abby discovers on the road to the find Papa just what kind of man her papa truly is or was. Although she already knew how loving, kind, and caring he was, she learns that there are many number of people out there in the world who believe the same of him as she does. Her papa has helped many of the poor and homeless people in whatever ways he could. He allowed the hobos to ride the train when other conductors/engineers would not. This and other kind acts built a great number of people to believe in him, to revere him, speaking of him with greatest respect. His reputation as a good man is widespread. Abby was proud of her papa and hoped to be just like him. And she shows that she is on that same path while she adventures to look for him.

Abby encounters a few other havocs and mishaps while searching along with some fairytale-like mysteries. Instead of becoming disheartened as others might, she becomes more resolved and determined to find her papa and solve the mysteries associated with his disappearance. Why is the law looking for him? Why was her family thrown off the farm? What were these bad men looking for at the farm? And much more. 

Meanwhile, Joey, her long time friend, is furious at his horrid mother for turning in AB'gale whom he's "always loved." They've been the very best of friends forever. Although Abby doesn't know about his love for her, she cares deeply for him - her emotions aren't defined and labeled as Joey has known, always. But, of course, it's alluded to that she does! ;) 

So! The adventures are to be continued at the end of this book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Some of the language used is old-fashioned, some is more modern. The girls' innocence and ignorance of some subject matters such as sex is refreshing, although that lends to the ambiguity of the time frame. 

Overall, I would describe this book as thoroughly engrossing and a good read. I'm looking forward to the sequel. I must see this to the end to see if Abby succeeds in finding her papa and what exactly it was that he was involved in that would cause people to seek him out or capture him or make him run. And I need to know what happened to grandmama! And I need to know how the Boxcar Baby is gonna shine; it's obvious that she is special and I want to know why and how the magic plays a part.  Argh on waiting ;) 

Please visit the other hosts on this tour for interviews, author Top Tens, etc!

Tour Schedule and Activities:

9/23 Come Selahway With Me Contest

9/23 Fantastical Adventures Through the Paper Realm Review

9/23 The Flipside of Julianne Top Ten List

9/24 Jess Resides Here Guest Post

9/24 Beagle Book Space Promo Spotlight

9/25 Sheila Deeth Guest Post

9/25 Spellbindings Promo Spotlight

9/25 Lost Inside the Covers Review

9/26 A TiffyFit’s Reading Corner Review

9/26 Azure Dwarf Promo Spotlight

9/26 Rachel Tsoumbakos Character Interview & Review

9/26 A Daydreamer’s Thought Author Interview

9/27 Armand Rosamilia, Author Guest Post

9/27 Kayla’s Reads and Reviews Promo Spotlight

9/28 WTF Are You Reading? Review

9/28 Bee’s Knees Reviews Guest Post

9/28 Word to Dreams Promo Spotlight

9/29 The Cabin Goddess Interview

9/29 Illuminite Calginosus Promo Spotlight

9/29 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews Character Interview

9/29 JeanzBookReadNReview Guest Post

9/29 Book and Movie Dimension Review

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