Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sinner's Guide to Confession - Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tour

I am very excited today to be presenting a tour for Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours!! And, I am even more excited about the book I was asked to review, Sinner's Guide to Confession by Phyllis Schieber.

From the book jacket:

“Barbara, Kaye, and Ellen, longtime friends of a certain age, are inseparable – but each nurtures her own secret. As a widowed mother of three adult children, Barbara has no intention of revealing to anyone her persona as a celebrated writer of erotica. Kate, in a stable but often joyless marriage, is having a clandestine affair that reawakens her passion even as it fills her with conflict. Ellen has lost her husband to a far younger woman, who is now pregnant with his child – a painful blow to Ellen since she and her husband were never able to conceive. But she is not childless…

Ellen is still haunted by the memory of the baby girl she had at sixteen and was forced to relinquish. Estranged from her family, Ellen is reluctantly thrust back into contact with them after the death of her father, and she realizes that if she is ever to find her lost daughter – now a grown woman herself – she will have to confront her shame and rely on her dearest friends.”

I found this to be a wonderful book. Once I got started on it, I didn’t want to put it down. The relationships between the three women in this book were not only believable, but comforting. I have read quite a bit of chick lit – and I suppose this could fall under that category – but with a bit more depth than most of the chick lit I have read. These women are in their fifties with a strong friendship and bond. They have been friends for a long time and know virtually everything there is to know about each other. They each have been keeping a major secret from the others, but eventually come to realize that if they are going to move forward with their lives and embrace who they are – not in spite of their secrets, but because of them – then they need to let their true friends in completely.

This story of friendship really touched me. I cried at a couple points and laughed at others. These friends are witty, loving and most importantly, real. And even though the friendships were the main focus of this book, the other relationships were not lacking. The relationships between mother and children (Barbara and her 3 kids, Kaye and her two, as well as Kaye and her aging mother), and the relationships between husband and wife (Kaye and her husband, as well as Ellen and her estranged husband), were all convincing and authentic.

I would recommend Scheiber’s novel to anyone looking for an evolved version of chick lit. These highly developed characters will grab you from the beginning and keep you captivated until the end.

And now, some info!! Please read 'til the end - after some great author info, there is also info about how to win a free copy of Sinner's Guide to Confession!! Two lucky visitors to the blog tour will win copies of this fabulous book!! Please leave some comments - about special friendships, or feel free to spill any secrets you have (I promise not to tell)!!

About Sinner's Guide to Confession:
Kaye and Barbara are longtime friends, now in their fifties. Ellen, who is several years younger, develops a friendship with the other two women years later, solidifying this close-knit group. The three women are inseparable, yet each nurtures a secret that she keeps from the others.

About Author Phyllis Schieber:
The first great irony of my life was that I was born in a Catholic hospital. My parents, survivors of the Holocaust, had settled in the South Bronx among other new immigrants. .In the mid-fifties, my family moved to Washington Heights. The area offered scenic views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, as well as access to Fort Tryon Park and the mysteries of the Cloisters. Her
first novel, Strictly Personal, for young adults, was published by Fawcett-Juniper. The Sinner's Guide to Confession, was released by Berkley Putnam and in March 2008, Berkley Putnam will issue the first paperback publication of Willing Spirits.

Win A Free Book from Phyllis Schieber – Its very easy to be entered in a drawing for a FREE book by Phyllis Schieber. Post comments on any blogs during the virtual tour and you will have a chance to win a book from Phyllis. One random person will win – but we are also asking visitors to share a secret and one secret will also win a free book. As a bonus the blog owner that hosted the winning comments will also win a book. Share some interesting stories and questions with Phyllis Schieber during her tour – and have a chance to win a book.

For full details about Phyllis Schieber's virtual tour, visit her tour home page -

Order Your Copy here -

Visit Phyllis Schieber or


Phyllis Schieber said...

