Broken Promises

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
"Your father was killed yesterday." Hazel's world implodes. Her father broke his promise to come home! Anger and frozen grief engulf her. Can a four-year-old boy show Hazel the way to a new life? More

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Words: 65,780
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301983995
About Karen GoatKeeper

Two new novels have been added to my list.
Edwina is a story of Aleta. She is 12. Her parents divorced. Her Dad has a new girlfriend whose daughter Megan just invaded Aleta's room. Aleta is feeling lost, replaced and worthless. Then she meets Edwina. Life becomes complicated since Aleta is the only one who can see of hear Edwina. But Edwina is very real and Aleta's life may depend on that fact.
Running the Roads introduces Ridge. He is 16, road rally crazy and has his first car. And what a car! It's a gray Ford Fiesta with flames on it. For Ridge his car is a ticket to adventure, freedom and trouble. For Ridge and Lisa the car is a ticket to safety if Ridge can drive like a rally driver.
The Ozarks are still my home. My Nubian goats are still complicating my life. I am hard at work on another nonfiction book. Unfortunately these can not be formatted for digital release. There is one on goats [Goat Games], science [Pumpkin Project] and nature [Exploring the Ozark Hills]. The ones in progress are the Water Project and a wildflower guidebook.
A third book in the Hazel Whitmore series is in draft. Ideas for several others are flitting through my mind.
My background is wide and varied including a zoology degree from UCLA, teaching high school science, traveling the U.S. and moving from city to country.


Review by: PJ O'Brien on March 26, 2014 :
In Broken Promises, the interestingly-named Hazel has been living a relatively comfortable life in New York City. She lives close enough to Central Park for daily visits, attends private school, and the family manages on her father’s income and investments. A reservist in the Marines, her father is unexpectedly called to active duty. Just before he ships out to Iraq, he rashly promises Hazel that he’ll be home in a year. It's a promise that couldn't realistically be kept, which everyone except Hazel seems to know.

When her father is killed in action, she is intensely angry. Despite their close relationship – or perhaps, because of it – her anger is directed almost solely at him and the broken promise. She refuses to talk about him or join her mother in mourning. Instead, she becomes focused on how to maintain her life as it's always been.

Hazel’s efforts to supplement her mother’s meager temporary income with babysitting can't stop the family's downward slide into financial crisis, particularly when they learn that there is little left from the investment accounts. She does what she can, learning to cook and taking on household tasks like shopping, in hopes that she won’t have to leave her school and her friends. But the reader knows long before Hazel does that nothing she can do can hold off the inevitable. All the familiar aspects of her life must change.

This is a first novel, for the writer and a series. The story is compelling, despite the occasional phrasing in the beginning. Once the author found her stride, the story flowed very smoothly. I occasionally raised my eyebrows at names and social media references that seemed a little anachronistic or unusual, but acknowledge that it’s been awhile since I’ve had interactions of any length with someone in middle school. It could be that I’m terribly out of touch with the world as experienced by adolescents of today. In any case, I am invested enough in Hazel’s story to want to follow it in the next book of the series, so I’ve added Old Promises to my reading list.
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)

Review by: Kim Avery on May 13, 2013 :
A must read!!! Can't put this book down! Already looking forward to part 2 to Broken Promises!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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