Return to Sender

Fiction - General
390 Pages
Reviewed on 08/12/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Author Mindy Halleck is an award-winning author and writing instructor. She grew up the daughter of a celebrated beauty queen/songstress and a retired soldier in Portland Oregon. Her career began early when at nine years old she stood behind the counter of the family business (shoe repair) on a whisky crate and was dubbed ‘queen of the cash register’. It was there, surrounded by vibrant emigrants where she developed an ear for good stories. It was no wonder Mindy later developed a career in finance, good taste in shoes and a love for storytelling.

Portland was home except in the summers, when the cozy inlet of Manzanita Oregon was her family’s escape and her father’s hideaway from city life. Mindy’s father was one of the hopeful gold diggers who honeycombed unsuccessfully through Neahkahnie Mountain in search of the elusive pirate’s treasure rumored to be buried deep in the mountain. These settings are prominent features in Mindy’s writing.

Mindy is the winner of a 2015 Writer's Digest fiction contest, and an Edmonds Arts association, EPIC fiction writing contest. Writer’s Digest Magazine published one of Mindy’s first stories, Mr. Ed, in 2001, and in 2007 she received Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Mainstream Literary Short Story Contest for an excerpt from Return to Sender. Mindy has written three novels, and one nonfiction book, Romance & Money – 12 Conversations Every Couple Should Have. In addition, hundreds of her articles have appeared in local and national publications, including her financial advice column, titled Romance & Money, and numerous travel essays.

Mindy has written her blog Literary Liaisons for seven years and is dedicated to the Pacific Northwest writing communities as a member of Willamette Writers in Oregon and Pacific Northwest Writers in Seattle. She is happiest traveling Europe with her husband Joe; their most recent travel was a Rick Steves 21-Day Tour of six countries, which she highly recommends.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite

Wow! When you pick up Mindy S. Halleck’s debut novel, Return to Sender, be sure you have enough time to devote to it, because you won’t want to put it down! A gorgeous read featuring our protagonist, Theo Riley, a Catholic priest wrestling with demons from his past as his life spirals to a very dark place. Drinking too much, dealing with his guilt over the outcomes of the Korean orphans he encountered during the war, haunted by the legacy of a dark family secret, and grieving the loss of his true love, Andréa, he struggles with his duties as a prison minister. When a sweet little girl arrives on his doorstep, love returns to his life, and a serial killer madman arrives, putting all he loves at risk. Theo must make decisions that could lead to his redemption or to his ultimate demise.

Return to Sender was what I would truly bill as an epic read. Touching on issues of wartime trauma, PTSD, spirituality and religion, and grief and redemption, this wonderful book has something for everyone. It’s hard to believe that it was written by a new novelist as its breadth and scope are so wide and vast. Mindy S. Halleck’s writing style is emotionally driven, complex and intriguing. Return to Sender would appeal to any reader who enjoys an exciting, emotion-filled tale. Her book will keep you on the edge of your seat, rooting for our hero, Theo, and hopeful for the best for all the characters that you come to love. I will be eagerly waiting for the next work from this promising author.