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Author Q&A, Book Reviews, Books

Guest Post: Southern Roots, Church Dinners, & Beautiful, Complicated Family by Author Rosey Lee

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Image: The tour banner for Beautiful Complicated Family is in blue and green colors. It shows the cover of both books and a list of blogs where the book is being featured.

About Beautiful Complicated Family Volume 1 Volume 2

Beautiful, Complicated Family: Volume 1 and Beautiful, Complicated Family: Volume 2 explore the connections that can hold people together or tear them apart. The stories in this collection capture struggles that are common in today’s families—secrets, mother-daughter conflicts, coping with aging family members, and a more subtle question of what makes a family. The issues will seem familiar to you, but there are unexpected twists when you least expect them. The relatable characters and endings may pull at your heartstrings, so don’t be surprised if you laugh or cry along the way. Like most families, the relationships in this uplifting collection consist of intricate elements. Sometimes things get messy, but it’s always beautiful. Each volume contains five flash fiction stories (very short stories of 1000 words or less each). Read each story in about 5 minutes and get Volume 2 of the collection for free using a link within Volume 1.

The cover of beautiful complicated family is green

Guest Post: Rosey Lee’s connection to real life places in the Beautiful, Complicated Family series

I’m a very proud native of New Orleans, Louisiana (the Westbank, if you’re familiar with the area). And I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia. My Southern roots are an important part my cultural identity, so it’s probably not surprising that my writing is influenced by the people, traditions, and food of the South.

Below are some examples of Southern influence in the Beautiful, Complicated Family series:

  • In “Gran’s Return”, the narrator says that Gran taught her to make red beans and rice. When I think of a list of foods that I grew up eating in New Orleans, it’s at the top. And there’s nothing like my maternal grandmother’s red beans and rice. Every time I ate it, I felt loved. Just thinking about her red beans and rice still makes me smile.
  • Waterproof, Louisiana is a special place in “To Establish Care”. It’s about three and a half hours north of New Orleans. I was always intrigued with the community’s name growing up, especially given New Orleans’s location along the Gulf Coast and its vulnerability to hurricanes. Waterproof’s name originated because of its safety from flooding when it was founded in the
  • “Wind Chill” is my version of a modern day continuation of Gone with the Wind. The story is set in Atlanta, just like the Gone with the Wind. Living in the South, I’m frequently reminded of the impact of slavery and the Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation. “Wind Chill” grew out of my reflections, as the story challenges the theme of the faithful and devoted slave in Gone with the Wind.
  • “Christmas Eve Dinner” examines the concept of the Southern church family. The story takes place in Mobile, Louisiana, a city on the Gulf Coast and about two hours from New Orleans. Every time I visit Mobile, I enjoy noticing the city’s similarities to New Orleans. Even when I went to church with a friend there, the experience felt very similar to the church where I grew up. My friend’s church could’ve easily been in “Christmas Eve Dinner”.

Are you curious about my flash fiction collection yet? I hope so. Beautiful, Complicated Family: Volume 1 is available for free from several ebook retailers. If you like it, please subscribe to my website or use the link in Volume 1 to get Beautiful, Complicated Family: Volume 2 for free. If you prefer, it’s also available for purchase from ebook retailers.

The cover of the first volume is blue

My Review:

Volume 1: Beautiful, Complicated Family Volume 1 is like a book of poetry. Crafting flash fiction is an art, and the author chooses each word with care and precision. All of the pieces were excellent, but my heart was particularly moved by “Wind Chill,” and “Gran’s Return.”

Each piece in this collection packs a powerful punch and there is so much emotion in each story. In “Wind Chill,” the author uses literary allusions to Gone with the Wind in order to inspire the reader to think more deeply about issues related to race and social class. The piece “Gran’s Return,” tugged on my heartstrings because I also have a love of gospel music and a deep respect for my grandparents. All of the pieces were powerful, and the surprise ending to the final piece inspired me to immediately click through and read the second volume.

Volume 2: The second volume of Beautiful, Complicated Family does not disappoint. Once more, the author manages to pack so much drama and emotion into such tiny stories.  Each story is unique, but I was pleased to see that the second book included some references to the first volume. The structure for the piece, “The Friendship PIP,” was particularly clever.

It is clear that the author has put much thought and consideration into each piece. My favorite piece in this collection was, “Blossom in the Snow,” which is full of hope and inspiration. The ending of the volume was a complete surprise to me, and I reread it multiple times.  I’m so impressed that the author managed to take the reader on such an exciting journey in so few words. In the end, both volumes left me with a happy and warm feeling inside my heart. My only complaint is that the books were not longer. I would like to see a complete novel or memoir written by this author and I look forward to seeing what she writes next! I highly recommend both volumes.

Note: I received a free copy of each of these books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Get Your Copy of Beautiful, Complicated Family

The books are free on the US sites below. Prices may vary in other countries:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Apple Books

Kobo

Volume 1 contains a link to get Volume 2 free by subscribing to the author’s website. Alternatively, readers can purchase Volume 2 from their preferred ebook vendor.

 

About Rosey Lee

Rosey Lee Headshot 2019

Rosey Lee writes uplifting fiction stories about family and friendship. A native of the Westbank of New Orleans, Louisiana, Rosey is a fan of good food and a good time. As a child, she dreamed of a career in writing, fashion design, and acting. She uses the pen name Rosey Lee as she pursues her passion for writing. Her alter ego is a physician who has dedicated her career to individual and community-based approaches to health equity. She enjoys cooking, flower arranging, listening to live music, and occasional bursts of fanatical bargain shopping.

Rosey’s flash fiction has appeared in Necessary Fiction, Bending Genres, Barren Magazine, Turnpike Magazine, The Wellington Street Review, and elsewhere. Her work has also been nominated for the 2019 Best of the Net anthology. Connect with her at roseyleebooks.com and @roseyleebooks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

The Author is Having a Giveaway!

To celebrate her new books, Rosey Lee is giving away an Amazon Fire HD8 to readers in the US or a $50 gift card to readers who live internationally! Please note: I am not responsible for this giveaway or for the distribution of prizes. I am simply letting you know about Rosey Lee’s giveaway. For more information, please follow the following link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/065a68fc2/?


 

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5 thoughts on “Guest Post: Southern Roots, Church Dinners, & Beautiful, Complicated Family by Author Rosey Lee”

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