Tag Archives: Heather Gudenkauf

Blog Tour: One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

“I open one eye, the one that isn’t covered with a thick ointment and crusted shut, and call out for my mother, who must have stepped out of the room. I reach for the phone that is sitting on the tray table at the side of my bed and the nerve endings in my bandaged left arm scream in protest at the movement.”

Today I am excited and honored to welcome author Heather Gudenkauf to Stiletto Storytime as she travels the world wide web on her exclusive BookTrib Blog Tour sharing  her latest masterpiece One Breath AwayThe excerpt above is just a tiny taste of what this amazing work has to offer and more can be found throughout her tour with each stop hosting excerpts, exclusive author posts and even a few giveaways. Make sure to follow her tour here. Trust me this is an author you’ll want to meet and a book you won’t want to miss.

As a reader I first fell in love with Heather’s writing when I reviewed her novel These Things Hidden  just last year. I was completely drawn into her style in a way that surprised even me. I usually don’t find myself so taken in by modern day contemporary fiction. But within a few chapters I was hooked and the book was finished within hours because I simply had to know what happened next. As I read I found myself  amazed at her ability to make me not only completely hypnotized by her writing but also left utterly breathless with it’s unseen literary twists and turns.

When approached about hosting her for One Breath Away I jumped at the chance. I just couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for readers with her next book. And I promise she does not disappoint. One Breath Away is a beautifully balanced  collection of characters and their personal experiences during an event that is all too relevant in our time and truly a mother’s worst nightmare. Just imagine your child is at school when a man with a gun enters and changes your life forever. Worst of all…is the lack of information. Who is this man? What does he want? Is your child safe?

In an event surrounded by mystery Gudenkauf takes readers into the world of small town America and it’s worst nightmare. She uses multiple characters and view points to paint a picture that ever so slowly reveals the past, present and future that surrounds this one event and the people involved. The result is storytelling that flows so well it seems effortless and yet every piece of the puzzle is placed thoughtfully just where it goes. Attention to detail is seen within every word.

So without further ado. Welcome Heather to Stiletto Storytime…

 What draws you to write suspenseful women’s fiction? 

I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a child – yes, I was one of those kids who did a fist pump whenever the teacher assigned a writing project -but as is typical with most writers, I was and am, first and foremost an avid reader. As a child my favorite place in the world was our public library and I spent as much time as possible with my nose in a book. I loved mysteries and plowed my way through all the Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew Mystery books. One of my favorite mystery series growing up was The Boxcar Children which I recently learned was originally published in 1924. I read all the books that were available when I was a child, and again as an adult I read them to my own children with enthusiasm. Who can resist a story about a tight knit set of orphaned siblings, an abandoned boxcar, a dog, and the mystery surrounding a long lost grandfather?

As I got older, I continued to enjoy mystery and suspense novels but my interests expanded to a variety of genres, including books that explored the intricacies of the human heart: Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, Elizabeth Berg’s Pull of the Moon, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and so many moreI’ve always admired the way writers could take me away to different places and times through the written word. I knew I wanted to try my hand at writing but didn’t sit down and seriously begin until after I was married and had my children.  But when I did, I remembered all the stories and books I’ve read through the years, remembered how deftly authors could arrange the words on a page to be suspenseful, heart wrenching, or heart-warming – to evoke all varieties of emotion. My hope is to do the same for my readers.  ~Heather Gudenkauf

Thanks for stopping by Stiletto Storytime Heather and on a personal note- thank you very much for the character of Lucy Shelton. It’s so wonderful and sadly rare to see inclusion represented in today’s literature. As a parent of a child with autism, I thank you for remembering there are many children in our schools and each would have their own challenges in handling a situation such as what occurs in One Breath AwayBy including a character like Lucy, you help raise awareness and make people think. That is a magical thing that can truly later on down the road change how a person might perceive or react to children with autism and their parents.

 Readers: Make sure to check out One Breath Away  and Heather Gudenkauf’s other books if her writing is new to you. I have truly enjoyed each one. You can find more information on the author and her work on her website. Happy Reading!

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Filed under Adult Books, Author Interviews & Posts, Blog Tour, New Books

Review: These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

Allison Glenn has been practically perfect since birth. Beautiful, blonde and talented she always appeared to be one step ahead of those around her. As the brightest star of her small town Allison excelled in everything she set her mind to until that one fateful night when she did the unthinkable. The town of Linden Falls will never forget the heinous crime committed in the darkness of that one night. Allison Glenn has had five years in prison to remember every detail of what she did. Now her time behind bars is up and she is free to once again live life outside the confines of a prison cell.

However Allison has not been alone in her guilt and the never-ending memories of that horrific night, her younger sister Brynn lives everyday with the reality of what happened and the anger of the town continually surrounding her.  Struggling to define a life for herself Brynn fights to keep separate from a sister she once adored. Do the future lives of the sisters lie in forgetting the past or must they both go back to that one defining moment to ever find peace? And if there is peace after committing the ultimate crime does anyone truly deserve it?

Sometimes life is not black and white. Sometimes even the most tragic events have secrets hidden within and the most evil individuals have truths not revealed. The effects of one crime have changed the lives of many some of which continue on unaware of its influence on their daily paths. Through multiple voices and emotionally riveting accounts, Gudenkauf makes one night on a riverbank real for not just her characters but her readers as well.

In a work exploring just what one moment can do to a small town and a once picture perfect family; Gudenkauf has created a novel of page turning proportions. From the very first chapters These Things Hidden offers twists and turns that will surprise even the most seasoned reader.  Creating characters and situations that challenge the reader to see the world from various viewpoints while also maintaining a fresh and unexpected plot, Gudenkauf has created a work that will draw in fans new and old.

If you like Jodi Picoult or Chris Bohjalian you will more than likely enjoy These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf.

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Filed under Adult Books, New Books