Birthdays of a Princess
by Helga Zeiner
on Tour June 1st - July 31st 2013
by Helga Zeiner
on Tour June 1st - July 31st 2013
Title: Birthdays of a Princess
Author: Helga Zeiner
Publisher: POW WOW Books
About the book: To be famous and be admired by total strangers can be very dangerous.Her little girl has always been her princess. In fact, she was so lovely, Melissa entered her toddler into child beauty pageants, making her a star from an early age. But her dreams and hopes are shattered one October morning, when Melissa watches a breaking news story on television. A young girl has been filmed by bystanders, committing a brutal assault in broad daylight in a downtown Vancouver Starbucks…and it looks like the girl is her daughter.
From this moment on, a story unfolds, so shocking, that it will hold you captive and you will find yourself reading faster and faster into the night.
My thoughts: I devoured this book - the Prologue (see below) pulled me in and I just had to finish the book. The author did a great job of keeping you right on the edge of your seat.
Tia is Melissa's daughter, and she was raised by Melissa and Gracie after her father was killed in Afghanistan on the day she was born. This family was dysfunctional from the start. Melissa retreated into her own world and Gracie raised Melissa like she was her own child for the first couple of years. I use the phrase "like her own chld" loosely here as I don't know any mother who would put their child through what these two did. Gracie was the true criminal here while Melissa's crime was just being negligent and keeping her eyes closed to what was going on.
After Tia is arrested, she refuses to talk to anyone. A very caring (and clever) Dr. Eaton or "psycho-doc" as she calls him, gets her to trust him and convinces her to start keeping a journal. She documents her life through her birthdays and what happens each year. She finally reaches a point though, that she can't remember what happened, or just refuses to remember what happened. She lets Dr. Eaton read her journal - I think because it is all too painful for her to say out loud - but she wants someone to know.
Between her journal writings and conversations that Melissa has with her also dysfunctional mother Louise, you begin to learn about Tia's life. At times it is almost too painful to read, but I couldn't put it down. The tension was just enough to keep me riveted.
I really liked how the author resolved the book and brought some lost souls together in the end.
~I received a complimentary Kindle copy of Birthdays of a Princess from Partners in Crime Book Tours in exchange for my unbiased review.~
Excerpt from Birthdays of a Princess:
About the author: Born and educated in Germany, Helga left her home country when she was 18 to travel the world and experience the magic of life she was passionately reading about.
She spent the next 15 years in exotic places like India, Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong, where she worked her way up into excellent managerial positions in large international companies. To achieve this she had to further her education and enrolled at night classes at the 'Chinese University of Hong Kong' for her Diploma in Management Studies.
Love eluded her for many years. She was nearly 40 when she finally met her dream man and settled in Canada, where she now lives, neatly tucked away in the wilderness. She has previously written several suspense novels which have been published in Germany.
Her first novel written and published in English is called. ‘Section 132”. A thrilling fact-based page-turner about a young girl forced into a polygamous marriage that has received countless 5-star reviews.
Birthdays of a Princess’ is her second novel and will be published in June 2013.
Catch Up With Ms. Zeiner:
Please enjoy this guest post from Ms. Zeiner:
Memories I cherish from childhood
One of my earliest memories connected to my passion for writing is of the day I came home from school – I must have been about seven years old – with a top mark for my very first essay.
I can’t remember what the essay was about, but my father told the whole family to sit down after dinner and listen to me read the essay to them. Mom, dad, my two sisters, grandmother and a few neighbours, who had been invited by my dad to come on over and listen as well, sat around our large kitchen table.
I was a little shy at first, but quickly got into the moment after seeing my dad busting with pride. He was an avid reader and loved books, so to have one of his girls showing even the slightest talent with words was something very special to him.
Maybe the essay was indeed good, after all, top marks were rarely given at our school, but my dad acted as if it was the best thing he had ever read. For days, he kept telling everybody in his grocery shop about the future writer in his home. His amazingly supportive attitude didn’t change over the years, but that very first essay reading inspired me to go on writing, to love it, to feel safe with it and to be self-confident about it.
Hopefully all parents will react like my dad did when they discover even the smallest inkling of an interest or talent in their children, no matter what it may be.
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Publication Date: May/June 2013
Number of Pages: 290