Johnnie Come Lately

Johnnie Come Lately


Fiction - Womens
296 Pages
Reviewed on 05/05/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Kathleen M. Rodgers’ stories and essays have appeared in Family Circle Magazine, Military Times, and in anthologies published by McGraw-Hill, University of Nebraska Press/Potomac Books, Health Communications, Inc., AMG Publishers, and Press 53. In 2014, Rodgers was named a Distinguished Alumna from Tarrant County College/NE Campus. Three of her aviation poems from the book Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill) were featured in an exhibit at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, NY.

She is the author of the Amazon #1 Top Rated war fiction, The Final Salute, featured in USA Today, The Associated Press, and Military Times. In 2009, the novel won a Silver Medal from Military Writers Society of America, and in 2016, The Final Salute received an Honorable Mention for military fiction from Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.

Seven Wings to Glory is Rodgers’ third novel and releases from Camel Press April 2017. Her second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, has garnered several awards: 2015 Gold Medal for literary fiction from Military Writers Society of America, Bronze Medal for women's fiction from Readers' Favorite 2015 International Book Awards, Finalist for literary fiction in the 2016 Kindle Book Awards, First Place Winner for women's fiction from Texas Association of Authors 2016 Best Book Awards, & 2015 Best Cover Awards from Southern Writers Magazine. The novel has been featured in Family Magazine, Stars & Stripes, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Morning News, Southern Writers Magazine, and on "The Author's Corner" on Public Radio. The audio edition is narrated by Grammy® Award-winning vocalist and Broadway Actress Leslie Ellis.

She and her husband, Tom, a retired USAF fighter pilot/commercial airline pilot, reside in a suburb of North Texas with two big dogs, Denton and Jav. The mother of two grown sons, Thomas and J.P., she is currently working on her fourth novel.

Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

Johnnie Come Lately by Kathleen M. Rodgers unveils the world of Johnnie Kitchen. Johnnie comes from a family that is good at keeping secrets. Her mom has been missing for years, and she doesn't know why? Maybe the statue at Soldier’s Park knows the answer. Or, the bird that calls her name? Always vigilant, Johnnie looks for her mother in every stranger that crosses her path. Moreover, why is her dead uncle’s room a shrine? And why won’t her Grandpa let someone repair the dock? Questions with no answers. As a wife and a mother, Johnnie struggles with her own secrets. She is suffocating in her shame. Ultimately, she spews, dropping an A-bomb on her family. “All the lies, all the secrets, churned in her gut: growing, intensifying, climbing up her insides trying to escape.” Trying to move on, Johnnie finds herself living in two different dimensions: then and now.

Kathleen M. Rodgers writes a poignant story in Johnnie Come Lately. Powerful! Beautiful! Heartrending! Through the lives of her characters, Rodgers reveals the joys and burdens of motherhood, the trauma of war, and the ongoing battle of an eating disorder. She depicts the life of her protagonist with sincere realism. The supporting cast of characters brings out the worst and the best of the main character. There were several aspects of the novel I enjoyed. Namely, the symbolism of the statue, the bird, the dock and the painting. Using journal entries was an illuminating technique; they gave insight and flow to the plot. Lastly, the way Rodgers spoke directly to the heart of the reader. Warriors fight, they become battle weary, they lay down their lives for others. Some of the greatest warriors are mothers, they battle worry, fear and regret. They sacrifice all they are for their loved ones. Johnnie Come Lately portrays one woman’s will to overcome life’s tribulations through the power of love and the security of hope.