Summer is right around the corner and I know you’re all stocking up on yummy books to read outside in the sunshine. While I love cozying up with books in the colder months, I have to say reading outside this time of the year with the sun warming my skin trumps shivering my ass off any day.
It’s rare that I talk about my books around here, because I try to keep my blog more about life inspiration than a place for marketing my books.
Today I have to share a lovely review for Nola Fran Evie—along with a little plug for anyone looking for a summer read set in 1950s Chicago, with strong women and bit of baseball. For those new to my novel writing (and perhaps a wee bit skeptical), I included an excerpt down below for you to check out.
Reviews in the indie author world are so golden, and I am very grateful any time a reader takes a moment to leave kind words and shiny stars on Amazon or Goodreads.
Big thanks to my girl, Arianna, for being a doll and leaving this glowing review on Amazon.
From the minute you start reading about Jacks and her discovery inside an old vintage handbag, you are transported back in time – to a time when women weren’t allowed to have opinions or dreams.
Enter Nola, Fran and Evie. Three women who, despite their circumstances and the era in which they live, are determined to be better and are willing to fight for it – no matter the cost.
But, do these women truly exist; or are they all a part of Jacks’ wonderful imagination? And what impact will they have in Jacks’ life?
Nola Fran Evie may just be Britt Skrabanek’s best work yet!
Once upon a time, sitting beside Harvey in one of his fancy cars made Evie feel like a queen. Now she felt like the jester, a laughable character forever stuck in a flashy costume, attempting to please yet never able to do so.
Her eyes wandered to the small space between them on the shared leather bench. Now she wished they had one of those European cars that came with separate seats. Evie hated sitting so close to her husband. To think she had once sat tucked inside his draping arm. Even then she instigated the affection, wiggling closer and placing Harvey’s arm around her body.
He’d always been incapable of showing any tenderness. A man like Harvey Shaw didn’t know how to love. He was a connoisseur of lust—quick, impatient, greedy lust.
She wagged her feet, which hung lazily out the window. Her pretty red toenails contrasted against the green countryside. With the fresh breeze lifting her plaid sundress and tickling her feet, Evie could almost pretend to be a little happy.
“We’re getting close. Put your feet down before somebody sees them,” Harvey said, snarling.
Determined to protect her fragile euphoria, Evie remained with her feet up. “There’s a lake and it’s summer. Chances are, they’re all gonna catch my bare feet sooner or later.”
“I don’t want you to go swimming,” he said, continuing to look at the road.
Harvey hadn’t looked at her a single time during their excruciating hour in the car, except to snarl at her feet. A tiny wad of toilet paper with a red mark hung from his chin, the shaving bandage she loathed as much as his cold laugh.
“And why can’t I go swimming?”
“Because I don’t want you getting your hair wet.”
Harvey didn’t want people to see her in her swimsuit. Purposely she had packed her raciest one, a modern white two-piece. Evie was sure it would attract attention and enrage her husband.
“You know, darling. For a man who goes through women like he goes through cars, I’m surprised you get as jealous as you do.”
Harvey pulled the car over to the side of the dirt road, stopping below a billboard of a chirpy wife cleaning her kitchen with Clorox. Dust kicked up around them, infiltrating the open windows and causing her to cough.
He killed the engine, yanked the emergency brake behind the wheel and lurched across the bench. He pointed an angry finger an inch from her eyes. “You better listen closely, Evelyn.”
Evie stared at his finger. “It doesn’t appear that I have a choice since I’m trapped in this overpriced tin can.”
Harvey squeezed her arm roughly. “When did you start losing your mind?”
Though she was frightened, crippled by one of his searing questions, Evie looked him straight in the eyes. “It’s hard to say, because it was so long ago. Probably around the time you stopped loving me.” She placed her feet down, then crossed her legs.
He released her arm and scanned the open road.
She laughed weakly and took the tiny piece of toilet paper off the tip of his chin. “I can see by your face that you never loved me at all.”
