Monday, 12 November 2007

Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh & fabulous Aussie Giveaway


Preacher’s kid and prodigal Harriet Bisset returned to her church and her family in Franklin, Tennessee, seven years ago. Once the proud owner of two tattoos and a nose ring, Harri is now addicted to Jelly Bellys in lieu of hangovers and Bible verses in lieu of foul

The good news is that she has everything under control: a part-time position as director of women’s ministry, a church family that adores her, a rent-free home in a senior mobile home park, and the possibility of owning the cafĂ© where she waitresses. Nothing could tempt Harri to return to her old ways. Nothing but a 1298 cc, liquid-cooled, sixteen-valve, in-line four-cylinder motorcycle—and the church consultant riding it.

Reformed rebel Maddox McCray’s arrival at First Grace spells C-H-A-N-G-E for the dying church. And it just might mean change for Harri when Maddox sets out to convince her that even Christians are allowed to have fun.

The story of a prodigal daughter’s transformation, Splitting Harriet reminds readers of God’s delight in forgiving, loving, and enjoying the ride.

My take:~

A book only needs Tamara Leigh's name on it for me to be captivated but couple that with fabulous cover art and a great synopsis and I was hooked on Splitting Harriet before even cracking open a page! I knew I would be entertained but little did I know that Tamara's characters would remind me so poignantly of the freedom God desperately wants us to discover in Him.

Harriet Bisset is trapped by the guilt of her past, forever trying to make amends for the grief her rebellion caused her family and church community. Terrified of falling from grace once again, Harriet has immersed herself in doing good, socialising only with the elderly community in which she lives, addicted to Jelly Bellys rather than cigarettes and staying well clear of the opposite sex, at any cost.

Maddox McCray is a church consultant hired to bring Harri's declining church into the 21st century. A former bad boy himself, M
addox has experienced God's grace in his life and hopes to share that forgiveness and freedom with others. As Maddox gently makes changes to First Grace, Harri and her older friends are soon in uproar over the discarding of the creaking organ, allowing scrapbookers to come alongside quilters and the horrific suggestion of dual services!

Splitting Harriet is a wonderfully entertaining read with a message of deep spiritual importance. Tamara's characterisation is exquisite from Harriet to Maddox, the uncompromising Bea and the floundering pastor's kid, Anna. I was invested in each of their stories as the tension arising from the changing of traditions and incorporation of new ideas inspires some at First Grace and terrifies others. The attraction between Maddox and Harri is captivating as Harri's fears of returning to her past poor choices torment her and impact on her relationship with Maddox and her long suffering brother Tyler. The dialogue is so authentic, I ached for Harri, cheered for Maddox and felt deeply for Bea. While peppered with humour and wonderful characters, it is the lasting message of God's grace and forgiveness that has stayed with me. You don't want to miss all that Splitting Harriet has to offer! Available now from Multnomah

Author Bio:~

Tamara Leigh’s first novel, Warrior Bride, was published in 1994 and was followed by six more bestselling, award-winning historical romances for Bantam, HarperCollins, and Dorchester. Leigh’s inspirational chick lit debut, Stealing Adda, was published in 2006 to great critical acclaim. Leigh has also written for Romantic Times magazine and been a guest speaker for WaldenBooks’s corporate conference. Leigh lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband and two sons and enjoys time with her family, volunteer work, faux painting, and reading.

Tamara has generously sent me an autographed copy of Splitting Harriet to give away and I also have three additional copies from Multnomah to give away to readers with an Australian mailing address only! To be eligible please post a comment telling me a "vice" you have that you can't give up! Harri's "vice" is Jelly Bellys - what's yours?

PS. RBC Book Club members ~ I think this is another one I will add next year ;-)


Ausjenny said...

Oh a vice i cant give up. Chocolate.
i try and can stay of it for a month or more but one bite and im hooked again. Im trying again to stop the addiction ive almost made it to 24 hours.
please add me (i also love jellybeans)

Oh and what is RBC Book Club?

Anonymous said...

Heaps cool, I was hoping this one would have a giveaway!!

Vice? Um, BOOKS!!!!!! I cannot stop buying books!!! I'm obsessed. :)

Julia said...

This sounds really good!
I guess my vice would be anything sweet, and anything I can read! :D
Please enter me.
itsmyemail (at)

Rel said...

RBC Book Club is the book club I run at my church! We meet every 6 weeks and discuss a CF book and do email interviews or telephone conferences with some of the authors!

Lots of fun!

So far I identify with all your vices - books, chocolate and anything sweet!

Lesha said...

Gummy Bears :)

Tamara Leigh said...


Thank you bunches for the oh-so-fine review of Splitting Harriet. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed Harri's tale. Though I don't think I've ever struggled so much to get a story off the ground--plot revision after revision after revision--once it was off and running, I had a fabulous time writing it. Of course, it gave me a very good excuse for making Jelly Bellys a regular part of my day. Now if I could just drop those last few pounds...

ChristyJan said...

One of the MANY vices that I have is tea. I love to try different blends and flavors.

I'd love to read SPLITTING HARRIET!

angela said...

I have too many vices to list but close to the top would be expresso coffee. Please add my name to the give-away hat.

p.s. ausjenny, RBC Book Club IS a lot of fun and great discussions.

Tracy said...

You want us to confess our vice(s) huh. I don't mind revealing....a good block of dark chocolate isn't terribly safe with me. And I love a CF good book.

Please pop me in the draw for this one Rel.


fiona said...

Sounds like a great book!!! If I don't win I will have to put it on my ever growing wish list.

As for a green tea. Although I should probably add chocolate, books and scrapbooking to the list of things that I just can't seem to give up.

Just wondering Rel if you are going to tell us yours when you post the winners?

Ausjenny said...

Oh the bookclub sounds so much fun.
wish i was in melbourne!

Jen said...

Cappuccinos and chocolates, Lindt in particular! Love them both. Pop me in please Rel as the book sounds great.

ad said...

I have to say that I love anything with chocolate in it to keep me going. please put my name in too,rel. Ta.

Tamara Leigh said...

DAAAARK Chocolate. And once I put some distance between my overindulgence with the Jelly Bellys (great inspiration for writing SPLITTING HARRIET), I'm sure they'll once more rank among my vices.

Naomi said...

I haven't heard of these books before but they sound good. My vice is Coke and Christian books.

wendyb said...

Not so keen on chocolate but give me something salty, eg chips dips and I'm happy.But my biggest vice is lollies, any sort any time, could eat them all day.

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