About the Book
Title: The Simple Soul of Susan
Author: Noel Branham
Genre: Romance, YA, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary
Release Date: October 11, 2017
Susan Combs had long ago found the love of her life. The only problem was the other party still didn’t know he had been found.
Every day Susan saw Calder Hurtz, her next door neighbor and childhood best friend. They always enjoyed the short drive to school down the dusty streets of their small Texas town. She was happy in those perfect moments, for her life at home was most imperfect. The challenging homestead she inhabited was also the favorite subject of local gossip.
But one autumn day she overhears Calder and another boy having a conversation. This occasion of accidental audience sets Susan’s life on an unforeseen path. In the seasons to come, her future will be changed by two hospitalizations, two confessions of love, and one betrayal.
Compulsively readable, The Simple Soul of Susan is an engaging, soul-endearing romance and a mesmerizing debut.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author
Born and raised in a small Texas town, Noel Branham started her career in digital communications after graduating with a degree in English. An award-winning communicator, she now writes from her residence in Florida about things closest to the heart: home, family, and love.
Guest Post from Noel Branham
Fictional Romance: A Real Relationship Killer?
You’ve heard it before… All romance novels give readers unrealistic expectations of relationships. Yep. They totally do. But I think most of the time, with life in general, we have unrealistic expectations not only of others but of ourselves. We live in a world where there is always something else to try, buy or satisfy our ever-evolving aspirations of happiness and fulfillment. So here are three things to remember while reading romance novels that will lead to having deep, meaningful, romantic, relationships in real life:
- Happiness isn’t fulfilled expectations. When you expect yoursignificant other (SO) to see you and romantically sweep you off your feet while pulling flowers from behind your back and force feeding you chocolates… you may have some unrealistic expectations. Would it be nice? Sure! But there is always something more they could do to make you happy, feeling loved, satisfied, etc. It’s a bottomless pit of desire and implied anticipated actions. We have to realize that no matter how many things we want out of a relationship, we can never receive them all… because realistically, we could never live up to the things expected of us either. Romance is a two-way street.
- Happiness is the unexpected, fulfilled. Wait… how can you fulfill something that isn’t expected? You can’t. And that’s what makes it so great. Your SO fills your car up with gas, takes you out for a date for no particular reason, watches that Victorian-era PBS drama with you even though they can’t understand the accents… When we get rid of expectations for ourselves and others we are able to really enjoy the things and people we already have and anything else is simply adding to lovely life that we already possess.
- Happiness in relationships is what you make of it. Just not feeling the love anymore after five years together? Was it that you chose the wrong person? Was it something they did? Something you did? Love can be a feeling and an action. Your relationship doesn’t have to be defined by feelings. Feelings fade. They aren’t realistic. They change with time as people change with time because all people change. But actions… actions are what you choose to do on a regular basis. They are a daily intentional choice (made by you) to care for another person. You can control your actions, but not so much your feelings. Funny thing is often times your actions create feelings you never thought you could have.
If you are looking for a romance novel with a bit more realism to test out these principals, check out The Simple Soul of Susan. You can have the realistic expectation that you won’t be disappointed 🙂
I have discovered a new author to me and this story is written with such deep emotions I couldn't put it down. There is something about Susan that draws you in to her character and goes deep into your soul. I loved how independent she is and how dedicated she is to caring for her invalid dad. She hasn't had an easy life, but she never complains. Some kids at school make fun of her and I could relate to her immediately. When I was growing up, I was bullied in junior high and high school. I had very few friends just like Susan. I cried when I read how mean the girls were to her and wanted to tell them to stop it. Susan is really just a shy girl who lacks self confidence but she has so much to offer with her compassion and love.
Calder and Susan are next door neighbors and naturally have a deep bond for each other. I liked Calder at times an other times I thought that he should have taken up for Susan more. It surprised me when he belittled her in front of his friends. The book really does a excellent job of talking about friendship and how easily someone can betray you. It shows how jealousy can hurt someone and words can cut to the core. I loved that the book wasn't a feel good everything is great book. What it is though, is a real look at what teenagers go through and the decisions they make .
When Susan finds out something Calder did that affects her dad, will she be able to forgive him? It is an emotional book that shares the ups and downs of a teenager but goes deeper with real life issues. I wonder how many teenagers are taking care of their parents right now? We don't really know how someone home life unless we get involved in their lives and show them that people care. It made me think of how much I wish I had someone to go to when I was growing up. I loved the reference to Austin and how people are perceived to look different there. The truth is they feel comfortable being themselves like each of us should feel. I liked how the author expresses that very idea of being yourself throughout the book. The ending is wonderful and full of surprises. This is one book I found to be very honest, emotional and shares how the choices you make, determine your destiny. Forgiveness is not easy, but when you make the choice to forgive, you are set free.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate her tour, Noel giving away
Grand Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card
First & Second Place Prize: eBook copy of the Simple Soul of Susan!!
First & Second Place Prize: eBook copy of the Simple Soul of Susan!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cee4/the-simple-soul-of-susan-celebration-tour-giveaway