Thursday, January 15, 2015

Straight Chatting from the Library - Veiled Intentions by Elieen Carr

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.Eileen will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to five randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What is the favorite book you remember as a child?
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I loved that book and Little Men and Jo’s Boys, too. I read and reread them. I imagined myself as a character in the books. I really felt like I was Jo’s BFF. I still want to pull Amy’s hair for marrying Laurie. That’s got to be some kind of major violation of the sister code.

What books do you have on hold at the library?

Ooh! I love this question. I had to go look. It’s not a huge list right now. I have Temple Grandin’s Thinking in Pictures, Ian McEwan’s The Children Act and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven on hold at the moment.

Do you have any bad book habits?

Do I ever! One in particular gets a lot of people upset. I read the ends of books around the time I’m about one third of the way into a book. I find it very stressful not to know how a book is going to end and if I read the last few pages, I can settle down and enjoy the whole thing without all the tension. I have no idea why people get so hot under the collar about this little habit, but they do! I had someone tell me that I was reading wrong.

E-Reader or print? and why?

E-Reader, E-Reader, E-Reader. The bookshelves in my house are groaning. There’s just no place for more physical books, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want more books. With an E-Reader, I can have the book without trying to figure out where to shelve it. Plus I love the way an E- Reader shuts itself off and keeps my place if I fall asleep reading, which happens quite a bit. I adore the dictionary function, too. I’ve found myself pressing my finger against words I don’t know in print books, but no definition comes up! Very frustrating!

One book at a time or multiples?

Multiple. I almost have a book I’m reading and also one I’m listening to in the car. Then if I’m reading a print book, I’ll usually also have an e-book going so I can bring it up on my phone if I have to wait in line or for an appointment.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)
Oh, so much worse! They often end up wide-open face down. Very undignified and hard on the spines.

When do you do most of your reading?

The bulk of my reading happens at bedtime. It’s a lifelong habit that I have no desire to break. For me, reading is the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day.

How do you keep your books organized?
What is this organized of which you speak? There is nothing in my life that is organized. I so wish there were. Okay. Maybe they’re a little organized. I have three shelves for signed books. All my Laura Ingalls Wilder books are in one spot and so are all my Wizard of Oz books. Everything else is organized by what I squeeze into a particular spot on the shelf.

What would make you not finish a book?

I have a couple of deal breakers, especially if it’s a book I’m just reading for pleasure and not for school or for book club. If all the people are unpleasant and I don’t have anyone to root for, I might well stop reading a book.


When a Muslim high school student is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, her school counselor gets involved to clear her record in this ripped-from-the-headlines novel.

When Lily Simon finds cops in the lobby of the high school where she’s a guidance counselor, she’s not surprised: cops and adolescents go together like sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. But when the cops take Jamila, a Muslim student, into custody for a crime she didn’t commit, Lily’s high school becomes a powder keg.

Police think Jamila is responsible for a hit and run, and since she’s not talking, they have no choice but to keep her as the main suspect. And since the victim—a young soldier recently returned from Afghanistan—is lying unconscious in the hospital, the whole town is taking sides on whether or not Jamila’s arrest is religious persecution. Determined to find the truth, Lily teams up with a reporter to uncover what really happened the night of the hit and run.


She chanted the words along with the rabbi and the rest of her community, words that have been chanted for centuries. Words of remembrance. Words of healing. Words of prayer. She felt what she almost always did in these situations.


It wasn’t that she didn’t appreciate the value of ritual. She totally did. She was here, wasn’t she? She’d even worn panty hose, for Pete’s sake, and there wasn’t much on this earth that she’d wear panty hose for. Lily got it. You had to mark things like the one-year anniversary of your mother’s death. It wasn’t a date that you let slide by. You stopped. You noticed. You thought about what it meant. It was the end of Lily’s time of mourning. It was time to move on, whatever that meant.

She hoped her mother appreciated Lily coming here to mark her yahrzeit. Not that Lily believed her mother was watching. She didn’t. Mostly. She was pretty sure that when you died, you went into the ground and the worms ate you. It didn’t matter if you were Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Presbyterian. That was it.

But there were moments, times when Lily was alone in her mother’s house, when she could swear she smelled her mother’s perfume or woke feeling the caress of her mother’s hand on her forehead. Mainly she wrote it off to wishful thinking. Sometimes, though, sometimes she found herself believing it was more. Not because it was rational, but because she needed it. She needed to feel like it all meant something.

The rabbi wished peace for all who mourned. Lily sat and listened to the rest of the service. Then she obediently trooped into the assembly room for Oneg Shabbat.


Eileen Carr was born in Dayton, Ohio. She moved when she was four and only remembers that she was born across the street from Baskin-Robbins. Eileen remembers anything that has to do with ice cream. Or chocolate. Or champagne.

Eileen’s alter ego, Eileen Rendahl, is the award-winning author of four Chick Lit novels and the Messenger series.
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