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Patricia Shipp Lieb; published by Twilight Times Books, Solstice Publishing, Xlibris Press and Amazon Kindle.

 I like lots of space; photography, writing, reading, diddling around on the computer, playing Poker, spending time with family and friends, walking on the beach, and hiking through the woods. Author of: The Adventures of a Squirrel Named Peanut, Twilight Times Books; My Eighteenth Birthday, 1960 suspense-adventure; Solstice; Danger In The Cliffs, Solstice; Saying I Love You, poetry on Amazon's Kindle; The original version of Murders In The Swampland is available in hard-back books from Xlibris.com; Murders in the Swampland (third edition, updated) true crime now on Amazon Kindle.   

Sunday, November 08, 2009


Reviewed by Bea

Valerie J. Patterson, award-winning author of Gee Whiz Meets S.H.A.F.T

The book opens with a day in Shanna's tortured life with Jake Minor—her owner—the man who stole her from her family when she was just a young girl. To use a trite and overworked cliché, what doesn't kill Shanna serves only to make her stronger and more resolved to find her way back to her people—back to her family.

Shanna—a full nine months pregnant—puts a plan into motion and leaves the fish camp where she's been a captive for years, but she must constantly keep one eye on the way before her and one eye on the way behind her. She can't risk being caught and brought back to the fish camp—to a way of life that only brought her pain and suffering. It's shortly after her escape that she gives birth to a beautiful baby boy. All alone and with no safe haven to run to, Shanna forges on ahead in her goal of finding the one woman she hopes can help her.

Kathryn Williams is no stranger to pain and heartache, either. A failed marriage. A miscarriage. A divorce during a time when it was virtually unheard of. And a life that's lonely for a woman who truly wants a husband and a family.Kathryn has much support in her life. Her mother resides with her plus there are several people who love and protect her. There's one man who's loved her all her life. There's another Kathryn loves and wants to share the rest of her life.One knows her pain. The other knows she's divorced and is allowing that to stand in his way. One wants nothing more than to shower her with affection. The other can't seem to see past her strength and independence. Kathryn's heart has room for both men in different ways.

When Shanna crosses paths with Kathryn, she immediately places her trust—as well as her son—in Kathryn's hands.Shanna knows men are coming to take her back to the fish camp. She knows her son will not survive in that type of environment. If only she could get to the land where her people have relocated—to where her family is—she'll finally find peace and happiness. But peace and happiness have a price for a woman on the run.

The journeys both women take are riveting, pulling the reader right into their stories. You can't help but cheer each on to happiness and the futures they deserve.

If you're looking for a book that brings you history, a hint or two of mystery, romance, and good strong characters that you'll willingly love and dislike, then Bridged By Love by Patricia Lieb is the book for you. Leave your cares behind and travel inside the lives of Shanna and Kathryn. Their stories will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

+Will be available soon by a different publisher

By: Aaron Brand - Texarkana Gazette - Published: 07/12/2009

For one writer who grew up in Texarkana, the city’s early days were fertile ground for a historical novel.

Patricia Lieb once called Texarkana, Ark., home as a member of Arkansas High School’s class of 1960, growing up with the maiden name Shipp and rooting for the Hogs.

From there, Lieb, now a Florida resident, became a writer who has won awards for her reporting and has seen her books published, the latest of which is called “Bridged by Love,” a historical novel set in Texarkana circa 1886 and recently published by Asylett Press.

Lieb chose as her heroines two young women who become friends trying to survive as Texarkana, in its infancy, is growing: Kathryn, a divorced lumberjack who lives with her mother and is in love with a man while another has fallen in love with her; and Shanna, a Native American woman who escapes life as a slave and has a newborn son to care for as she tries to return to her family in Indian Territory.

“Texarkana is the main area. That’s where Kathryn takes her wood to the sawmill, which is a fictitious sawmill in Texarkana,” said Lieb. The man she loves is a bookkeeper in town, while her business partner is in love with her. “She comes in practically every day with logs with her partner Leonard.”

Lieb, armed with information from a Texarkana friend (Wayne Adcock) and the Museum of Regional History, pictures Texarkana in its early days. Though she grew up here, she needed to research.

“I read as much as I could about Texarkana. Even though I lived there, it wasn’t 1886,” she said.

She writes in one passage about the town’s connection to the railroad: “Texarkana had grown profusely since becoming incorporated some 10 or so years ago—to the tune of about 8,000 people, give or take. Most of the growth was due to the building of the Texas and Pacific Railroad, which ran parallel with Front Street on the south end of town. Then came an abundance of other train lines, thus generating much business to the twin cities.”

Elsewhere, she pictures the hustle and bustle on a young Broad Street: “This, like other streets in town, seemed to grow bigger every day with businesses booming from all corners. Tall brick and stucco buildings blocked the western horizon. People, horses, cotton carts, milk wagons and horse trolleys paraded like cow herds.”

Part of her research involved investigating old newspaper clips to get a feel for the time. Some of those stories made it into the book, she said, such as one tale about a man being arrested for branding his teenage wife or Texarkana growing to a size where it needed its own police force, Lieb said.

As a writer, she sought to imagine herself in the setting.

“I love history and I love writing, and I think I just felt the earth, the ground. I just felt myself in that period when I wrote that book ... as I wrote the book I could see everything,” said Lieb.

But it’s the characters who are the focus of her historical novel, picturing two independent women at a time when they didn’t have a lot of power.

“Most of the time women are strong. A lot of them just don’t know it,” said Lieb. “Kathryn needed to be strong because of the life she was living, and Shanna was strong because of the life she was forced into.”

Lieb said the inspiration for Kathryn and the plot itself came from her family’s history.

She said when her grandma was a young woman, a family member had a child with a Native American girl and the child was raised by Lieb’s grandmother and great-grandmother. In “Bridged by Love,” Shanna must leave her young baby with Kathryn while she journeys to find her family.

Lieb imagined her grandmother at age 27 with a fiery personality and how these characters would have felt at the time in this kind of situation.

“That’s what inspired the plot,” said Lieb, who was a reporter and features writer for The Suncoast News in New Port Richey, Fla. She covered the crime beat for the Daily Sun-Journal in Brookville, Fla., and wrote for two Illinois papers, the Daily Journal and Bourbonnais Herald.

“I started writing for detective magazines,” said Lieb. Her “Murders in the Swampland” is a book of true crime reporting from Hernando County, Fla.

Married at 24, she’d only worked in factories until then but her husband encouraged her to write. After her husband passed away at age 42, Lieb figured what she knew how to do was write. She started at a Kankakee, Ill., newspaper and went from there.

She says she feels lucky in her writing career. She didn’t think she was smart enough to be a news reporter but she’s been honored for her work.

“I’m doing what I love to do,” said Lieb.
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