February 10, 2017

Lone Star Book Blog Tours : The Memory Of Us by Camille Di Maio

by  Camille DiMaio

Genre: Historical Romantic Literary Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: May 31, 2016
Number of Pages: 400

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Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.
While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the Church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love.
But as war ripples through the world and the Blitz decimates England, a tragic accident forces Julianne to leave everything behind and forge a new life built on lies she’s told to protect the ones she loves. Now, after twenty years of hiding from her past, the truth finds her—will she be brave enough to face it?

ADVANCED REVIEWER PRAISE FOR THE BOOK: "Powerful, emotional, and amazing read." "A smashing debut!" "Brilliantly told and executed." "Will make you cry in the best way possible." "This is a beautiful story of redemption, love, and honor." "I fell in love with the characters." "I'm not sure if I have ever had such a range of emotions with a book." "This is one of the best books that I have read!" "Touching and funny and tragic and beautiful." "Packs a powerful, emotional punch."



Excerpt from The Memory of Us

Abertillery, England—1961
The commotion outside startled me, and the pills in my hand spilled out onto the carpet. My palm was stained a sickly ochre from the dye blending with perspiration. How long had I been clutching them? Across the room, the face of the clock was blurred. But it must have been hours.
            I ignored the knock at first, determined to swallow the rest of the little capsules, each one bringing me closer to the sleep from which I would never wake. Surely, two decades was enough penance. Maybe tonight I could do it.
            But whoever was at my front door was persistent. I left the pills on the floor to be considered later, and fumbled around the top of the chest of drawers until I found my spectacles. My hand brushed against the side of a tarnished silver picture frame, teetering it until it landed faceup. It was the only photograph I possessed. The sepia-toned visage of a young man looked back at me, mouth bent to the side in a whistle, captured unknowingly. The only evidence I would allow of my sin.
            My feet found the slippers, laid symmetrically beside my bed, and I picked up the housecoat folded over the chair. With the habit of a distant vanity, I ran my fingers through my hair. But I had long since learned to avoid mirrors, and did not glance at the one that came with the rented rooms.
            I flipped the switch and grimaced at the flood of light. The knocking stopped. I slid the chain off of its track, and opened the door just enough to peer out at the intruder.
            It was one of the Campbell children. There were so many, but this towering boy was one of the older ones. Thomas. Tommy. Timothy. It didn’t matter.
            “Miss Bailey?”
            “What do you want at this hour?”
            The moon was high in the sky, and the night had already taken on the stillness that invites ghosts and nightmares.
            “It’s my mum. She’s sick. Bad.”
            “Is it the baby? It’s not her time for another few weeks.”
            “I guess God thinks differently. It’s coming. But something isn’t right this time.”
            “God has nothing to do with it.”
            He disregarded my blasphemy. Most people did when the demand for my nursing skills in these nothing towns outweighed their desire for pious company.
            “I brought the truck.”
            It was a charitable word for the sad scrap of metal that awaited us. It caved under our collective weight, with his being woefully undernourished and mine making up the difference. I thought for a moment that it would be faster—and less perilous—to walk the four miles to the Campbell farm. But I said nothing. Perhaps it would combust into a fiery pyre, and the pills would be rendered unnecessary.
            We drove in silence, save for the sputtering of the engine and the crackle of the poorly paved road beneath the tires. In the illumination of the stars, I studied my hands, their spiderweb scars mangling them into something that still appalled me, even after so much time. My nails remained incongruously pretty, although they hadn’t seen polish since the war.
            The boy spoke only once more, words that were innocent enough. Words that brought me back to the aged photograph lying abandoned at my bedside.
            “My brother went to fetch Father Trammel, but he was out of town. He had a houseguest, though. A Father McCarthy. He’s coming straight away.”
            McCarthy. I froze as the words possessed my ears. Of course there were thousands of people with that surname, but I had not encountered one in some time. And there was only one McCarthy who had meant anything. Who had meant everything.

Camille is an award-winning real estate agent in San Antonio who, along with her husband of 18 years, home schools their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She's lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai'i to feel like a local. She's traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes, and forever stays up late reading “just one more chapter”. There's almost nothing she wouldn't try, so long as it doesn't involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. "The Memory of Us" is Camille's debut novel. Her second, "Before the Rain Falls" will be released in the spring of 2017.


  June 21 - July 5, 2016


6/21 Missus Gonzo -- Review
6/22 Books and Broomsticks – Promo
6/23 The Page Unbound  – Author Interview #1
6/24 Texas Book Lover – Guest Post
6/25 The Librarian Talks – Review
6/26 Texan Girl Reads – Excerpt
6/27 It's a Jenn World – Author Interview #2
6/28 Byers Editing Reviews & Blog  -- Review
6/29 Forgotten Winds – Book Trailer
6/30 Margie's Must Reads – Review
7/1   Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books – Promo
7/2  The Crazy Booksellers – Author Interview #3
7/3   My Book Fix Blog -- Review
7/4   StoreyBook Reviews  – Author Interview #4
7/5   Hall Ways Blog – Review


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