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The Talk of the Town (Daughters of the Great Depression) Hardcover – October 12, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: Daughters of the Great Depression
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (September 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432825399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432825393
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,386,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fran Baker has waited in vain for Vanity Fair to send her one of those Proust Questionnaires that run in the back of the magazine.

She hasn't waited idly, however. While keeping an eye on the mailbox, she's written sixteen novels, four of which have appeared on bestseller lists and twelve of which have been translated into more than twenty languages. (See Cathlyn McCoy for one of those novels.) As well, she's edited Hot Steel, the story of the 58th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, and written a couple hundred articles, book reviews, author interviews and op-ed pieces. She's also conducted a number of writing workshops in the U.S. and in Canada, and she's spoken about writing for publication to local, national and international audiences. In 1998 she founded her own small press, Delphi Books (, which in 2011 will have seventeen print titles and a number of Kindle eBooks.

Now, with apologies to Proust, she's devised her own questionnaire:

Q. Where do you get off--oh, sorry. Where are you from?

A. I was born and raised in Kansas City, MO, and my prepaid burial lot is located there.

Q. What makes you think anyone's interested--strike that. What made you want to become a writer?

A. I was always a reader, as was almost everyone in my family. I would finish a story or a book or the back of a cereal box (did I mention I read those in a pinch?), and my imagination would be in overdrive with all the what ifs. What if she'd said this? What if he'd done that? What if this or that had happened? One day I started writing my own stories. I didn't tell anyone what I was doing. Nor did I quit my day job. I just put the seat of my pants to the seat of my chair and I wrote ... and was both surprised and thrilled when I started selling.

Q. Why did you name your small press Delphi Books?

A. It's named for the Oracle of Delphi, who was reputed to have been a woman over the age of 50.

Q. You're over 50? Mmmh, you don't look a day--

A. Please note that neither the Oracle nor I are telling how far over.

Q. Noted. Moving on now, what do you consider the most overrated virtue?

A. Cool beans, a real PQ kind of question.

Q. We're waiting for your answer.

A. After all the years I've waited to be asked ... Patience. I don't have much, and I'm rapidly losing my small store.

Q. You're the one who wanted to do this interview.

A. Touché.

Q. Let's try this. What do you do in your spare time?

A. I knit - mainly scarves and hats and shrugs and mittens and afghans and baby blankets for family and friends and the occasional fan contest. And I bowl.

Q. You bowl.

A. As do millions of other Americans.

Q. How ... interesting.

A. For your information, I once beat 22,099 men and women to win the KCMO Mayor's Christmas Tree Tournament. That won me an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas. And several years in a row I won our family's Thanksgiving turkey.

Q. O-kay.

A. I also read, but not in the genre in which I'm writing.

Q. And not, I presume, while you're bowling.

A. Are we almost through here?

Q. Can't happen soon enough. Getting back to writing, do you belong to any professional organizations?

A. I'm a member of the Authors Guild, Novelists, Inc., The Authors Studio, and The Society of Midland Authors.

Q. What are you working on now?

A. My original romantic comedy, "Romeo, Romeo" has been released in Kindle format. And I just finished writing a historical romance, "The Talk of the Town," that will be released in hardcover in September 2011. Now I've got two books in the hopper - one a follow-up historical romance and the other a romantic suspense novel that I wrote the first draft of a couple years ago. Oh, and I'm putting all my backlist books in Kindle format in case anyone missed them the first time around.

Q. Finally--

A. Yesss!

Q. If you could be a tree--

A. How Barbara Walters of you.

Q. Touché, yourself.

A. (Smirking) Thank you.

Q. Let's end this on another PQ note.

A. Yes, lets.

Q. What's your motto?

A. You want me to say something profound, right? Something memorable. Some--

Q. Something short.

A. "Style is truth."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Glitter Spirit on January 10, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Roxie and Luke's story is set during the era of the Great Depression. The setting is a small town, and as I'm sure was as true to the time then as it is now, the small town was full of judgmental gossips. Long before cyber-bullying could make an impact, the gossip grist mill did its work.

Luke is my dream come true. He's a man that's been through Hell (some of which he was thrown into as a child and some of which he brought upon himself), and he emerges from prison with a truly new lease on life. He's not going to be in that revolving door system. He's too mature — too wise — too good. Trying to make his one dream from prison come true, which is too much of a spoiler to share, he moves back to the small town that basically hates the idea of an ex-con joining their ranks. He's unwelcome, and he knows it. He tries anyway.

He arrives wearing an ill-fitting suit and a tough demeanor, and he catches the eye of Roxie from the first second. She avoids him at first, but that doesn't stop her from defending him and his right to a second chance when all stand against him and her opinions. When no one will hire him due to his history, she takes a chance on him. It burns Luke's pride that it's out of pity, and she knows it. Instead of leaving, however, he decides to do the best he can to earn a life for himself.

The chemistry between the two sparks from the beginning, but society along with Roxie's nosy siblings succeed in keeping them apart. As if that isn't a big enough challenge, Roxie and Luke take turns backing off. Roxie is afraid of being hurt again, and Luke is afraid of others treating her like a pariah just as he's treated.

Eventually, we get to a resolution of sorts, and I, personally, couldn't have been more thrilled. This is my favorite ex-con story yet.

*If anyone has recommendations for others of this nature, I'd greatly appreciate them. Thank you!*
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jenny Andersen on December 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is a delightful journey to a past time. Baker captures the olden time feel of a past era beautifully.

Roxie Mitchell is already fodder for the small town gossip circuit. She’s—gasp--unmarried at the age of twenty five, she has an education, and she has a responsible (i.e. man’s) job. But when Luke Bauer, the town bad boy, returns from prison and she gives him a job, the tongues start wagging double time. Roxie is well liked, and all of her friends are determined to save her from Luke’s evil influence. Roxie is not amused.

Luke has changed in the years he spent in prison, realizing that he made stupid mistakes and wanting nothing more than to live a hard-working and honest life. The townspeople are not predisposed to give him a chance, and Roxie fights for him, further imperiling her reputation. Baker’s rendition of small town behavior is bull’s eye correct all the way.

I really recommend The Talk of the Town!
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