Once There Were Sad Songs

Two lonely people, in search of the lives they once dreamed of, meet at a remote lake in the Ouachita Mountains. Hope lies just beyond their grasp, until love offers them new promises.

A REVIEW

Once There Were Sad Songs

Once There Were Sad Songs

  •  I have to be honest. I’m not usually a romance reader, unless there’s suspense, mystery, or the romance is just part of life and not the focal point. Thee are certain conventions in the romance genre that drive me crazy.Her writing is so strong and compelling. I’m glad I read this book.Read my 5-Star Review here
  • Details that Reveal Character
  • Dimples carved humor into the features as if the artist who had sketched him had returned to add one more detail.It was an amazing restoration She couldn’t help but smile back.
  • Power of the Past People–real people, not just characters in books–react based upon the past That’s why I say it becomes a character all its own in stories such as this.With a sigh he turned toward the back wall, sucked in the musty smell of old, damp canvas, closed his eyes, and found himself gazing down with nine-year-old eyes into Papa’s coffin. Saw the familiar old man change into a young soldier dressed in jungle gear. Steven Michael Llewellyn, killed in ‘Nam, like he should have ben.
  • This is how memory works. I’m not talking about the kind of memory where you try to recall where you left your keys. The brain spits up other times,barging into our present with images, smells, recollections. It’s messy and mostly unconscious.
  • Deep POV (point of view)Here is an excellent example from a passage in which we’re inside the head of  Steven, an embattled Vietnam vet living the life of a wanderer with two of his buddies:This pulls the reader into Steven’s perception of his life and his sense of unworthiness.
  • Twisting the Romance Mold Once There Were Sad Songs is not your grandma’s formulaic romance. While there are the expected fights and make-ups (and some sex scenes), the plot is not predictable.
  • I love how the resolution happens. Naturally, I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice it to say it’s not typical.
  • Every genre has its conventions. Romance has a certain formula, dictating that the two who will pair off meet, have a ight (or several), make up, come closer together, fight again, and so forth. And just when things seem blackest and bleakest, they come together.
  • Deep POV is something that you don’t get as an author until you do. It may feel as if you’re deep when you’re not. Practice and read great examples.
  • No tears. too late to cry. Much too late. His ruined life twisted behind him in long, ugly spirals. Like he’d snatched at it, squeezed it dry, then tossed it away. Never once looking back.
  • I’ve brought up deep point of view more than once. It’s currently the “in fashion” way to write, letting the reader deep inside the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the character. Brotherton is a master of deep POV.
  • The above passage is also an excellent example of deep POV, coming up next.
  • Power of the Past  I have come to feel that the character’s past is a character in its own right. In Sad Songs, Steven is a beleaguered veteran suffering from PTSD. Mary Elizabeth was fleeing her life in a cult with a control freak husband.People–real people, not just characters in books–react based upon the past That’s why I say it becomes a character all its own in stories such as this.Neither of our heroes, particularly Steven, is always living in current time. Here is an example of how the past intrudes into a character’s now:With a sigh he turned toward the back wall, sucked in the musty smell of old, damp canvas, closed his eyes, and found himself gazing down with nine-year-old eyes into Papa’s coffin. Saw the familiar old man change into a young soldier dressed in jungle gear. Steven Michael Llewellyn, killed in ‘Nam, like he should have ben. A terrifying darkness swallowed him up.
  • Neither of our heroes, particularly Steven, is always living in current time. Here is an example of how the past intrudes into a character’s now:
  • I have come to feel that the character’s past is a character in its own right. In Sad Songs, Steven is a beleaguered veteran suffering from PTSD. Mary Elizabeth was fleeing her life in a cult with a control freak husband.
  • That is so much more elegant and effective than merely describing an expression or physique. Brilliant. That’s the sort of thing that makes me read a romance that Velda authored.
  • I love how Brotherton reveals character and physical description at the same time. Here is an example from when Mary Elizabeth first get a look at the man who had pulled her out of the river yesterday:
  •  Dimples carved humor into the features as if the artist who had sketched him had returned to add one more detail.It was an amazing restoration She couldn’t help but smile back.That is so much more elegant and effective than merely describing an expression or physique. Brilliant. That’s the sort of thing that makes me read a romance that Velda authored.
  • When a writer is so gifted you’ll gladly read a genre you don’t normally enjoy, that’s quality wordcraft.
  • I read Once There Were Sad Songs because of the skill of the author, Velda Brotherton. She  has now successfully written and published 25 books, I believe, and is a superb writer, a helpful mentor, and a terrific person.
  • Once There Were Sad Songs is a romance between two people fleeing their pasts. Author Velda Brotherton, a full time writer, created the story.  Wild Rose Press published it in December of 2013. — Ronda del Boccio

Clipped from Amazon Reviews

Velda’s writing is filled with such feeling and passion that you can’t help falling in love with her characters. As for that emotion – the tension, the build-up to the climax, then the ending with all of its emotion – let’s just say she deserves a comparison to Nicholas Sparks and his tales of love, passion and tear-jerker moments.  Arkansas Book Reviewer

You just kept reading and hoping these two would work out the issues keeping them apart, and enjoying the story as you went. So very glad I found this book.  T.M. Simmons

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

Sad, funny, and thought provoking, Brotherton’s writing and story telling talent shines in this one. Through her heroine, Mary Elizabeth, Brotherton reminds us how strong the healing power of love truly is. Once There Were Sad Songs is a great title and a wonderful read. Ruth Weeks

ONCE THERE WERE SAD SONGS By Velda Brotherton is so full of emotions, laughter and tears and some of your old memories.  An author who can move the reader this much is truly a Gem to seek out. Janet Gallagher Word Crafter

Where Have All The Sad Songs Gone   …That Liz emancipates herself is in no small way the result of her unexpected love affair with Steven, he of the wounds and medals from the undeclared war.  Liz takes up with Steven and his two friends: Lefty is the soldier whose soul died over there but whose body fights on while Shadow was “too young to serve” yet carries the wounds of civilian life and survivor guilt. What transpires lifts the story from the mundane, just another war story, to a deep examination of what it is to survive madness and to thrive. Arletta Dawdy

Advertisements

2 Responses to Once There Were Sad Songs

  1. Pingback: A BOOK OF THE HEART | Velda Brotherton

  2. Pingback: Angels Who Love Wounded Warriors | Velda Brotherton

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s