Harvey gave her a surprised look.
“You know, I wasn’t born yesterday.”
He rubbed his chin, gripped the steering wheel and leaned back with his eyes closed. “Suppose I loved the idea of you when we started. Then I realized an idea isn’t the same in reality.”
He opened his eyes and turned toward her.
Tears rose to the surface and she looked away. “Dammit, Harvey. I thought I was past this point. But you can still break my heart as if you were born to do just that.” Evie dipped her chin down to hide her sadness underneath her summer hat.
Harvey started the car, wearing a harsh expression. “Don’t flatter yourself, darling. I have other things I was born to do.”
“That’s true. You’ve done most of Chicago and half of Milwaukee. Perhaps you’re here just to screw everyone.”
He laughed. “I know you’re trying to get under my skin, but saying that I screw everyone has a nice ring to it.”
“Mr. Shaw, you make me feel sick.” Evie hugged herself protectively, looking down the road.
Harvey cracked his neck. “Mrs. Shaw, you don’t make me feel anything.”
“Go to hell, Harvey.”
He pulled onto the highway and they drove in bitter silence to the picnic. Somehow after all they just said, Mr. and Mrs. Shaw would try to pull off their biggest bluff. As two people eating hamburgers and potato chips who could stand the sight of each other.
Evie flipped on the radio and surrendered to the rock and roll music blaring through the speakers. She closed her eyes and tapped her hand on the windowsill, dancing alone inside.
26 thoughts on “Nola Fran Evie is a Delight!”
Excellent portrayal, great characters that come alive with each line…
Thanks, Rebecca. You’re a great character yourself! 😉
Nice job, Britt. 🙂 Keep it up!
Thanks, Tim! Doing my best. Been a while since I’ve seen a review, so I was pretty damn excited!
Agreed! I just started reading it and I’m already sucked in 🙂 It is THE perfect summer read!
Glad you’re liking it thus far, Heather! Sometimes in the winter I read a few pages from NFE just to be back in the 1950s summer again. One can dream, right? 😉
I could definitely read it AGAIN under the warmth of the sun this summer when I’m back in southern France!
Arianna is SO spot on in her description and the feelings you have when reading this novel of yours, Britt.
I was extatic then, I still am today!
If anyone reading your post today hasn’t bought the book yet, they sure MUST right away!
Awww…thanks for the lovely things you just said, Julie! Nola, Fran, and Evie are blowing you many kisses right now.
I agree, this is a lovely summer read!
Nola, Fran, and Evie are giggling and blushing at your compliment. 😉
Sounds like my kind of book – I’m in!! xo
If you decide to pick up Nola Fran Evie this summer, I know those three ladies would be delighted. 😉
It is a delight and I’d thoroughly recommend it as a great summer read 🙂
Thank you, lovely Andrea. Means a lot to hear you say that.
Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime! Yes! Congrats on the lovely review! And yes, I’m thinking NFE would be stellar for summertime.
Yay! Only a couple days left until summer is official. My girlfriend lives in San Francisco and she texted me a pic of her in a long sleeve dress and thick black tights. Been a long spring in Portland too this year, but I refuse to bust out the tights again until winter!
Oh, it was shorts and T-shirt weather here, today, for Father’s Day. Went on an awesome hike in Point Reyes. Yes!
Definitely a great summer read!
Thanks for the kind words for Nola Fran Evie, darling friend! 🙂
I really like this story!
So glad you enjoyed it, Denis!
Yeah – I am going to check out more 🙂
I owe you a review for this book–thanks for the reminder! I read it this past winter, and I loved how spot-on you were with all the vintage references. I was truly in the era with Nola, Fran, and Evie!
So psyched for you Britt!
You are too kind, Kate! It would mean the world to me if you could do that. I purchased both of your books…now I just need to read them! I will be sure to return the favor. xo
It would be my pleasure!