Good morning, Katie. I think my earlier post failed to actually post, so I am back again to say hello and to thank you for your very insightful review. First, I must tell you how important librarians have been in my life. When I was a little girl, my mother took me to the library every week. She often left me there while she ran an errand. It was a different world in the late Fifties of Manhattan. The librarian introduced me to Beatrice Potter. I remember reading book after book of the collection. From there, the choices were endless, and so began my love of literature!
I enjoyed your review of THE SINNER'S GUIDE TO CONFESSION particularly because of your appreciation of the relationships in the story. I know you described the book as an elevated form of "chick lit"... this is a bit new for me since I always thought of my work as women's fiction. No matter, I suppose, as long as my readers can relate to the stories I create.
I am eager to hear from women about their friendships. I know that without my friends, I would be lost. I will be checking back throughout the day and looking forward to hearing from all of you.

Nikki Leigh said...

Hi Katie

Great job on the post and thank you for hosting Phyllis today :)

Nikki Leigh

Phyllis Schieber said...

Well, Katie, it must be the weekend already! It's so cold here in NY that it's almost painful. It gave me a good excuse to stay in and work all day. I am working on a new novel, and that is always exciting if is going well. . .today was a pretty good day.
I was hoping to hear some secrets from someone today, but I guess it's that sort of Friday.

darbyscloset said...

HI Phyllis,
I have been enjoying your posts in response to each hostesses post, how very nice of you! I have a handful of dear friends yet I know no strangers and sometimes I think my being "friends or acquiantences(sp?)" with everyone keeps anyone from really knowing me and vise versa. What are your thoughts?
Thanks so much for your time,
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Phyllis Schieber said...

Hi Darby,
I have several very close women friends who help me make sense of my life. I also have acquaintances,but I don't consider them people in whom I would confide. I do confide in certain friends more than I do in others, but that makes sense to me. And even though I have some friends I love dearly, it doesn't necessarily mean they would be the ones I would choose to share my secrets. I think we know who we can trust or who would be the most receptive. I think we allow people to know as much about us as we want them to know, don't you? I can't imagine wanting everyone in my life to know all the details of my past.

Stephanie said...

As I'm thinking about this, I realize that the people that know my secrets are no longer my friends! How strange is that? And no, it's not because I have horrible secrets that make people run from me! Those friendships just didn't stand the test of time.
The one friend that I do still have, that knows all my secrets, has been a friend since gradeschool. We only talk a few times a year, but when we do, it seems like we've been talking every day.
Some of my new friends, in this new city, each may know a secret or two, but not everything.
And no, I'm not telling my secrets here!! lol

The book looks great! It may even make a very good book for our bookclub!

Phyllis Schieber said...

That is strange, Stephanie. I'm not sure why your secret holders failed to stand the test of time. Regardless of the secrets you shared, it seems unfortunate to lose those connections. I have several childhood friends, as well as friends I made in college, and then later through my son.
Real friends remain friends no matter how far apart they live or how rarely they see each other. I believe that.
I would love to speak to your book club. I have done several book clubs, and I always feel I have accomplished something worthwhile when it's over--the connection feels so much more important. I live in NY, so it's likely we would have to speak on the phone, but it would still be fun.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

Eva said...

I've given you the Premio Dardos award! Check it out at

avisannschild said...

I want to reiterate what darbyscloset said, it's fun to read not only all these great reviews of this book, but also Phyllis's responses to them all. The more I hear about this book, the more I want to read it!

Phyllis Schieber said...

Thanks again, avisannschild! I can't wait for you to read it either!

Anna said...

I really enjoyed this book, too. Phyllis did a great job showing the ups and downs of parenting, friendship, and marriage.

I don't have too many secrets kept to myself. If it's something I won't tell my husband, I tell my best friend or sister. There's really only one secret I have and I'm never telling. :)

Diary of an Eccentric

Phyllis Schieber said...

Only one, Anna? That's great. I don't have a sister, but I have three secret keepers, and I tell them just about everything. I tell my husband some secrets, but I keep some all to myself! ;)
Thanks again!

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