Thursday, March 12, 2009

Phyllis Schieber, author of "Willing Spirits"



About Willing Spirits:

Jane Hoffman and Gwen Baker, both teachers and in their forties, have a friendship that helps them endure. Years after Gwen is abandoned and left to raise two sons alone, she finds herself in love with a married man. After Jane is humiliated by her husband’s infidelity and Gwen must face her own uncertain path, the two women turn to each other.
Now, as each is tested by personal crisis, Jane and Gwen face new challenges—as mothers, as daughters, as lovers. And in the process, they will learn unexpected truths about their friendship—and themselves.

About Author Phyllis Schieber:
I graduated from George Washington High School. I graduated from high school at sixteen, went on to Bronx Community College, transferred to and graduated from Herbert H. Lehman College with a B.A. in English and a New York State license to teach English. I earned my M.A. in Literature from New York University and later my M.S. as a developmental specialist from Yeshiva University. I have worked as a high school English teacher and as a learning disabilities specialist. My first novel , Strictly Personal, for young adults, was published by Fawcett-Juniper. Willing Spirits was published by William Morrow. My most recent novel, The Sinner’s Guide to Confession, was released by Berkley Putnam. In March 2009, Berkley Putnam will issue the first paperback publication of Willing Spirits.



Win A Free Book from Phyllis Schieber!



Free books will be awarded during the tour.Each comment on any of the blogs in the tour will offer a chance to win a free copy of Willing Spirits or Sinner’s Guide to Confession. A couple of people who make a real impression on Phyllis during the tour will be chosen to win a free book. We’ll see you on the virtual blog tour trail.



For full details about Phyllis Schieber’s virtual tour, visit her tour home page - http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2009/01/willing-spirits-by-phyllis-schieber.html



Order Your Copy here



Penguin Publishers : http://us.penguingroup.com/






You can visit Phyllis Schieber at http://www.phyllisschieber.blogspot.com/

Phyllis Schieber Author Bio
The first great irony of my life was that I was born in a Catholic hospital. My parents, survivors of the Holocaust, had settled in the South Bronx among other new immigrants. My mother was apparently so nervous she barely slept the entire time she was in the hospital, fearing her fair-skinned, blue-eyed newborn would be switched with another baby. When my paternal grandfather, an observant Jew, came to see his newest granddaughter in the hospital, he was so uncertain of how to behave around the kindly nuns that he tipped his yarmulke to them each time one passed. It was in this haze of paranoia and neuroses, as well as black humor, that the makings of a writer were initiated.



In the mid-fifties, my family moved to Washington Heights, an enclave for German Jews, known as “Frankfurt-on-the-Hudson.” The area offered scenic views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, as well as access to Fort Tryon Park and the mysteries of the Cloisters. I graduated from George Washington High School. Among its famous graduates was Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State (my grandmother played cards with his mother at the YMWHA on Nagle Avenue).



I graduated from high school at sixteen, went on to Bronx Community College, transferred to and graduated from Herbert H. Lehman College with a B.A. in English and a New York State license to teach English. I earned my M.A. in Literature from New York University and later my M.S. as a developmental specialist from Yeshiva University. I have worked as a high school English teacher, a special education teacher, and as a learning disabilties specialist in several college programs.



Reading was the first line of defense against anything I did not want to do. “I’m reading,” was an excuse my parents never challenged. Education was paramount in our home. There were weekly trips to the library, and the greatly anticipated Friday afternoon story hour. Everything about words seemed interesting and important.. I could make sense of the world if I put it on paper. I could even make the world better; people could become smarter and more attractive, and I could make people laugh and cry at will. Writng was powerful. I thought in stories, answered questions in my head and added, “she said” at the end of a sentence. I still do.



My first novel, Strictly Personal, for young adults, was published by Fawcett-Juniper. Willing Spirits was published by William Morrow. My most recent novel, The Sinner’s Guide to Confession, was released by Berkley Putnam on July 1, 2008. In March 2008, Berkley Putnam will issue the first paperback publication of Willing Spirits.



I live in Westchester County, New York where I work privately with students, teaching writing. I am currently working on a new novel.



Book Summary
Phyllis Schieber’s graceful debut novel is the story of two friends leading lives most women will find familiar. As Jane Hoffman and Gwen Baker attempt to understand their roles as daughters, wives, mothers and lovers, they depend on their friendship to cushion their disenchantment and to celebrate their triumphs.



Jane Hoffman, a schoolteacher in her forties, is forced to confront her reasons for remaining in an unhappy marriage when she finds her husband, Arnold, has been unfaithful. His indiscretion hurls Jane into a new life that is alternately terrifying and gratifying. Her love for her daughter Caroline is also tested when an unforeseen event forces Jane to prove that a mother’s love has no boundaries. As Jane negotiates her own murky logic for making the choices she has, she comes to see herself as far more able than she had ever thought.



Gwen Baker, also a teacher and in her forties, survives a rigid Southern upbringing only to marry an egotistical and cruel professor who later abandons her, leaving her to raise their sons, Matt and Ethan, alone. And while she occasionally takes a lover, nothing really satisfies her. It is Jane who ultimately coaxes Gwen out of her isolation. Together they discover that the conflicting and binding roles women assume be endured without other women. Even after Gwen meets Daniel, a colleague’s husband, and finds love, it is Jane who offers the spiritual solace that only another woman can.



Willing Spirits is no ordinary love story. It is a sensual and understanding story about the struggle to heal from failed maternal relationships, the passionate love women feel for their children, the lure of sexual desire and attachment to men who consistently disappoint, and the bond women share that makes it all tolerable. Suffused with humor and tenderness, Willing Spirits is a celebration of love in all its guises—between man and woman, between parent and child, and above all, between women.

2 comments:

Phyllis Schieber said...

Good morning, Susan! Thank you so much for hosting me. I am delighted to be here and look forward to meeting new readers.

Susan Wingate said...

Good morning to you too! Let's hope lots of our friends visit and read about "Willing Spirits." I'm going to be including the information in my newsletter as well. It will go out this coming Saturday.

Well, onward & upward. Now, it's time for that tea!
-Susan :)