Friday, April 9, 2010

TEN CENTS A DANCE: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
TEN CENTS A DANCE

BY CHRISTINE FLETCHER


ABOUT THE BOOK:

W
hen her mother becomes too ill to work, fifteen-year-old Ruby Jacinski is forced to drop out of school to support her family. Her dull factory job makes life one long dead end...until she meets neighborhood bad boy, Paulie. Soon, Ruby is getting paid to dance with lonely men—and learning how to "fish" them for cash, clothes, even jewelry. As long as her family doesn't find out what she's doing, her problems—and theirs—are solved. But secrets and bad boys are both hard to keep...especially when swinging with the hepcats turns into swimming with the sharks. A mesmerizing look into a little-known world and era, Ten Cents a Dance is resplendent with soul-shaking jazz, killer '40s style, and the passions of a
young generation in a country on the brink of war.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR,,,IN HER OWN WORDS:

I grew up in the Bay Area, a bit south of San Francisco. As a kid, I was always either reading or drawing. I drew pictures by the hundreds, mostly of dogs and horses (I wasn't any good at cats; I never could get their ears right). When I was seven, I invented veterinary medicine. That's right—invented. Doctor shows on TV fascinated me; symptoms seemed like clues, illnesses like mysteries to be solved. But I never was interested in doctoring people. I can't explain why. Some things just grab you in a way you can't resist, and animals were that way for me. So I figured I'd be a doctor who treated animals. Brilliant, right? I still remember my surprise when I found out other people had thought of it first. Hey—that was MY idea! Original or not, though, it was what I wanted to be. Fast forward through a whole bunch of school, a few graduation ceremonies, and voilà! A veterinarian at last. Still reading everything I could get my hands on, although drawing had long since fallen by the wayside. And writing? Occasionally I'd think, "You know, I bet I could write a book," but it was the kind of thought like, "I ought to make bread from scratch," or, "I sure would love to be able to play the guitar." In other words, nothing I took seriously. Meanwhile, my boyfriend and I moved to Tennessee. I fell in love with the landscape, the people, and perfect iced tea, but we weren't destined to stay; a few years later we moved again, this time to Oregon. Here, finally, I began to write. I'd like to claim that some noble Muse whispered into my ear, and, thus inspired, I began to create. I'd like to, but...no. The truth is, I was inspired by a novel. Which novel doesn't matter; what mattered was how much I loathed it. The cliches! The stale plot devices, the two-dimensional characters! And yet...I couldn't put it down. At the time, I felt obligated to finish every book I started. By the time I turned that final, 1,104th page, I'd made up my mind about two things. First, never again would I make myself read an entire novel I disliked. Second, if that person could write a book, then what was stopping me? OK, so it wasn't loftiest of purposes. Still, it kick-started me from saying I could write to actually doing it—or at least, trying to. I quickly gained a new, tremendous respect for the author of those 1,104 pages! But I kept slugging away. Writing had grabbed me, and I couldn't resist. Someone once asked me why people read novels. I realized that, as a reader, I'm hoping to discover something I've never imagined before. I want to be swept into the world the writer has created for me. I want the writer to be fearless, to lay bare what he or she knows to be true. Now that I'm a writer myself, this is what I try to bring to my readers. So now I wear two hats: veterinarian and writer. They use completely different parts of my brain, but they have this in common: no matter how much you know, you never know enough. It drives me crazy, but it's a good thing. These days I live in Portland, Oregon, in a 100-year-old house that constantly needs repairs, with my boyfriend of many years, an assortment of rescued dogs and cats, and a hognose snake named Snappy Tom. As I write, one dog snoozes in my office, while the other sneaks onto the sofa downstairs (she knows that clacking noises from the keyboard means I won't notice.) The cats take turns on my lap. Snappy Tom, meanwhile, dreams his snaky dreams. I imagine he dreams of mice, although he doesn't say.

MY REVIEW:

TEN CENTS A DANCE by Christine Fletcher is written on a rather unique subject when you consider that the book is directed more for young adults. That said, I will tell you as a senior citizen (ouch!) I thoroughly enjoyed the book and didn’t feel the author had written “down” to her target group. Fletcher writes with the skill of a seasoned author and does wonderful in-depth character studies without seeming “stuffy” in her style. The distinctly described setting is the era of the 1940’s. This was a time of when people made money anyway they could. Things were shaky at home due to the war and times they were living in being so difficult.

