Raggedy Ann Heart

Young Adult - General
385 Pages
Reviewed on 04/19/2010
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Author Biography

I was spit out amongst the West Texas sandstorms in 1962. I remember sitting on my daddy's lap every night as he watched the news and cracking his large knuckles one by one as images of the Vietnam War raged on... and on. This made me question the longevity of our world, so I was very glad to ease my tension with my humorous friends on "Bewitched," "The Brady Bunch," and "Laverne & Shirley." Movie musicals also helped me to survive the craziness that raged within me. "The Sound of Music" and "Grease" were temporary distractions from the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder that, at times, threatened to drown me in a vortex of emotion. When I wasn't going to school or watching syndicated sitcoms, I was forced to help on our ranch and farm. In the summer, my sister and I hoed cotton ("You were a Hoer," a date once said to me) and in the fall, we tromped that same cotton. I hated such work then; I am glad for it today. In fact, there is much I miss about my West Texas roots -- the people (their quirks and hilarity), the simple pleasures (the spectacle of a Texas thunderstorm or "thunder boomer" as my Mom would say), and, of course, the food ("real" Chicken Fried Steak, anyone? Melt-in-your-mouth-delicious). For these reasons, and more, I wrote "Raggedy Ann Heart." If you are (or ever were) a Texan or, hell, if you ever went through puberty, I hope you will give "Raggedy Ann Heart" a read.

"Fire in the Hole: A Year in the Life of the World's Sorriest Stuntwoman" is the new memoir by Heather McPhaul. Written under the pseudonym Colleen Kelli, it is the comically dramatic story of a thirty-something actress facing serious changes in her life while training to become a stuntwoman at a quirky western theme park. Over the course of a year, she divorces her lesbian partner of eight years and loses her sister to suicide. A move from the frenzied urban sprawl of Los Angeles to the tranquil desert of Albuquerque does not improve her spirits, but it does allow her to continue her acting career...at the small-time theme park. Oddly, the misfits she works with at the theme park and even a few of the regular customers become somewhat of a dysfunctional, yet much-needed, family. While learning to fall from a two-story roof and harmlessly kick a man in the groin, she struggles to survive the rockiest and most emotional year of her life.

For more information on me and my acting career, please visit my website at www.heathermcphaul.com and my blog at aginggal.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lynette Fowlston for Readers' Favorite

This is the story of two sisters, Lindy Logan and her sister Jo. Lindy did not want a baby sister, just her doll and her mama. Her mother promised she would love her just as much as the new baby, but it was quite evident who her mother loved best. Jo was everything Lindy was not, beautiful, perfect and she looked like her mother. Jo wanted nothing more than to be a model, like her mother, Lindy wanted nothing more than her mother’s love. When they moved to the farm their world changed. The television and old movies became their link to the world their mother loved. When their mother gets sick will she learn the value of showing equal love between the two girls?

This is an excellent story of two girls, who, although they both prefer different ways to live their life, they have one thing in common. They want and need their mother's love. It was easy to fall right into the midst of this story and become involved with the characters. The plot has a powerful message, one many will relate to. This book will keep the reader entertained from the beginning to the end, whether you are a young adult or a grandmother.