Molly's Reviews

Snap me a FutureSnap Me a Future
Connie Gotsch

Engaging Read ... Recommended ... 4 stars

Over a decade has passed since investigative reporter Shelby McCoy became the drive-by shooting victim of an enraged Des Moines, Iowa thug. Leaving behind her journalism career, fiancée and life she had known McCoy, now 50, moved to Mesa Vista, New Mexico where she has been working in the field of public relations for the local mall.

Shelby shares a love of photography with local ‘hope for the future, now dimmed,’ Charlie Pearson whose family is wealthy, influential and own the mall where Shelby works. Charlie’s drinking and gambling have caused himself and his family much pain over the years, however, he has now been sober for two years and is in love with Shelby. She respects his work as a photographer but does not return his ardor.

A job offer to write for the local newspaper, young interns who may or may not have dedication to their work, politicians who attempt to wield both political and personal power, looters ravaging local historic sites all figure in McCoy’s day to day activities. When Shelby gets too close to the truth regarding the ones behind the taking of antiquities; the scene is set for revenge, danger and misery. Shelby’s car is vandalized, her home broken into, her dog Sam is stolen and left in the desert to die. During a photography shoot with longtime friend, museum curator, Benjamin Keith Andrews Shelby makes more than one surprising discovery and nearly loses her life to the knife of a crazed, desperate thief.

"Snap Me A Future" offers the reader a glimpse into the psyche of a woman who has faced death, fright and solitariness before she comes to grips with realities of life. Shelby McCoy is a stronger woman than she had perhaps thought herself to be. Writer Gotsch presents an smoothly read, fast paced publication filled with picturesque characters, inviting settings and spine tingling twists and turns. The well written, absorbing story line is augmented by Gotsch’s razor sharp recognition of timing.

Writer Gotsch integrates a keen eye for particulars with her understanding of the locale wherein her account takes place. From Shelby McCoy trying to slay her particular dragons to the bullying, whinny politician’s son Warren Miller, Charlie Pearson who is trying with little success to overcome his drinking problem to Benjamin Keith Andrews a man who finds it hard to commit; writer Gotsch’s characters are well fleshed, fascinating persons filled with the same alarm, warts and imperfection as beleaguer us all.

Witty dialog, creditable characters, a touch of romance are all interwoven in this fast paced thriller.

Excellent choice for the home library for all who enjoy a good thriller with just a hint of romantic intrigue.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.

A Mouth Full of ShellA Mouth Full of Shell
Connie Gotsch



Betsy Craig began her career in the little Kansas town Spring Water where as a young reporter she quickly learned that small town mentality and the 'good old boy' syndrome was alive, well and going to cause her trouble. Betsy's boss Bob Parker is unreasonable in his firing of Betsy because a local rowdy muttered a swear word into the open mic during an interview. Parker tells Betsy that were she a man the incident would never have taken place. When Betsy seeks legal recourse she finds herself facing a brick wall and decides to leave Kansas for the opportunities she hopes will be greater in Pennsylvania.

Fourteen years pass and Dr Craig, Professor at Mountain View University is up for tenure. Betsy has taught journalism and broadcasting at the school for six years, has begun a growing relationship with the Dean of English, Todd Baker and feels her life is on a positive track. She is aghast when the retention Committee turn down her tenure because her immediate boss Dr Steve Harding has not sent a letter supporting tenure for Betsy.

Betsy is dismayed to learn that Steve's supervisor Dean Chambers is determined to get rid of her and has put pressure on Steve to withhold his support for her. Betsy suspects that her relationship with Todd may be part of the underlying cause for what has happened. Chambers' secretary is a woman who would like to continue the relationship she and Todd enjoyed prior to Betsy. As if this were not enough Betsy is soon scrutinized because of attention she receives from ROTC director Mike Kelly.

Mountain View is a borough steeped in its heritage. Many of the citizens have lived in the area for generations and make themselves part of every segment of the Community. The town is controlled by The Founders and Betsy is not welcomed by several of the more puissant of the present day family members. From the outright maneuvering of Anna to machination of supposed friend Steve Harding Betsy learns that she is being forced out. Back in Kansas she chose to leave and find another job. At that time Betsy decided that life is like a hard boiled egg. At times we must just eat a little shell along with the good stuff. Here in Pennsylvania she decides to stay and fight. Betsy is a might wary: her last foray against discrimination was not a success.

Gives the reader a glimpse into the lives of many small communities run by the descendants of the founders where rumor mongering, willful incompetents and downright ugly people hold sway over others. We are led to realize that the fine line between victim and victor may be mighty thin.

Filled with intense imagery and absorbing characters sure to keep the reader turning pages A Mouth Full of Shell is a well wrought work showing some of the problems to be encountered by a determined woman in a male dominated, tight knit world. Writer Gotsch has produced characters who are well developed, often not very likeable and very convincing. Betsy has to be tough, she is a sympathetic character the reader can empathize with as she struggles to take charge of her own life.

A Mouth Full of Shell will grip the reader from the first line and carry along on a worrisome ride to the final paragraph as we grapple with the unfairness often facing Betsy. It is not a book for everyone, those who do not care for a feminist viewpoint, or think that 'good old boy rule' is best will not care for the work. Discerning readers who do enjoy a well wrought tale filled with a bit of social message, nicely crafted settings and characters, vibrant dialogue at times hard hitting and gritty and a strong woman who does win in the end will find the book to their taste.






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© 2005 by Molly Martin