5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Paradise Regained in a Book!

By: Marcia King-Gamble

As readers, yes, and as writers, we love being turned on to work we might not be familiar with. I know I do.  Introduce me to a new author, and I just might fall in love with them. I’m here today to give kudos and loud shout outs to a talented author I’m proud to call my friend. He’s a writer I know you will enjoy.

The irony of this is that I’ve known this man for what seems forever, and yet I had never read his work. He is one of the kindest and most articulate men I have yet to meet, also smart and well-respected in his field.  It was only happenstance that provided me with an opportunity to read his work.

It was at my local Romance Writers holiday party last December that I had the opportunity to pick up a copy of his book for free. He’d brought several promotional copies of his work to hand out.  I of course snagged a book.  Enthusiastic reader that I am, there are times that meeting a deadline simply gets in the way of me keeping up with books being released.

But this time I was bent and determined to read my friend’s book from cover to cover. I am always intrigued to see if an author’s personality or quirks make their way into their books. Besides, this was a man I greatly admired. 

Book in hand, off I went to my bi-monthly pedicure, knowing fully well that I would have no choice than to be a captive audience.  It would be read the book, or read magazines in Vietnamese.  The former would win out.  I was guaranteed to get through at least the first two chapters without interruptions.

From page one, I was immediately pulled into the story, because in many ways it reminded me of The Thorn Birds. Sadly, when my pedicure ended, I did not want to say goodbye to the characters. That hasn’t happened for quite some time.  But it wasn’t just the storyline that pulled me in, it was the magical writing and the vivid imagery. Now don’t get me wrong, there were disappointing times, and frustrating times when the women made choices I would never have made. But I had to keep in mind this was the sixties, and women weren’t as independent, or liberated, nor did they have the choices they have today.

Now for the title and author.   The book is the Magdalen Girls and it’s written by V. S. Alexander.

The story is set in a convent in Dublin. The year is 1962, and the nuns are running the Magdalen Laundries, staffed by allegedly fallen girls sent there to rehabilitate. Many of these young girls only sin was being so pretty they tempted a man.  

 Here’s what some readers had to say about The Magdalen Girls:

“This book is worth reading. Great story about the Magdalen laundries in Ireland. The characters are great, and the story has a lot of twists and turns. What makes it good is the story is based on true facts.

“I was lucky enough to win copies of this book for one of my book groups. It tells a fascinating story about Dublin’s convent of The Sisters of the Holy where “problem” girls were sent to live. Society was harsh, and sometimes the girls really hadn’t done anything wrong like one of the protagonists, Teagan Tiernan, whose only sin was being a beauty. Her beauty attracted the attention of a new priest who lusted after her. After his confession to the bishop, the bishop feared a scandal might follow. To prevent anything from advancing, he went to Teagan’s family and made arrangements for Teagan to be sent there.” 

About the Author:

V.S. Alexander is an ardent student of history with a strong interest in music and the visual arts. Some of V.S.’s writing influences include Shirley Jackson, Oscar Wilde, Daphne du Maurier, or any work by the exquisite Brontë sisters.  He also writes under the pseudonym of Vincent Wilde. Hs latest release is The Taster.

Pick up your copies of The Magdalen Girls and/or The Taster. Both are Kensington publications and can be purchased on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or on the author’s website.           

You’re in for a treat.

About Marcia King-Gamble
Romance writer, Marcia King-Gamble originally hails from a sunny Caribbean island where the sky and ocean are the same mesmerizing shade of blue. This former travel industry executive and current world traveler has spent most of life in the United States. A National Bestselling author, Marcia has penned over 34 books and 8 novellas. Her free time is spent at the gym, traveling to exotic locales, and caring for her animal family.
Visit Marcia at or “friend” her on Facebook:

Her Latest release with co-author Sandra Kitt is titled By Design.



Sarah Raplee said...

Marcia, The Magdalen Girls sounds like a fascinating read. I don't know anything about the Magdalen Laundries, which means I'm now very curious about the historical background of the story. And stories of women surviving and/or thriving when society has in some way tried to keep them down always draw me in. Thank you for sharing this new-to-me author!

Marcia King-Gamble said...

Hi Sarah,

I highly recommend this author. Everyone should read V. S. Alexander. The Magdalen Girls is a fascinating story and an excellent read.

Judith Ashley said...

I've not read V.S. Alexander but I am aware of The Magdalen Girls. There is that saying that one reason to learn history is so we don't repeat ourselves...and The Magdalen Girls and stories like them are reasons why. This would be a great read on St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Diana McCollum said...

Enjoyed your post! I like reading novels based on true historical events. I'll have to check out The Magdalen Girls.