Fifteen-year-old Ruby lives in Chicago's meat packing district in 1941 with her younger sister and mother. After Ruby’s mother becomes ill and can no longer work, Ruby is forced to quit school and work to support the family. Working in a factory packing pickled pig's feet is the last thing that Ruby ever thought she would be doing. It is hard work and long hours. She aches all over and her fingers are swollen from the repetitive work. It isn’t hard to understand why when Paulie, a guy who doesn’t have the best reputation, tells Ruby he can get her a job dancing at a place where she can make $50 a week, that Ruby agrees immediately. Ruby loves to dance and how lucky is she that she can get paid all that money to do what she loves? Forget those pigs’ feet!

The job is even more appealing when Ruby finds out she will be dancing at the exciting Starlight Dancing Academy. She is naïve but she slowly realizes it is a little more than just dancing. However, Ruby is taken in by the glamour and excitement of it all. What harm can it be to flirt a little bit and go out to dinner with the men sometimes? She gets to wear pretty clothes and makeup but also knows her job is what others call a taxi-dancer and looked down on by decent people of the time. A taxi-dancer would dance with any man who would pay a dime to dance with the pretty girls like Ruby. Ruby slowly realizes what all this is and knows her mother would never approve. She is glad that she has not let her know how she is making this money.

Ruby starts to get deeper into the way of life with more things being asked of her and along with it comes trouble. She gets in so deep she doesn’t know how to get out. She doesn’t know who to turn to as she can’t go to her mother. Her mother has met a man and remarried and even told Ruby to quit working and go back to school which is a past Ruby can't even think of returning to. Will Ruby pull herself out before it is too late or will she become another statistic of that time period? Can she tell her mother now and ask for help when all this time she has been dishonest saying she was a telephone operator? Is her mother strong enough to take that, or is Ruby, for that matter? Not that I was alive for this period of our history but my uncle was a marathon dancer in those days and would tell us stories of what it was like and he even had a stage name. As a young girl, I remember thinking how exciting it was so it is easy to see how Ruby got herself into this mess. Based on an actual family member who was a taxi-dancer that the author researched extensively, Christine Fletcher does an amazing job recreating the time period and has written a wonderful novel that I highly recommend.


GIVEAWAY

MANY THANKS TO
AUTHOR CHRISTINE FLETCHER,
I HAVE TWO AUTOGRAPHED
COPIES OF THIS WONDERFUL
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY!



--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY!
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!
HOW TO ENTER

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT THE REVIEW AND DESCRIPTION OF THIS BOOK ABOVE

+1 MORE ENTRY:
COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT THE AUTHOR HERSELF, OR BY VISITING HER WEBSITE HERE


+1 MORE ENTRY:
BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND THEN COME BACK AND LEAVE A LINK

GIVEAWAY ENDS
AT 6 PM, EST, APRIL 22

80 comments:

Zia said...

I found quite a bit interesting about the author, but really stuck out is that she lives in Portland. I love discovering authors that live near me.

Ziaria
ziaria(at)gmail(dot)com

Book Lady said...

+1 tweeted
http://twitter.com/lexley/status/11873134883
must.read.faster@gmail.com

Book Lady said...

+1 She's a veterinarian part time and a writer the rest! That's a pretty sweet gig if you ask me!
must.read.faster@gmail.com

Book Lady said...

+1 I love fiction set in this era and I loved the idea that this book was loosely based on a family member of the author!
pretty cool! Awesome review too!

must.read.faster@gmail.com

Margie said...

From the author's site...I learned that she wears two hats: a veterinarian and a writer.
mtakala1 AT yhahoo DOT com

Margie said...

The book sounds interesting...some characters with multi-layers, a unique plot, and a little bit of history about the 40s. Looks like a good read.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Tea said...

I would love to read TEN CENTS A DANCE. I loved your review too. If I had the chance to read the book, I'm sure the questions you asked would come back to mind.
I like to read about the Forties. I don't blame the main character for choosing dancing, wearing pretty clothes over working in a factory with stinky pigs feet.
I just finished reading about this period in Her Mother's Daughter by Francine Rivers. I agree. It wasn't an easy time in which to live.

teakettle58(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tea said...

I find Christine Fletcher's life fun to read. It's surprising to learn she has the credentials to be a veternarian. I don't think I will meet another author for a long time who has chosen to write novels while having the ability to be a vet.

I have always thought Oregon is beautiful. Never been there but have heard it described as beautiful. There is so much to say about this one author I could go on and on. I haven't gotten to her pets yet.:)

Tea said...

I tweeted from your site on Twitter to my site, PearlTulip1 a moment ago.

Tore said...

