Thursday, August 16, 2012

Section 132: Interview, Review and Giveaway

Today I'd like to welcome over Helga Zeiner, author of Section 132, over for an interview!

What audiences, do you think, read your books?
I am very lucky that I have a large target group for my novels. They all belong to a genre mix of suspense and romance, with a bit of adventure and lots of spiritual and historic information added to it. By the way, I believe most novels are a mix and it is very difficult for most authors to pinpoint the exact genre.

Mine, belonging to suspense and romance, attract an adult audience who want to be entertained and at the same time learn things they are not familiar with in their daily lives.

 Your favourite part of your writing journey?
When I start my first draft and slowly introduce the different characters to the story line it often happens that they break out of the scheme I had planned for them and develop a life of their own. They  show traits that surprise me, start dialogue which slightly alters the plot, are not behaving the way I originally imagined and grow from being my brain-child into 'novel' adults very quickly.

I love that. While I share my time with those characters, they become close friends as we journey together to the story's end and, just like any mother, I'm usually very sad when I have to let them go.

Your least favourite part of your writing story?
There is none. I love absolutely everything about writing – the research, the plot development, the actual creative writing, even the editing, which many authors find boring. I am very lucky to be able to do every day what I love so deeply.

If you could design a perfect room for writing, what would it look like?
I wrote my first novel practically inside a wardrobe. At that time I was living in a home where there was no spare place for my computer. I had to move some coats to make room for a permanent small computer desk. It didn't matter. Even today, my writing study is a small cubicle next to my 'normal' office. (For my novels I use a computer without internet connection as I have always been terrified that a virus might attack what I am writing).

In other words – the perfect room is my imagination – and that doesn't need much space on this level of consciousness.

What sparks a novel for you?
Good question. I'm not totally sure. It is a combination of factors. It usually starts when something extraordinary catches my attention and doesn't let go any more. For example, Section 132 began when I read about the polygamous sect Bountiful. The article in the Vancouver Sun told about an FLDS Bishop living on this remote compound close to the US border of BC who has more than 50 wives and over a hundred children. It struck me as so odd that something like this is possible in our western civilization that I began to did a little further. Soon enough I was so intrigued by what I discovered, that I immersed myself into the most extensive research I had ever undertaken. Above and beyond the facts I unearthed, I asked myself: Why do women put up with such a degrading situation? So, there I was. The spark had become a burning flame and I simply HAD to write this novel.

I do hope you give it your attention – and like it!

Lillian is only 13 when her parents marry her to a middle-aged Bishop of a fundamentalist sect who practices polygamy. She is forced to live with her new husband’s many wives and children on his compound tucked away in the Canadian wilderness.

The hardships of poverty and isolation have crushed the will of just about everybody in his flock. They suffer in silent submissiveness, trying to please their despotic leader. He justifies the humiliating treatment of his dependents by citing ‘Section 132 of the Doctrine & Covenants’ of his fundamentalist religion.

Until, one day, Lillian had enough. But it is dangerous to try and escape the Bishop’s iron rule. He practices blood-atonement, which is quietly sanctioned by the ‘Gatekeepers’, an American secret society within the Fundamentalist Mormon Church.

Lillian must find out-side help if she ever wants to leave the Bishop’s compound – but how can she do this if she is locked up without any means of communication?

Lillian doesn’t know how life outside a compound functions. She only knows that she can not live like this much longer. Many questions plaque her troubled mind.
Why do her sister-wives put up with this hardship, knowing only a bleak future lies ahead of them? Where do the child-brides come from, the Bishop keeps adding to his family? Where do some of his daughters disappear to, once they come of age? Lillian’s defiance grows with every injustice she witnesses – until she can’t hide her rebellion any longer.

Her desperate struggle to escape draws the reader into a very dark, very dangerous place. But not all is hopeless. When land developer Richard Bergman buys the neighboring property, Lillian’s luck seems to be changing … 

My Review:
This was a fantastic book! Characters that just leap from the page into your imagination, to a plot that frankly, if it wasn't fiction, that if it was true, that the bits that were drawn from fact, it makes it hard to understand, that we live in a society that can't stop that kind of...mind control. Because it was just horrible for them, from the conditions, social, physical, spiritual, and emotional, where just horrible, and the mind views, that if they were just taught the truth, then they wouldn't have to endure makes me very sad. The pouring of emotions, it just makes this book be very, very, very good! 

