The Puzzling Thing about Books by Alison Solomon (plus a FREE book!)

Congratulations to annettemori0859 and Denise!

Hey there! It’s Thursday and do I have a treat for you! It’s my pleasure to introduce author Alison R. Solomon. She dropped by to celebrate the upcoming release of her new book, Along Came the Rain, from Sapphire Books.

She’s so excited about the release, she’s giving away a couple of copies, one paperback (US only) and one ebook. You know you want in on the awesome! Drop a comment in the space below and we’ll draw a winner on Monday,  April 11.

Good luck!

The Puzzling Thing About Books
by Alison Solomon

I’m a jigsaw puzzle addict. Give me a 1000 piece puzzle and I will bury myself in it and barely come up to eat or sleep.puzzle piece

What I love about jigsaw puzzles is the process. You start with a mass of diverse pieces, none of which make sense on their own. With an image as your guide, you put the pieces together one at a time, until gradually, out of the chaos, the picture forms. For those who write novels, you will recognize this process. Writers have glimpses of ideas, characters, phrases and plot and then we work, word by word, sentence by sentence to make them all fit together into a coherent and startling whole.

Completing a puzzle and finishing a book both bring rewards. But this week I realized an important difference between those rewards. So let me tell you a little about the book and then I’ll get back to the puzzles.

resized coverMy debut novel, Along Came the Rain, will be published by Sapphire Books on April 15th. It’s a suspense novel in the domestic noir subgenre of suspense like The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. One of the things that intrigued me about both of those novels was that the reader had to question the reliability of the narrator, because one was an alcoholic and one was having an affair. In Along Came the Rain, I decided to look at what might happen if the narrator has memory issues. The novel answers the question, could you kidnap someone and not know you did it?

You can read the prologue and first chapter at my website.

I was thrilled with the very first book review I received, written by Thalia Chase (click here to see the full version.) She said that not only did she love the book, but she was sure it would spark a lot of discussion in book reading groups. She couldn’t wait to talk about the novel with other people who’d read it.

And that’s when I realized what books give you that puzzles can’t.


Both puzzles and books provide hours of pleasure as they stimulate the mind. But if a book is good, it provokes a response from the reader; it makes her want to talk about it, and hear what other people have to say.

When I read Thalia’s review, I realized that her reaction was exactly the one I was looking for. Not only do I want people to enjoy my novel, I want them to feel like they need to talk about it. The novel deals with issues that are both thought provoking and controversial. I’m looking forward to some heated discussions about it!

My love of books was fostered by my Mum. She’s also the one who introduced me to the challenge of 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles. Five days after my novel is published, I’ll be visiting Mum at her Alzheimer’s  facility. (She lives in my native UK, I live in the USA.) On my last visit, I tried to help her complete a 12 piece child’s puzzle of Noah’s ark, but when it was clear she couldn’t do the puzzle, we put it aside and looked at a picture book instead. This time when I visit, I’ll show her my novel and even though she can still read, I don’t think she’ll remember who Alison R. Solomon is. She knows her daughter as Alison Trenner, the maiden name I gave up almost 35 years ago. I suspect when I show her the book she’ll say, “Who’s Alison Solomon?”

Mum may not know, but I do. I’m the one whose book you’re going to recommend to your friends or book club so you can have a discussion about it. I’m the Puzzled Writer.

jcp portrait (2)Alison grew up in England and lived in Israel and Mexico before settling in the USA. As a former clinical social worker, she has presented at conferences worldwide and been published in academic textbooks, anthologies, professional journals, and newspapers on subjects including feminism, diversity and mental health. Her short stories have been published in the USA and Mexico.

When she’s not writing (or doing jigsaw puzzles), Alison can be found messing up her knees playing tennis, or planning a road trip with her wife Carol, and their two rescue dogs.


  1. I’m so excited about Alison’s book! I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy, (I’ll be posting my review soon), and I must say that I love a story with an unreliable narrator, so I’m looking forward to delving deeper into this protagonist’s mindset.

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  2. Thanks for sharing news of your book, I look forward to reading it. I love a book that stays in my mind and causes me to share it with others. Congratulations on your debut.

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  3. Alison – Congratulations on your debut novel. What a great feeling! I love the puzzle analogy. Hey – I have a 100 piece MC Escher puzzle at my house I need help with. 🙂

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  4. I can relate about messing up the knees. Had to replace both of mine already.

    Congrats on the book launch. Love to read it. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s, early onset. Terrible disease.

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  5. I totally get what you mean about puzzles and books. I can tell someone I’ve just completed a great puzzle and they go oh ok, but when I’ve finished a great book not only do I tell me friends but I write up my thoughts on it as a review which them shares those thoughts with a wider audience.
    Thanks for the giveaway and good luck to all 🙂

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  6. Wow! I enjoy this blog/post so much, I can only imagine how much I will enjoy the book.
    Please add my name in the hat. Thanks. Looking forward to reading this book. Added to my wish list.

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  7. By reading the first chapter of Alison’s book I can see that is going to be a success because seems that will cover many aspects of the the daily life not only of the main caracters but also of the struggles of middle age women, (specially if they are lesbian), the bureaucracy that prevails on the UK Police Department (though it happens all over the world, I suposse, I don’t have the statistics), use of drugs and who knows how many others surprises she has in stock for us when the detectives try to figure out why Barker’s partner was taken to prison. If I win I would like to have te ebook.

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  8. Although I’ll never understand what you’ve been through your feelings speak through your words an if that don’t make an amazing writer, I don’t know what will. I admire your honesty even though it brought a tear to my eye. If every woman was as strong as you the world would be a better place, I can’t wait to read your piece.

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  9. Love the puzzle and book comparison. There were times when I was younger with better eyesight that I lost as much sleep doing jigsaw puzzles as I do now reading. Congrats on your first novel and please count me in for the drawing.

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  10. So very excited about your book and what it means to you. I will continue to work your knees running you corner to corner🎾🎾and when I sit still I’ll be reading your much anticipated book😊

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  11. I am sitting here at my table but I am in another world. When I read the article “By Jove, She’s Got it Write” by Astrid Ohletz in Curve MAr/Apr 2016 magazine, I knew I would visit the website Woman and Words. I am in a new world. A world that has me holding my breath until my chest hurts. This is the closest I have been to my dream.
    I read your excerpt and I ask myself will I ever be able to produce something of that quality. I dream of becoming a published writer. I have for a very long time.

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