The skill of Steinbeck


ONCE THERE WERE SAD SONGS Excerpt from A Five Star Review

 In every author’s life there one time when their heart opens and they pour their inner soul into their finest work. Sad Songs is Velda Brotherton’s gift to those of us who aren’t there yet. This is how it’s done. With a skill in defining male characters, the like of which hasn’t been seen since Steinbeck, Brotherton allows us into the shattered souls of three men who at first meeting are simply motorcycle bums roaming the country, holing up in campgrounds, just living thru the pain. Joyce Zeller

Of all the five-star reviews I’ve received for this book, this is one of my favorites. To be compared to Steinbeck thrills me. When I first began to write, I read his work over and over to learn what made it outstanding. My first attempt was an awkward but genuine attempt to write as well as this best-selling author. Of course I have since developed my own style, my own voice, in an honest attempt to write as well as is possible.

Why am I writing a blog about this book that was published in 2014 by The Wild Rose Press? Because, in 2015 Amazon bought the book from that publisher for its new digital publishing company. This month they are including it in their big January blitz sale through Kindle Prime for $1.99.

Of all the books available on Kindle and published by Amazon, that they should include Once There Were Sad Songs in the blitz makes me feel proud of this work. I consider it one of the best books I’ve written. Along with Beyond the Moon, published last year by Oghma Creative Media, it offers readers a look at some of my best work.

Here’s an excerpt that explains the title for your consideration: Steven kicked over onto his back, bobbed there awhile watching stars, then hung listlessly, treading water and listening to strains of Puff the Magic Dragon from Lefty’s battered old tape player. He’d worn out a dozen Peter, Paul and Mary tapes playing that song. Each time they tried to find another, the search was more difficult. Hard to believe the popular trio was all but forgotten.

He wondered if they were dead now, with their gentle voices and heartbreaking sound. They didn’t play music like that anymore, songs sad enough to make the heart break. All jerky, freaky stuff today, like kids were afraid to look inside their own souls and find what they really cared about.

“Stupid shit,” he muttered, and swam into the shallow water where he stripped out of his shorts and washed all over with the tiny sliver of soap.

She was gone when he waded to shore, and he was vaguely disappointed.

Lest you wonder about my Sexy Dark Gritty brand, try this one: WARNING SEXUAL CONTENT – SKIP IF YOU’RE EASILY EMBARRASSED:

Not once had he raised his voice, and she found that so incomprehensible as to render her speechless. The muddy rock slipped from her fingers.

His grip closed around her wrist and he pulled her against him. None too gentle.

“Damn you,” she breathed, then raised her face to whatever he offered.

Demanding moist lips, tongue probing, arms closing around her so she could scarcely move.

“Won’t hurt nothing,” he murmured against her cheek and slipped a hand under her shirt. Thumb crawling up her rib cage to her breast. “I’m about to show you sinning,” he said and shoved her to the ground, straddling her and ripping at her pants.

His body was hot, slick with perspiration, hard. Hard all over. Pushing against her. Frantic to get beneath her jeans. Just where she wanted him.

“Let me, let me,” She panted the words, went to work on the snap, the zipper, the waistband. Clawing and shoving at the damp fabric, needing him inside her more than she wanted to take her next breath.

Finally the jeans were down around her knees and he tore them and then her panties off, cupped his hand between her legs, and slipped a finger inside so deep she shuddered and came like she had never ever done. An old woman in her forties, and she finally knew what it was like to have a real, honest-to-goodness orgasm that made her shout with joy, with delight.

This is a love story on so many levels. What happens to the men we bring home from horrific wars and dump out like so much used garbage when all we’ve taught them is to kill? What happens when a woman with a feral nature, imprisoned by the man in her life, finally breaks those bonds and runs free? The bigger question is what happens when these two come together in a place where there are no rules, no keepers? Only the wildness of nature surrounds them, to offer them total freedom.

All of January Amazon Kindle offers digital copies of special books at deep discounts. That offer includes my book, Once There Were Sad Songs. Go Here:


2001-12-17 12.56.58










About veldabrotherton

For thirty years I've been a writer. Publication of my work began in 1994 . I'm pleased to have recently settled with Oghma Creative Media as my publisher. My brand is SexyDarkGritty and that applies to my western historical romances, mysteries, women's fiction and horror novels. I recently signed a contract to write westerns again, and what fun it's been working on the first one. If I weren't writing my life wouldn't be so exciting.
This entry was posted in Amazon Kindle, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The skill of Steinbeck

  1. James Copeland says:

    Blush, Blush;;;… Uh, dear Velda: wow, what a story. Happy New Year. James M. Copeland

  2. cjfosdick says:

    Wow! Velda–Great review, great excerpts! I ordered the book on my Kindle. Wish I was a faster reader! My kindle is getting “booked” for the year! Marketing has become a full time job-or more likely a nightmare that keeps me from actually WRITING!! Maybe I need to find a quiet retreat in the Ozarks? Happy New Year. I know you’ll have a good one with your positive “get er done” attitude and talent!

    • Finding time for writing is a big problem, but squeeze it in, we have to write good books before we can hope to sell anything. LOL Hope you enjoy the book and get to read it soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s