Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Souls prisoner celebration tour copy

About the Book

Soul's Prisoner front
Book Title: Soul’s Prisoner
Author: Cara Luecht
Genre: Historical fiction with some suspense and romance
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Chicago, Winter, 1891
Rachel is in danger. She’s seen too much.
She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She’d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she’d find a place in the city, never imagined she’d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning’s cold, labyrinthine basement.
Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had.
A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father.
But when Jeremy, Rachel’s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

140223_132100ph(2)Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

The Setting for Soul’s Prisoner: Dunning Asylum for the Insane
Dunning Asylum for the Insane was built in the 1850s and housed psychiatric patients until the early 1900s. It has since been demolished, and a small park currently stands as the only remaining testament to the people who lived and died on the grounds.
The original plot of land also included a poor farm and a cemetery. A railroad used to connect the grounds to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee. It was nicknamed the “Crazy Train”—a phrase that still survives in our language today. Those buried in the cemetery include Civil War Veterans, victims of the Chicago fire of 1871, orphans, paupers, and the residents of the asylum for the insane. Most estimates agree that nearly forty thousand people were buried on the grounds.
There is no doubt that mental illness is hard on families, but in the 1800s, having a family member who struggled with mental illness was an embarrassment. With little understanding of mental health in general, and even less compassion for those who suffered, examples of this tragic response to the threat of mental illness can be seen in the numerous inmates who were there simply due to addiction or depression. There are even cases where women were committed because their families were humiliated by their giving birth outside the bonds of marriage. Often times, challenges with mental health were synonymous with the notion of moral failure or vice. Because of this, even many charities looked the other way when corruption or abuse was exposed. Reporters sometimes wrote about the horrors of the institutions, but once the sensational story was out, and the initial outrage worn away, few worried about the people who suffered on a daily basis. And because of the moral implication of mental illness, families commonly turned over their suffering members to the county, and later simply explained to friends that the person had died.
And that is exactly what the mentally ill would do in the institution. Live there until they died, forgotten.
And that’s how the story played out at Dunning, until late in the 1900s when developers began to dig the roads and foundations for a new neighborhood on the grounds of what was once the Asylum. At that time, Dunning, and the people who had resided there, were still within living memory, so when bones were unearthed, it was no mystery how they ended up on that patch of land. What had slipped from memory was the magnitude of the collective stories of suffering and hardship.
For this novel, the people and events are fictitious. However, when examining old news stories from an institution known for corruption, it is not hard to imagine situations like the ones in the novel. The details that are true are the nearly one thousand inmates, no hot water, little to no heat in the winter, bad food, and the general feeling of living ghosts, intentionally forgotten, and doomed to never leave the grounds.


When I started this book the words, eerie, dangerous and evil came to mind. The author captures a time and place that the faint of heart would not survive. As Rachel went down to the basement, I could feel a chill creep down my spine. Her eyes told the story of unspoken evil lurking in air. The writing is superior and takes you right where the story is happening. I can't imagine being in a place where you had to look over your should every few seconds.

I screamed as Rachel's freedom was suddenly taken away from her. How can such evil happen with no one to question the outcome? Have you been locked in a room unexpectedly with no way out? You find yourself panicking as tears stream down your face. Rachel seems to lose hope as each day passes .  Will someone realize that she is missing? In the late 1850s asylums were  like torture chambers. The evil that went on was unspeakable. Rachel is treated with little dignity. I was mesmerized by the details that the author wrote about the evils of asylums that existed long ago. It reminds me of the saying, "If walls could talk."

Jeremy is a character I found to be very intuitive. He was determined to find out what had happened to his sister. Wouldn't it be unnerving to have a family member suddenly disappear without a trace? There were times in the book, I wasn't sure I could continue reading. It wasn't because the story was bad, but because the story was so masterfully written that it seemed almost real.

Jenny is a very complicated character. Wanting to have a better life for herself and her son seems right in the grasp of her hands. Jenny is haunted by her past and the author gives us pieces of her tormented life with words that reach deep into the soul where darkness is at times. Her story is one that she feels ashamed of and my heart broke for her.

The story is very intense and weaves a tale of mind games that only the strongest can survive. Will Rachel be rescued before it's to late?  What does she know that would cause people to want to hide her? I thought through the entire book how desperate Rachel felt as she saw her freedom slowly slip into oblivion. The ending is one that will have you on the edge of your seat and your heart pounding so loud you can here each beat.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Multifarious, March 9
Remembrancy, March 9
amandainpa, March 12
Carpe Diem, March 14
A Greater Yes, March 17
Simple Harvest Reads, March 20 (Guest Post from Mindy)
Pursuing Stacie, March 20
Bigreadersite, March 21


To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Soul’s Prisoner and sketching art supplies!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cb74


  1. Wow! What a powerful piece of writing! I cannot wait to read this book! Thanx for the giveaway!!!!

  2. Thank you for your wonderful review and being part of the book tour for "Soul’s Prisoner" by Cara Luecht. I've very much love the opportunity to read this book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. I love stories that give me chills.