I thought that was pretty interesting that the book was based on a family member of the author. Would you be interested in reading the book very much. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

holdenj said...

I think it's fascinating that Christine is a vet! I'm also a little bit curious about what a hognose snake is!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Kitty said...

Learned a new idiomatic expression-"fishing"
...learning how to "fish" them for cash, clothes, even jewelry...

maynekitty///at///live///dot///com

holdenj said...

The book covers an interesting era...how hard it must have been to work in those factories and under those conditions. The "dance hall" aspect is interesting too, as a way young women left at home could make some money.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Colleen Turner said...

I went to the author's website and found it interesting that one of her front teeth is fake because the real tooth was knocked out by a rottweiler! Ouch!
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I enjoyed your review, and liked that you stated the book was intended for young adults but didn't talk down to them and is a good read for any age. That will help it reach a larger audience. I don't know anything about the 40s so this should be a good read!
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

traveler said...

I am amazed by this author and her multi-talented abilities. To write and be a vet is amazing and special.saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am captivated with this author and book. What a wonderful giveaway. What appealed to me greatly was the era and the wonderful story. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

The Book Buff said...

I am really looking forward to reading this book because am very interested in this time period :)

k8thebookbuff(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jo-Jo said...

I think it's interesting that the author invented veterinary medicine! lol lol
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Jo-Jo said...

I think this book sounds interesting because it just shows what another person was willing to do to help her family surivive.
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

rubynreba said...

I find it interesting that is set in the 40's and I also want to know how she tries to keep it a secret and how her family finds out what she is doing.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)jet

rubynreba said...

She lives in a hundred year old house that constantly needs repair. She has a pet snake.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Martha Lawson said...

This book looks really good as I have always been fascinated with the women who danced with men for money. She is a new to me author, which I love finding!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

What I found interesting on her website is:
TEN CENTS A DANCE
An ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults . Seems kind of unusual for this to be a ya book!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Bridget said...

I've been wanting to read this book for quite some time. Now for something I found interesting--every time I read a descripton or review of the book, it reminds me of Reba McEntire's song "Fancy."

bridgetwilson4765(at)gmil(dot)com

Bridget said...

Something interesting--this book reminds me of Reba McEntire's song "Fancy." Can't wait to read it.

bridgetwilson4765(at)gmail(dot)com

Bridget said...

+1 I tweeted!

http://twitter.com/bridgetrwilson/status/11887494301

bridgetwilson4765(at)gmail(dot)com

Angie said...

i have not read much about the 40's jazz era either so this would be interesting to explore.

aksimmo at brainerd dot net

Angie said...

She has a snake named Snappy Tom as a pet. Yikes!

aksimmo at brainerd dot net

Tribute Books said...

Sounds great, would love to read. info@tribute-books.com

Pamela Keener said...

I loved that a a little girl she thought she was the one who invented veterinary medicine.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I love reading about this era. The premise of this book is also inviting.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Darcie K. said...

I love the era in which this novel takes place. I also found it interesting that the author based it on a family member.
dmkayes@gmail.com

Marilu said...

I learned that the author is a veterinarian. Please enter me. thanks

lovemykidsandbooks ATgmail DOT com

Linda Kish said...

I haven't read much that is set in the 40s. This was just before I was born and really only know what my folks had told me (other than school). This sounds good.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

She lives in a 100 year old house in Portland, Oregon.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Mariela said...

I found it interesting that the character of the book was based on an actual family member that she researched.

Marimasiel@gmail.com

Mariela said...

I think its great that she is both a writer and a veterinarian.

marimasiel@gmail.com

Mariela said...

I thought its cool that she gets her clothe from anthropologie since i work with her sister branch -- urban outfitters =]

sharon54220 said...

Another great review Karen. I found it interesting that the girl took to dancing to help the family. Secrets are hard to keep.
In the '40s people did what they could to help their families.

sharon54220@gmail.com

sharon54220 said...

I am a follower via GFC and also a fan on Facebook - sharon54220

Thanks Karen.

sharon54220@gmail.com

sharon54220 said...

She has a menagerie of animals. Dogs, cats and a Hognose snake named Snappy Tom.
Also that she has 2 careers, a veteranian and a writer. Opposite ends of the spectrum, but a challenge to say the least.

sharon54220@gmail.com

bison61 said...

I love to read about the 40's era-the comment secrets and bad boys are both hard to keep-I liked that!

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

misskallie2000 said...

I love this book. I like stories that show bravery against the odds and the heroin was brave in going out to help her family. It was interesting to find out the book was based on a family member.

