BLURB BLITZ TOUR and giveaway: The Gospel According to Prissy by Barbara Casey

This post is part of a Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara Casey will be awarding a $25 Amazon or gift card to one randomly chosen commenter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Three Army veteran misfits, a college dropout, an unmotivated high school graduate accused of murder, a controversial warden of a women's prison, and a little girl with the gift of prophesy – these are the people 31-year-old Lara Kruger invites into her life after suffering a miscarriage, a divorce from an abusive husband, and unemployment.


Miriam walked away from her desk and paused in front of the unframed full-length mirror she had salvaged from the recent renovations in the women’s shower rooms. The edges were chipped and blackened, and there was a fairly large crack that ran vertically from one corner to the other. The condition of the mirror was the result, no doubt, of one of many displays of frustration and anger within the prison walls before she took over. Still, the mirror served its purpose. On those rare occasions when Warden Miriam Temple of the Braden Women’s Correctional Institution needed to be sure she looked her best, at least she could do so in the privacy of her own office.

Studying her reflection, she saw a tall, aging fifty-nine-year-old woman with dark hair streaked with gray cut in a simple shag, myopic brown eyes made evident by the wire-framed glasses, and a raw-boned body that could be considered well-proportioned if it weren’t for the fact that it was about twenty pounds on the heavy side, fifteen of which had settled around her thighs and buttocks. “Pear shaped, as opposed to apple shaped,” she frequently reminded herself, “so that means at least I won’t die of a heart attack.” The fact that her ear lobes were also plump and didn’t have the diagonal creases indicating some type of heart disease seemed to confirm that fact. She didn’t know if these old-wives’ tales she had grown up with were really true, but she liked to keep an open mind, especially when they worked to her benefit.

She normally didn’t wear make-up, but this morning before leaving for work, she had dug out her small tapestry bag that held what few cosmetics she owned and applied a little blush and a touch of lipstick. She rubbed one cheek with her hand now, thinking that maybe she shouldn’t have bothered. She didn’t need to impress anyone. Even if there had been the awkwardness that sometimes comes with being a large woman, it had been replaced years ago by the confidence born from a privileged background and the level of acceptance and comfort from which she viewed herself.

Her dark gray suit and crisp white blouse were clean and unwrinkled, thanks to the prison laundry facilities. The plain black pumps she wore looked both practical and appropriate to complete the over-all appearance of discipline, control, strength, and above all, a positive attitude. It was the attitude within the prison that Miriam had worked the hardest on when she took over as head warden six years earlier. There had been a stifling wave of hopelessness and despair among the female inmates so thick it made it difficult to breathe. This was manifested daily in brawls, food fights, and a behavior of non-compliance in general. “Animals get treated better than we do,” had been the mantra at the prison.

For six years Miriam had been working fourteen-hour days, overseeing the operations of the facility, staying on top of problems, writing reports, and talking to every person she could reach about helping to set up programs for “her girls” as she referred to them. Each of Miriam’s programs offered something to a few of her girls, but not to all, something she struggled with daily. She constantly researched what other correctional institutions were doing not only in this country but other countries as well, trying to come up with new ways to stimulate her girls and help them feel enthusiastic about their lives.

It had worked. She started getting noticed after the first year of her tenure. Complaints from the prisoners dropped, a State audit confirmed that for the first time in over a decade the prison budget would be in the black, and the over-all appearance of the facility was vastly improved. Government officials who previously had been reluctant to show interest now started to open doors for this hard-working, persistent, and obviously dedicated woman.

And then Prissy had been born.

About the Author: Barbara Casey is president of the Barbara Casey Agency, representing adult fiction and nonfiction for authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Japan. She is also the author of numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her award-winning novels have received national recognition, including the Independent Publishers Book Award, the Dana Award for Best Novel, and the Publisher’s Best Seller Award. Her novel, The House of Kane, released in 2008, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, and her novel Just Like Family received special recognition by the 7-Eleven Corporation. Her latest young adult novel, The Cadence of Gypsies, was reviewed by the Smithsonian for its list of 2011 Best Books. The Gospel According to Prissy, a contemporary adult novel, was released in the spring of 2013.

In addition to being a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences, Ms. Casey served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003.


Barbara Casey said…
Judy, thank you so much for hosting me today. I am really looking forward to hearing from your bloggers.

Barbara Casey said…
I promised to make an exciting announcement today about Prissy. As many of you know, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PRISSY received an IPPY Award about the time I started this tour. At that same time I was contacted by Warner Bros. Television in Burbank, CA, expressing interest in Prissy. Nothing might come of it or something terrific might happen, but it is exciting to think about and I wanted to share my news with all of you, especially those of you who have been so nice to follow my full tour. I sincerely appreciate it. These things take time to develop, but if anything does come of it, I will be sure to let you know.
Mary Preston said…
Congratulations!! That is very exciting news. Wishing only terrific things for you, as you said.

Barbara Casey said…
Thank you, Mary. I can't help but feel that you and the other bloggers will bring me luck.
Thank you for hosting today.
MomJane said…
How exciting for you. I hope you are able to get this story into a movie, or tv show. you must really be thrilled.
Barbara Casey said…
I really am, MomJane. Of course, I realize it is a long process that might not result in anything. But it really is exciting just to know that Prissy has captured the interest of someone in the film industry. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words.
Ingeborg said…
Congratulations Barbara, I wish you all the best.

Barbara Casey said…
Thank you, Ingeborg. It has been a lot of fun exchanging comments with you these past few weeks.
Shannon R said…
Congrats on the award and the prospect of maybe a movie on the horizon. Its been a great tour and I wish you luck!

fencingromein at hotmail dot com
Barbara Casey said…
Shannon, thank you so much. It has been a great tour for me as well because of bloggers like you. Thank you for all of your comments.
Catherine Lee said…
I like the sound of Miriam in this excerpt. She sounds like someone who could be a friend or neighbor. If it DOES become a movie (fingers crossed), who could you see playing Miriam? From this excerpt, I think maybe Kathy Bates.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com
Barbara Casey said…
Hi Catherine, I love your idea of Kathy Bates playing Miriam. Miriam is such a no nonsense woman who doesn't take any mess from anyone. Yet she has a kind heart. I definitely see Kathy Bates in that role. Thank you for following my tour and for taking the time to comment.
Barbara Casey said…
Judy, I want to thank you again for hosting me today, the last day of my four-week tour. I also want to thank all of the bloggers for their visits and their comments. I hope all of you enjoy reading THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PRISSY, and I will look forward to hearing from you again, perhaps on another tour sometime. Good luck in the giveaway drawing, and in the words of Prissy, "Remember, Santa loves you."

My best,
Barbara Casey said…
Hi Judy,

I just wanted to stop back by and let you and your bloggers know that my book, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO PRISSY, was just selected for the "2013 List of Best Summer Reads" by Conversations Live Radio/Conversations Book Club.

My best,

Judy said…
Great news, Barbara! Super congratulations!!! And well-deserved, I might add :-)