Monday, April 16, 2012

Book Talk: The Volunteer by Barabara Taylor Sissel: An execution clock is ticking. Will the truth be told?

The Volunteer“While this book was about so much more than death row it seemed to me the author nailed it perfectly when she described the emotions of both the condemned and his family. This book delves into the consequences when women bury their heads in the sand to avoid confrontation.” ~, Amazon Review

Hello Digital Book Today readers. Today our book talk segment is featuring another fantastic book from Barbara Taylor Sissel. The Volunteer is a deeply engaging book covering the justice system and execution involving a volunteer. A volunteer is an inmate who requests to die instead of appealing the sentence. The character in The Volunteer becomes a dead man walking. The Volunteer is rated 4.1 stars. Barbara Taylor Sissel is also the author of The Ninth Step.

“The author investigates several controversial topics: class divisions, social conditioning, crime & punishment, the death penalty, when it is and is not appropriate to keep secrets and how those secrets affect the characters as well those they love when they are hidden as well as when they are exposed. It brought tears to my eyes. I would highly recommend this book. “ ~ Nya, Amazon Review

“I enjoyed the story line and was kept captivated by each turn of event.” ~ JTowell, Amazon Reviews
Book Description: In the fall of 1999, psychologist Sophia Beckman is compelled by the court to give testimony on behalf of a death row inmate that results in his sentence being overturned. Haunted by secrets from her past, she avoids the media spotlight as much as possible, but soon, other prisoners’ families come seeking her assistance. One family in particular, the wife, children, and brother of Jarrett Capshaw, is especially insistent. Forty-one days ago Jarrett’s request to die was granted by the State of Texas, and he became a dead man walking, a man they call a volunteer.

Jarrett’s crimes were unusual, involving the theft of precious Mayan antiquities. Murder was never part of the plan, but murder is what happened. He pulled the trigger, and as little as he feels prepared for it, as much as he struggles with matters of the soul, he’s ready to die. It is the only way his family and the families of his victims will be free to move on. While Jarrett labors to find the words to say good-bye to those he has loved, Sophia finds herself drawn into a relationship with his wife and oldest son. It is Jarrett’s family she can’t resist and there will be a price to pay. But not even Sophia could have foreseen the outcome when the brutal truth is exposed, the unalloyed facts that, incredibly, will deliver Jarrett’s fate straight into her hands. The Volunteer is a story about families, how they are made, and how in one single, horrifying instant, they can be broken. … Read more on Amazon.

About the Author:
Barbara Taylor Sissel was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and grew up at various locations, mostly in the Midwest. She has always been a lover of stories, the ones her big sister told to her and her younger brother, and the wild tales she related herself that often left her mother perplexed. They were too crazy to be from true experience the way Barbara claimed and yet they were vivid enough that they weren’t quite lies either.

Reading and admiring Wuthering Heights was the book that got her thinking about becoming an author and it was a dream that stayed with her through marriage, life as the wife of a prison warden in Kentucky and the births of two sons. It wasn’t until the last child was off to school that she finally sat down to write and then what came was influenced by her experience living with her family on the grounds of a prison.

Justice is a central issue in her stories. Justice and forgiveness. How far is it to unforgivable? Is it ever too late? These are the themes that resonate. What happens when an ordinary family is impacted by a sudden, extraordinary calamity?

Along the way to publication, Barbara has placed twice in the William Faulkner/William Wisdom writing competition. She works with a group of successful, talented authors and in addition to writing fiction, she also works freelance as an editor and writer. Her articles and short stories have appeared in several venues. Currently Barbara lives and writes in The Woodlands, Texas.
Facebook Page:
Follow on Twitter: @BarbaraSissel
Grab yourself a copy of The Volunteer today on Amazon.

Another richly told story from a wonderfully talented author. Barbara Taylor Sissel weaves beautiful novels from fine, unexpected threads. Characters are complex and thoughtful. Places are fragrant and real. Conversations ring true and meaningful. Plots unfold with startling but graceful turns. This is a terrific author I want everyone to discover. ~ Joni L. Rodgers, NYT bestselling author of Sugarland
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