Would love to win this book. Pls count me in.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I found it fasinating that she wanted to be a vet and she is. She is also a writer so she wears two hats.


misskallie2000 at yahoo dot

misskallie2000 said...

follow via twitter(@misskallie2000

Tweet
misskallie2000 Giveaway TEN CENTS A DANCE by Christine Fletcher. http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/2010/04/ten-cents-dance-review-and-giveaway.html
less than 5 seconds ago via web


misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Renee said...

I find the concept of taxi dancers interesting. I was not familiar with them .,.,.

reneesuz82@msn(dot)com

Renee said...

I love that the author lives in a 100 yrold house.. sounds great - except for all the repairs

reneesuz82(at)msn.com

Jolee said...

I found the description of the plot very interesting! joleehamlin@comcast.net

Jolee said...

The author is a veterinarian. Wow. joleehamlin@comcast.net

Debs Desk said...

Please include me in your giveaway. I love read YA books, even as an older reader, myself. I love the fact that the books is set in the 40's. It was when my mom was a teenager and I find it fascinting.

Debs Desk said...

I love it when authors put some of them into the story, basing it on family members.
Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

enyl said...

The description hints that this a work of historical fiction;yet I can't picture women behaving this way in the US before the 1970s.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

Tweeted.
twitter.com@enylstil#ten
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

I find it intresting that the author gave up her childhood dream job to write.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I really like the 40's era, and jazz is really good. It sounds like a great book to read.
debp
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Misusedinnocence said...

It sounds like a book I'd really like. The time period and loss of innocence are themes that often work well together.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

She's touring from Oregon to Illinois.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Vera said...

I always like when books appeal to readers of all ages like you said in your review. vvperesk@gmail.com

Vera said...

I visited the piccalilli section on the author's website and she mentioned Operation TBD which helps schools get books they need - what a neat idea! vvperesk@gmail.com

nfmgirl said...

I found it interesting that in your review you mention that they were called "taxi dancers". I'm trying to sort that out, and how that name came to be. All I can think is the meter on a taxi that is fed dimes? Or maybe taxi drivers were really low class like taxi dancers? I don't know. Interesting!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I can identify with her. Always reading and drawing as a kid, and drawn inexplicably to animals. Now living in her 100-year-old home with rescued cats and dogs and a snake. And I envy her in Portland. I love Portland, and all of the NW!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

Blogged:
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2010/04/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-04-10-10.html

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Kaye said...

I love books set in this era and even though it is YA I would still like to read it. If you liked it, I probably would too. Ouch, for me too! Ya know what I mean, jelly bean!

florida982002[at]yahoo.com

Kaye said...

She lived in Tennessee for a while and loved the landscape and the people.

florida982002[at]yahoo.com

Rebecca O said...

She was inspired to really start writing because of a novel that she read that she HATED!

bekki1820cb at gmail

Rebecca O said...

I liked that you didn’t feel the author had written “down” to her target group. I am in her target group and I hate it when authors write as though my being 24 would not allow me to understand something more complex.

bekki1820cb at gmail

Debbie F said...

I love books based in the forties! This sounds very interesting!

thanks

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Christine H said...

I tweeted the giveaway
http://twitter.com/Romantic73

chirth7@yahoo.com

Jolee said...

Entered 212 giveaway too.

Jolee said...

entered the Mapping of Love & Death giveaway. joleehamlin@comcast.net

Sarah E said...

I found it interesting that a girl in the 1940s could make more money working as a dancer than as a factory worker.

Please enter me in this giveaway!

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sarah E said...

I learned that the author currently lives in Portland, OR in a 100 year old house.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sarah E said...

I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/12619181340

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

~The Book Pixie said...

What I find interesting about the book description is that this is probably one of the only books I've come across about a teen girl in the 1940's. The story itself sounds so original and I've been dying to read it now for quite some time.

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

~The Book Pixie said...

+1 Sidebar: http://thebookpixie.blogspot.com/

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

~The Book Pixie said...

+1 What I find interesting about the author is that not only is she a writer but she is also a veterinarian. Not only that, but her main character, Tallulah, in Tallulah Falls goes to work for a vet and part of me wanders if there is anything else from her life that she incorporated into that book.

~Briana
thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!

http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/12659841563

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I am not sure if my last post went thru because my computer did something weird. So if my post came thru, please disregard one of these posts.

I found it interesting that the main character had to quit school to help bring money. The same thing happened to my mom. SHe regrets even to this day that she never had the chance to finish school.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I think it was interesting that the author originally wanted to be a vet until she found out how much schooling was involved. Then she decided to become a writer.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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