Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sewing Can Be Dangerous: Stories with the Threads

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Publication Date: December 16, 2013
Mockingbird Lane Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio Book
Pages: 276
Genre: Historical Fiction/Short Stories

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02_Sewing Can Be Dangerous CoverThe eleven long short stories in “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads combine history, mystery, action and/or romance, and range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets, to an Antebellum U.S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits, to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft Trials, to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; from a 1980’s Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial ‘star’ and an eclectic fiber artist, to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macramé artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.

*****MY REVIEW*****

The first story...I'd really like the author to turn it into a novel, one of those dual-time-period stories. It's about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and a Jewish girl who has big dreams and must overcome difficult circumstances. The modern story is great too, reminding us to always do what's right and learn from the past.

The second story takes us back to the Salem witch trials. I didn't like this one as much--because something confused/bugged me (if the lady wanted to break the curse, why did she sit there and sew that pattern in the first place?) but I learned something I didn't know before: that Nathianel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, was actually related to a Hathorne who judged the Salem trials. Out of shame, Nathianel added the W. Interesting!

I like that the third tale featured a deaf slave who stitched maps of sorts in quilts, enabling other slaves to escape. I found it slightly preposterous though. I mean, I know how hard it is to lip read and all, and her not being able to read and write before her affliction...um. Well, it's possible, but not in southern slave environment. It's not like they had the time. But moving on...

The fourth tale had me on the edge of my seat for a bit--WWII, Germany, very intense--but there were also parts that didn't contribute to the actual story and that threw me off. Yet I liked it a lot better than the next two, which weren't really historical. One was an 80s version of Romeo and Juliet and one was a doctor trying to do right and paying a price for it. And then came a story that though historical, had the kind of dialogue I loathe--thees and thous and whatnot. I skipped that one, I'm ashamed to say.

There's a mystery and then a Zodiac killer story--I didn't see how this tied into sewing. Then a pleasant, if somewhat unlikely, tale about a Native American and a woman making peace between their people through her sewing obsession.

Conclusion: The historical stories were my favorite. I'm still especially impressed with the first one. The more modern, the seventies and forward, I didn't like so much, but that's a personal preference.

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Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads is now in AUDIO!!! Listen to narrator, Suzie Althens, breathe life and depth into these stories!

About the Author

03_S.R. MalleryS.R. Mallery has worn various hats in her life.

First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy. Next came a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.

“Unexpected Gifts”, her debut novel, is currently available on Amazon. “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads”, her collection of short stories, Jan. 2014, both books by Mockingbird Lane Press.

For more information please visit S.R. Mallery’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 1

Review at Unshelfish

Tuesday, December 2

Review at Bibliotica

Wednesday, December 3

Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Thursday, December 4

Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews and More

Friday, December 5

Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog

Monday, December 8

Review at WV Stitcher

Tuesday, December 9

Review at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews

Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, December 10

Review at A Book Geek

Thursday, December 11

Review at Book Nerd

Friday, December 12

Review at Based on a True Story

Monday, December 15

Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, December 16

Review at Book Babe

Wednesday, December 17

Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, December 19

Review at Book Drunkard

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