A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, March 28, 2014


Molly Harper

by Emelle Gamble



Movie star Molly Harper has it all, beauty, success in her field, and a loving family and marriage to actor Ben Delmonico. Norma Wintz, Molly’s mother, has it all, a lovely life style and two children who adore her, and a respite from the battle against cancer she’s been fighting. Anne Sullivan, at age fifty, is optimistic that her move to sunny Santa Barbara, California, will allow her to be closer to her youngest son and his family, and help her start her life anew after the death of her beloved husband.

But all three of these women, despite their considerable blessings, are plunged into turmoil when the most intimate of secrets that ties their lives together is revealed. At this same time, Molly Harper is confronted with the news that her marriage to actor Ben Delmonico is over. As she navigates this heartbreak and tries to keep the personal details of the drama off the front pages of the newspapers, Molly must also find a way to once and forever negotiate a way forward with her ex- lover and best friend, the volatile and compelling Cruz Morales.

How each of these characters handles the resulting upheaval in their own life, and in their relationships with one another, forms the compelling story of family, secrets and trust in the romantic women’s fiction novel, Molly Harper.


Anne Sullivan looked down at her watch.

One twenty-one p.m. Norma Wintz was twenty minutes late.

Anne leaned back against the banquette and avoided making eye contact with the hovering waitress. She folded her hands together and wondered if her face looked tight as cellophane stretched over a bowl of tuna salad. That’s how it felt.

I shouldn’t have come. She glanced around the unfamiliar restaurant. It was all glass and mirrors; chock full of shockingly glamorous Californians surely leading shockingly exciting lives. People who wouldn’t understand why a widow from Potomac, Maryland was breaking into sobs and intruding on their lunch experience.

Which is probably what I’m going to do once Norma arrives, she thought. She had tried to prepare herself for meeting the woman, face-to-face, who had adopted her baby thirty-five years ago, but Anne wasn’t sure she was going to be able to handle it as she hoped.

Calmly. Dispassionately. In control.

Anne’s chest suddenly ached, as if all the emotion she’d suppressed for decades gathered into a knot under her ribs.

I should call the number for Norma Wintz and tell her not to come. Which was a great idea, except she’d left her cell phone in the car. And if she went to her car to get it, she might not have the emotional courage to come back.

To say nothing of the fact that if she walked the two long blocks to where she was parked, there was a good chance she would miss Norma Wintz altogether, and the woman would probably think she was a crack pot.

Anne took another peek at her watch.

One twenty-two.

That’s impossible. It felt as if an hour had passed since she’d last looked at the time.

"Excuse me, are you Mrs. Sullivan?" A waiter, his eyes jade green against his tan skin, smiled at Anne. His name tag read ‘Taj’.

"Yes, I’m Anne Sullivan

"There’s a call for you." Taj held out a phone.

Anne pressed it against her head. "This is Anne Sullivan."

Taj clasped his hands behind his back and smiled at her as if she was a small child on the first day of school.

"Hello, this is Norma Wintz calling," a voice said in Anne’s ear. "I’m on my way but there was an accident and traffic is wretched. I got no answer on the number you gave me, but I wanted to let you know I wasn’t standing you up."

"Oh, that’s no problem." Anne nodded at Taj and repositioned the phone an inch higher on her ear. "I don’t have other plans for this afternoon."

"Fine. I’ll be there in about ten minutes." The phone went dead.

"Okay. Thank you!" Anne met the waiter’s eyes and wondered how Taj had known to bring it to her.

Norma Wintz must have described me to him. But what could she have said, since we’ve never met? Look for a woman who seems the sort to give up her first-born child for adoption?


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Emelle Gamble was a writer at an early age, bursting with the requisite childhood stories of introspection. These evolved into bad teen poetry and worse short stories. She took her first stab at full length fiction in an adult education writing class when her kids were in bed. As M.L. Gamble, she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin. She has contracted with Soul Mate Publishing for Secret Sister, published in the summer of 2013, and Dating Cary Grant, a March 2014 release.

Once and Forever, an anthology which includes the novella Duets, came out on November 1st. Molly Harper, a full length novel starring the characters from Duets 3 years later was released by Posh Publishing in January.

Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her husband, ‘Phil-the-fist’, her hero of thirty years, and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. These girls, like all good villains, have their reasons for misbehaving. Her daughter, Olivia, and son, Allen, are happily launched on their own and contributing great things to society, their mother’s fondest wish.

Review Quotes:

Praise for Secret Sister

"Along with being a very unique and captivating plot, SECRET SISTER offers a shocking turn of the paranormal kind. So if you are the type of person that wants ordinary romance in a book, you won't find that here. This is a story of friendship, family, and most of all, true love and what those things can mean. I cannot recommend SECRET SISTER strongly enough… " Fresh Fiction, Fresh Reviews

"If you're looking for a typical women's fiction/romance, don't look here... this story has a twist of the paranormal that will have you willingly stretching your belief in order to enjoy the plot. Emelle Gamble has created a story that will tear your heart out." Long and Short Reviews


Email: emellegamble@aol.com

Website: www.EmelleGamble.com

FaceBook: Author Emelle Gamble

Twitter: @EmelleGamble

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7123746.Emelle_Gamble

Secret Sister by Emelle Gamble is now available on Amazon! http://amzn.to/17J2Bn6

Once and Forever an anthology with Emelle Gamble’s novella, Duets, is now available on Amazon! http://amzn.to/1h9fZWv

Emelle will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and the NBtM Book Tour. A digital copy of Molly Harper will be awarded to 3 randomly drawn commenters also during this tour and the NBtM Book Tour.