Plotwise, it starts off with a bang, a death, and that just starts of half of the novel's plot, the insides of cult, the other half being the outsides, from Richard, and the brief glimpses of the "Brotherhood" narrated sections. That Lillian, and many others in the compound, went through that, well, that was hard to read, because it was not a good place to be. And then the Richard parts, where he slowly learns about what's going on, with the slight maybe romance, well, that was fun to read, too!

One thing that I really loved about this novel, was that these characters were real, that I could've met them on the street, that they weren't perfect, they had flaws, and they made mistakes, of trust, of judgement, and how that effected the other characters, well, that was a lot of fun to read!

This was a fantastic, far-reaching enveloping novel that can't help but suck you into reading it, so I hope you guys check out the giveaway below, because this was a really fantastic book!

Author: Helga Zeiner
Read: August 15th, 2012
Source: Partners in Crime Tours Review Copy
Reason Why: Sounded like an amazing book, and they were in Canada!
Publisher: Pow Wow Books
Published: July 1st 2011
5/5 Hearts
3.5/5 Books

4/5 Stars

I'm hosting a giveaway of this book, Section 132. It'll be a ebook copy, and so it'll be International. I'll pick a winner via on August 23rd, so you have a week to enter.

To Enter: In the comments, tell me something that you think you'd like about this book and your email.
For Bonus Entries, 1 each, (and if you've already done them for a previous giveaway, say that)

-follow this blog by GFC

-follow this blog by email
-follow Helga on twitter
-follow me on twitter
-add this book on Goodreads

Helga Zeiner is a Canadian and German citizen.

At the age of 18, Helga completed her arts degree at the Art School of Bavaria, and then left Germany.
She lived and worked for two years in Australia, and twelve years in Hong Kong.

Since 2004 she has lived with her husband Manfred in the wilderness of British Columbia, about 5 hours north of Vancouver. There they own over 500 acres which they have developed into a gated cabin community, the Rainbow Country Estate.

For as long as she can remember, Helga has been writing novels, usually in her spare time. Today most of her time is devoted to writing, but she also manages the land development company, is politically active, enjoys outdoor sports and loves smoking cigars.

Contact and Buy AKA Links:

Stops on the Tour: 
July 8th: Review, Post & Giveaway~Cheryl @ CMash Loves To Read
July 9th: Review & Giveaway~Emily @ The Many Thoughts of a Reader
July 10th: Review, Interview & Giveaway~Nicole @ Purple Penguin Reviews
July 16th: Review & Giveaway~Vera @ Luxury Reading
July 19th: Review, Post & Giveaway~Lori @ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book
July 24th: Review & Giveaway~Shannon @ Shannon's Book Bag
July 26th: Review & Giveaway~Joel @ Author Joel M. Andre
July 31st: Showcase~Gina @ Hott Books
August 1st: Review, Post & Giveaway~DDS @ book r3vi3ws
August 7th: Review, Interview & Giveaway~Nicole @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
August 8th: Review & Giveaway~Cheryl @ The Book Connection
August 9th: Interview~Cheryl @ The Book Connection
August 15th: Review & Giveaway~ Kriss @ Cabin Goddess
August 16th: Review, Interview & Giveaway~Louisa @ Words I Write Crazy
August 21st: Review, Interview & Giveaway~Kari @ From The TBR Pile
August 23rd: Review & Giveaway~Lauren @ Northern Plunder
August 28th: Showcase~Lance @ Omnimystery News
August 29th: Showcase~Molly @ Reviews By Molly
September 3rd: Review & Giveaway~ Kristin @ Kritters Ramblings
September 8th: Review, Post & Giveaway~Inga @ Me and Reading
September 10th: Review, Post & Giveaway~Kathleen @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
September 14th: Review~Marjorie @ GoodReads
September 11th: Review & Giveaway~Kathleen @ Celticlady's Reviews
September 16th: Review & Giveaway~William @ Two weeks from everywhere
September 19th: Review, Post & Giveaway~Melissa @ Keeping Up With The Rheinlander's
August 23rd: Review & Giveaway~Lauren @ Northern Plunder
September 25th: Review, Post & Giveaway~Farrah @ The Book Faery Reviews
September 26th: Showcase~Kate @ Read 2 Review
September 30th: Review & Giveaway~Cheryl @ Sweeping The USA

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