Book Reviews · Historical Fiction

Queenie’s Place + Giveaway!

Queenie’s Place
by Toni Morgan

Publication Date: December 6, 2018
Adelaide Books Publishers
Paperback & eBook; 302 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

Queenie’s Place, set in rural North Carolina in the early seventies, is the story of an unusual sisterhood between a thirty-something white woman from California and a fifty-something black woman from the south. From the moment Doreen Donavan sees the “Welcome to Klan Country” sign outside Goldsboro, North Carolina is one culture shock after another. She thinks the women she meets on the military base, where she and her family now live, are the dullest, stuffiest, most stuck-up women she’s ever run across, and frankly, they don’t think much of her either. She’s hot, miserable, and bored. Then one day, BAM, her car tire goes flat, right in front of a roadhouse outside the town of Richland, near where MCB Camp Puller is located. Inside, Queenie is holding forth at the piano. The place is jumping. Besides the music, there’s dancing and the best barbecue in North Carolina. Doreen’s husband, Tom arrives and must practically peel her out of the place. Queenie doesn’t expect to see Doreen again, but Doreen comes back and their unlikely friendship begins. Without warning, Queenie’s place is closed, the women accused of prostitution and bootlegging. A born crusader (she cut her teeth demonstrating against the Vietnam War—yes, even with her husband over there), Doreen quickly dons her armor and saddles up. Things don’t go quite as planned.

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If ever there was a novel for today’s reader, it is Queenie’s Place.

Doreen is a strong, California woman, with a young son at home and a husband fighting in Vietnam. She participates openly in anti-war demonstrations and is quite vocal about making the world an easier place to live in. Eventually however, her husband is transferred to North Carolina, where Doreen crosses paths with Queenie.

It becomes obvious fairly early on that Doreen doesn’t fit in with her new peers. Queenie, however, takes Doreen under her wing and begins to show her what genuine acceptance is, as well as what true adversity really looks like. When Queenie’s Place is under threat of being shut down, Doreen discovers the cause that she’s been preparing for, for many years. Queenie and Doreen then lock arms in bravery, and forge a path that I will not soon forget.

I admit that I loved Doreen. I loved her strength and her tenacity, as well as her carefully hidden insecurities. But it was Queenie that stole my heart, as well as the show. Her quiet perseverance, her fortitude and her compassionate nature won me from the get-go, and I will carry her with me for ages. Toni Morgan brought these two women to in-your-face life, fleshed out the difficult topics with ease, and artfully set each scene and circumstance. I loved every page, every character, every word.

Bottom Line: Grab this book up immediately, and let’s go save Queenie’s Place.

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About the Author

A longtime military spouse, TONI MORGAN has lived in many parts of the US and also for nearly four years in rural Japan. There she had the good fortune to work part-time in a Japanese pottery factory. That rich experience led to the first in her WWII trilogy ECHOES FROM A FALLING BRIDGE, which gives a unique view of life in rural Japan during the war. Second in the trilogy is HARVEST THE WIND, partially set in a Japanese internment camp in Idaho’s Magic Valley. The third in the series is LOTUS BLOSSOM UNFURLING, which continues the saga after the war ends. She also wrote PATRIMONY, and TWO-HEARTED CROSSING, companion books set in Montreal Quebec Canada during the Quebec Separatist Movement and 20 years later, in northern Idaho. Her novel QUEENIE’S PLACE is a 2019 National Book Award in Literature nominee. Her short stories have appeared in various literary magazines and journals, and her short story “Tin Soldier” was included in MOORING AGAINST THE TIDE, a creative fiction and poetry textbook published by Prentice Hall. Her most recent release is BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE, a collection of short stories, including Pushcart Prize nominee “The House on East Orange Street” and the aforementioned “Tin Soldier.”

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 15
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, March 16
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, March 17
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, March 19
Feature at View from the Birdhouse

Saturday, March 20
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Monday, March 22
Excerpt at Bookworlder

Wednesday, March 24
Review at YA, It’s Lit

Friday, March 26
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Saturday, March 27
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Sunday, March 28
Interview at Reader_ceygo

Monday, March 29
Review at Reader_ceygo

Wednesday, March 31
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Thursday, April 1
Review at American Historical Novels Book Club

Friday, April 2
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

Enter to win a set of signed paperback copies of Toni Morgan’s WWII Trilogy!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on April 2nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Queenie’s Place

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