 The tour dates can be found here: 

Molly HarperMolly Harper by Emelle Gamble
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Molly Harper by Emelle Gamble is a 2014 Posh Publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When we last checked in, ( see the novella- Duets), with Molly Harper she was about to marry Ben, a handsome and popular movie star. Her best friend and former lover, Cruz, who is about to be a father, was on his way to the wedding when he was in a terrible motorcycle accident. We are also let in a secret. Molly was adopted at birth and her parents never told her. Her birth mother has found out that the Molly's biological father had MS and so did several other members of his family. Anne must gather up her nerve and find Molly so she can inform her of her family's health history.
Now the story picks up a few years later and Anne has gotten in touch with Norma, Molly's adoptive mother. Cruz has mostly recovered from his accident, is trying to be good father to his son, despite the demise of his relationship with Char, and Molly and Ben on are the verge of a divorce, due to Ben's constant cheating.
Norma is in very fragile health and when she and Anne meet, Norma has a spell and is taken to the hospital. Anne finally sees Molly face to face and Molly really likes Anne. She still has no idea who she really is, but Anne's experience as a nurse gives Molly an idea. Norma needs someone to help her out and Anne seems like the perfect choice. Anne agrees to stop by and help Norma with her medications for awhile, which gives Anne and Norma a chance to bond. The two women become friends. Each has harbored secrets from their family for many years and for many reasons. Anne's sons have no idea they have a half sister. So, both women have a lot of explaining to do.
Meanwhile, Molly is under terrific stress as she deals with the press and the end of her marriage on top of rumors that she could be pregnant. Molly and Cruz are still in a state of limbo as Cruz stubbornly insist on remaining just friends and Molly is still helplessly and hopelessly in love with him. On top of all that Molly is now experiencing some odd health issues and Norma is frantic believing Molly could have MS.
As the sins and secrets of the past begin to seep out, the adult children of Anne and Norma attempt to absorb the shock. But, Norma and Anne are not the only ones harboring secrets. Molly may have a few secrets she needs to get off her chest as well.
I rarely gush over a book these days. I read at least one, sometimes two books a day and so I can be hard to move. But, this one really got to me. Trust me, you do not want to miss this one. Molly Harper finally achieved the goal she set for herself, which was to become a successful actress. While many believe movie stars live a charmed life, nothing could be further from the truth. Molly deals with her dying mother, the revelation she is adopted, meeting her birth mother and two half brothers, the break up of her marriage, and the loss of the man who is her best friend and also the man she has been in love with since her teens, the possibility she could be pregnant or have a serious disease, all under the glaring spotlight of the media.
I loved the bond and friendship that Anne and Norma forged. Anne really liked Norma and vise versa. It as a shame they met so late in life. My heart did break for Molly on several counts, her mother's health and the relationship with Cruz were the two most heartbreaking situations. Cruz can be really frustrating. I understand, but I don't. I wanted to like him and I could relate to his feelings about Molly's career, but he seemed to have a hard time understanding that although Molly was an actress, she was capable of real human emotions. He seemed to thing that everything Molly did or said was some kind of performance. He didn't believe she ever really loved him. That was a little hard to take. Cruz hurt Molly over and over and over, much more than Ben ever could. All the same the limbo we feel Molly and Cruz are in is painful to read about. But, Molly does have time to prioritize and thankfully she decides to examine the possibility of a relationship with Anne, although she isn't too keen on the idea at first.
When all is said and done, I felt like maybe Molly was on the right track with her life. I don't know how her career will go , but her relationships are on a healthy path which should help remedy a lot of Molly's health problems. You will need a big box of tissues nearby when you read this one. Emelle really outdid herself with this novel. I loved every single page and lived every single moment right along with the characters. This is good stuff!!!
P.S. - there were some "Easter eggs" hidden in the book too! If you have read "Secret Sister", you will know what I mean- I loved that!
A++ (5 stars)


  1. Thank you for your review. I did find it very helpful.


  2. Gpangel and Clue Review, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful and oh so generous review! I'm the one needing the tissues this morning. As a woman with a bit of a similar adoption issue in my personal background, this story was an important one for me to write, and it thrills me that you got what I was trying to convey. Thanks so much, and I'd love to hear from readers about your thoughts on Molly Harper's path at the end of the book. Good luck to everyone in the drawing. And again, thank you dear reviewer for such a careful and insightful review.

  3. Awesome book review! After discovering you read as much as I do, 1-2 books per day, and still were able to write such a glowing recommendation for Molly Harper I feel compelled to drop what I'm doing and dive in! Thanks so much for sharing and picking out my next read for me.

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

  4. I really enjoyed the excerpt and the review was excellent.

  5. Nice review

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  6. Thank you Emelle for your thoughts! Thanks everyone for stopping by The Book Review today!


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