Tuesday, February 28, 2023

In Common

  ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  

Lillian Creekmore grows up at her family's popular rural spa. She successfully runs an entire hotel, yet longs for a husband. Then she meets Will Hughes.

Velma Vernon accepts life on a small, struggling farm until a boy she barely tolerates proposes marriage. To accept means duplicating her parents' hard life. Alone, she leaves for the city and triumphs, not as a wife, but by being the best at her job. Velma is content until the most beautiful man she has ever seen walks into her office.

This moving and darkly humorous novel follows the intertwined lives of women willing to surrender everything to a man.

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

ISBN-10: 1684339235

ISBN-13: 978-1684339235


Print Pages: 595 Pages

Purchase a copy of In Common by visiting Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Bookshop.org

Make sure you also add In Common to your Goodreads reading list.

Raised in the South during the civil rights struggles, Norma Watkins is the author of In Common and two memoirs: The Last Resort, Taking the Mississippi Cure (2011), which won a gold medal for best nonfiction published in the South by an independent press; and That Woman from Mississippi (2017). She lives in northern California with her woodworker husband and three cats.

You can find her online by visiting her website or reading her blog.


Before dawn on a March morning in 1933, Velma Vernon, nine years old and already tall for her age, set onions behind Uncle Drew’s tractor. South Mississippi stirred from winter. A mist hung over the low end of the field and the plow cut loamy furrows into the cold soil. Uncle Drew sang, “Life is just a bowl of cherries,” his voice loud over the engine’s growl. Velma sang along, straddling the row, stooping every six inches to place a baby onion, standing to pull another from her sack. 

The singing stopped. Trying to turn at the bottom of the field, Uncle Drew had backed the tractor into a ditch. Cussing, he revved the machine back and forth. He called to Velma. “Go get your Papa and tell him to bring me a couple of boards.”

Velma skipped over the furrows, singing the second line of Uncle Drew’s song: “Don't take it serious; it's too mysterious.” The words felt ticklish on her tongue and she was glad for a break. It took 150 onion sets to plant one eighty-foot row.  They had done ten rows so far and her hands felt stiff. The sun rose behind the mist, turning it gold. Velma stopped to admire it.

Inside the dark barn, she found Papa sharpening an axe on the foot-peddled grinder. 

“Gol-darn-it,” he said. “Every year I remind the man to cut the furrows shorter when he gets to the bottom of that field.” He scrambled through the used lumber pile and pulled out a couple of two-by-sixes. They headed back. When they came over the rise, Papa started running. Velma ran after him. The tractor lay on its side at the bottom of the ditch. 

Papa shut off the engine. In the sudden quiet, his voice sounded strange. “Sister, don’t come any closer.” 

            Velma couldn’t stop herself. The rusty red machine rested squarely on Uncle Drew’s chest. His eyes were open. Pink foam bubbled from his mouth. 

If only she had run instead of skipping, if she hadn’t kept singing, or stopped to look at the mist. Guilt and grief weighed on her like a sack she couldn’t put down. 

For the first year, she dreamed the accident almost every night. She woke screaming and Mama would come. “Shush, Velma. It’s nobody’s fault. Drew made a bad choice, and every now and then one of them will kill you.”  

More Exciting Stops: 

February 13th @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the blog tour launch of In Common by Norma Watkins. You'll have the chance to read an interview with the author and win a copy of the book.


February 15th @ Michelle Cornish's blog

Visit Michelle’s blog to read about good food as reward and vengeance by Norma Watkins.


February 18th @ A Storybook World

Join Deirdra as she features In Common and shares a guest post from Norma Watkins about writing truths about people who might be hurt by them.


February 20th @ Lisa Buske's blog

Stop by Lisa’s blog to read a guest post by Norma about civil rights and growing up in the South during Jim Crow.


February 22nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog

Join us today for author Anthony Avina’s review of In Common.


February 24th @ Fiona Ingram’s author blog

Stop by Fiona’s blog to read a guest post by Norma Watkins featuring a look at how women were treated in the South pre-feminism.


February 25th @ The Book Diva's Reads

Visit Vivian's blog for a feature of In Common by Norma Watkins. You'll have the chance to read an excerpt too!


February 27th @ Mindy McGinnis’s blog

Stop by Mindy’s blog to read a guest post about bad sex.


February 28th @ Seaside Book Nook

Join Jilleen for a spotlight of an excerpt of In Common by Norma Watkins.


March 1st @ The Mommies Reviews

Join Glenda as she reviews In Common and shares a guest post from the author about sharing the hard stuff.


March 2nd @ The Frugalista Mom

Join us for a guest post from Norma Watkins on how you are unique and irreplaceable.


March 4th @ World of My Imagination

Stop by Nicole's blog where Norma Watkins is a guest for "Three Things on a Saturday Night."


March 5th @ A Wonderful World of Words

Visit Joy's blog for a feature of In Common by Norma Watkins.


March 6th @ Life According to Jamie

Join us as Jamie reviews In Common


March 8th @ Author Anthony Avina’s blog

Revisit author Anthony Avina’s blog to read "What are Women Willing to Sacrifice for Freedom?" by Norma Watkins.


March 9th @ The Knotty Needle

Stop by for Judy’s review of In Common.


March 10th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews blog

Join Lisa for an interview with Norma Watkins.


March 11th @ Reading in the Wildwood Reviews

Join us today for Megan’s review of In Common.


March 12th @ Jill Sheets’s blog

Stop by Jill’s blog to read her interview with Norma Watkins


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