Largo, FL Author Publishes Cross-Genre Novel
August 24, 2021 (PRLEAP.COM) Entertainment NewsReview "Delicious! This brilliantly crafted novel depicts a young woman's journey away from generations of family abuse. If you seek fiction whose characters are fascinating, make you share their dark times, soar in love, struggle in friendships, fight for freedom, and survive intense family friction, then you will resonate with this poetically and exquisitely worded book. Definitely the most engaging novel I have ever read. We have here a new-to-the-scene great American author. Enjoy!" — Catherine L. Alder
At the end of twenty-year-old Gillian Rysert's train journey from St. Louis to New York City in 1949, she believes she's escaped from Hannah, her hillbilly mother. Magnetized to violence by Hannah and bereft of her father, Gillian no longer lets love in. But now Gillian's surrounded by other Greenwich Village incomers suffering the aftermath of two World Wars. And, like the penetrative reach of stained glass, they embolden her stiff heart to open. Among them: Latvian freedom fighter Jānis Dieviņš, Latina sophisticate Dolores Valencia, and the boas and pearls proprietor of Levitsky's Treasure Trove.
Authentic relationship with these characters packs some risks though. Gillian could become collateral damage of her lover's anti-Communist mission, destroy herself before she can stand fully in her power, and perish in the trap her mother sets for her back in Missouri.
About the Author
Since her teen years, seasoned writer, editor, and college educator Jo Deniau has wanted to know why people believe and live as they do ― and to better understand her mother's mental illness. Having lived in a number of different states, the author now enjoys a tropical life, fifteen minutes from the nearest Gulf Coast beach in Florida. About Jo's travels abroad she notes: "People in other countries reveal how our cultural identity is like a prism through which we interpret our personal reality. And also how, even with the diversity of our traditions, we all share an innate human need for connection … and freedom."
Stiff Hearts is a 280-page paperback with a retail price of $19.00 (eBook $14.00). The ISBN is 978-1-6376-4153-8. It was published by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For members of the press, to request a review copy, visit our virtual pressroom at https://dorrancepressroom.com/ or to buy the book visit our online bookstore at