Monday, September 2, 2013

Book Tour for Votes for Vixens by Tara Chevrestt (Review)


I'm honored to introduce a new-to-me author today, Tara Chevrestt with her historical novella Votes for Vixens. Keep reading to get a glimpse of this story along with my impressions of it.  You can learn even more by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.

Elizabeth is a small-town Kansas girl who has grown up under her domineering father's shadow. When she finds out that her father has denied her hand in marriage to the town's most eligible bachelor--a man she's long secretly desired--she snaps. Her father punches her for the last time. She realizes she has no future and with stories of suffragettes, women's rights, and voting in her head, vows to be free.
She escapes to New York City where she meets Margaret. Margaret believes in the right to vote for women and engages Elizabeth to join in the National Women's Party activities.
Operation: Opera House is underway. In a month's time, President Wilson is due at the Metropolitan Opera House to give a speech. The NWP hopes that a peaceful protest will convince the president to gather congress in order to ratify the 19th Amendment.
As they prepare and plan, Margaret shows Elizabeth how to live and love. Under Margaret's sensual touch, Elizabeth begins to heal from numerous emotional wounds. But on March 4th, 1919, their "peaceful protest" becomes a riot on the streets of New York.
A riot ensues in Elizabeth's heart as well when her former flame shows up in the city…

EXCERPT:

"Let me show you how to do your makeup."
I sat obediently as she began to dab rouge on my cheeks and something else, something dark on my eyes. A cylinder tube was the last thing she grabbed. She messed with a little lever at the base of it, causing color to rise to the top. I had a hard time not smiling as she ran it over my lips. In a matter of minutes, I looked like a new person, but upon closer inspection, something seemed wrong. Margaret sat back and perused me thoughtfully while I blinked at myself in the mirror. "The lipstick is too dark, too harsh for me, don't you think? I don't have the coloring you do."
"You need to blot it." She reached for her cigarette holder and seemed to be looking for something as she began moving containers around. "Damn. I'm out of paper."
I sat there mutely, staring at myself, still in awe over my appearance. I was almost as pretty as Margaret. The rouge covered the last of my bruise, my lips appeared to be shaped like a heart though a bit dark, and my eyes were doubly enhanced by whatever she'd put on them. I looked almost like those flapper girls, and I didn't think that was a bad thing. Pa's teachings were going by the wayside, right quick.
Finished with all her fumbling and searching, Margaret took a drag of her joint and set it down. Then she did the most shocking and wonderful thing. Until then, I hadn't been aware of it, butthere'd been a wall between us, a wall of discomfort despite the fact we were living like sisters, aware of each other's every breath, sigh, frown, grunt of displeasure. We knew each other's likes, dislikes, what kind of fellas the other favored—in my case, none, and what kind of bloomers each preferred—her lace, me plain.
She banished that barrier when she grasped my face in her cool hands and leaned forward and slowly placed her lips on mine. Her lips were luscious, full, and engulfed my own. My mouth slightly parted, almost of its own accord, and my eyes closed. I felt an intense heat in that brief moment, and it wasn't from the smoke leaving her mouth and entering my own, some of it rising between our faces. I know because it took over my entire body, from my heated face to my tingling toes, not bypassing my private place, either.
I didn't want her lips to leave mine, but all too soon, they puckered in a kiss and departed, leaving cold air and a smoky taste in their wake. It took me a moment to open my eyes as I had to get my bearings, and think. My thoughts were going everywhere at once. I wanted her lips on mine again, but wasn't that wrong? I wanted to feel more than her lips against mine, but wasn't that a sin? Did these thoughts make me the vixen my pa had always accused me of being? Was I spurning God by thinking this way? Oh, I wanted to try it again. Had I disappointed her? Was I a horrid kisser? She hadn't given me much time to react.

BUY LINKS:   AMAZON   |   BN   |   Kobo

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

It's the start of the Roaring 20's and the sins of the father have pushed Lizzie to the brink.  After years of physical and mental abuse heaped on her by her preacher father, and with no end in sight after he denies her hand in marriage to the one boy she thinks could save her, Lizzie runs towards the freedom of the big city.  The beginning of her journey is heartbreaking though as she again learns that looks can be deceiving.  Her naiveté will get her killed if she doesn't smarten up soon and these early scenes left me frustrated by her.  Arriving in New York City bruised with torn clothes and stockings she vows to put that naive farm girl behind her and is now Elizabeth, the strong young woman who will fight for women's rights after being denied them her whole life.  Showing her the way, and taking her under her wing, is the exotic and self-assured Margaret who offers her a job and a place to stay.  Margaret's had a painful past as well which has soured her on love.  She's a bit hardened but appealing nonetheless and exactly what Elizabeth needs to heal.  Margaret soon becomes Elizabeth's rock and the woman who helps her gain confidence and banishes past hurts.

Their romantic relationship evolves slowly but steadily and it's clearly of a more worldly woman and the naive neophyte looking for comfort.  Elizabeth is too mired in religious guilt to allow their time together to become permanent but for the short term it makes her a stronger person more willing to speak up for herself.  She still carries around visions of a handsome young man with wheat-colored hair from long ago who shows up unexpectedly and helps her and the cause get the real truth out after a peaceful protest turns ugly.  That terrifying night becomes a catalyst for which Elizabeth declares she'll no longer be a victim, she'll physically stand up to any man who tries to hurt her again.  This part of the story is vividly depicted and shows men at their worst and brings to life real-life historical events in a heart-poundingly dramatic way that's still ultimately uplifting.

The ending of the story is a bit rushed and ends a bit differently than how you'd expect early on, but that doesn't make it any less rewarding.  Ms. Chevrestt has created a unique and powerfully written story with memorable characters set in a time period not often seen.  She seamlessly tied together real-life with fiction in an entertaining yet thought-provoking way that kept me fully immersed in the story.  With such a rewarding story I look forward to reading more of her works in the future.

My rating for this is an B+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.
Her theme is Strong is Sexy. She shares a website with her naughty pen name: http://tarachevrestt.weebly.com/index.html and they have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tara-Chevrestt-Sonia-Hightower/218383211513877

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the insightful review!

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    1. Thank YOU Tara for stopping by and I look forward to what you have coming up next!

      The Scarf Princess

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