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Once Broken Paperback – May 12, 2016
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About the Author
D.M. Hamblin always loved writing whether it was a paper for school or college, advocacy letters, love letters, short stories or business communications. In September 1980, she was accepted to study communications at Boston University’s School of Communications to major in public relations. However, life interrupted. She became a single mother the following year instead. While raising her daughter, she went from a short stint on welfare to graduating from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in Legal Studies, and ultimately starting a paralegal career. She wrote the first manuscript of Once Broken in 1995, but abandoned it as her paralegal career excelled. She married the love of her life when her daughter was fourteen, blended two beautiful step daughters into the family. In the early 2000’s she built two businesses in the legal industry. In the last ten years, D.M. welcomed a son-in-law into the family, fell madly in love with three amazing grandchildren and suffered Lyme disease for seven years. In 2015, she sold her businesses and was blessed to find the time and resources to resume the dream of writing. After twenty years, she unearthed Once Broken, converted it from floppy disk, revised and rewrote several times, found a talented editor who professionally polished the novel and launched her long-awaited writing career. Once Broken was launched in May 2016 and maintains a 4.7 star rating on Amazon. D.M.’s second novel, A Debt to the Devil was released in July 2017 and maintaining 4 stars. The sequel to Once Broken, entitled Twice Loved, was released in February 2018. D.M. is currently working on the sequel to A Debt to the Devil, currently entitled Restitution.
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Open the pages of this fine novel and it becomes obvious that this is an author with a solid future. Though the story covers the span form 1970 to 2009, The initial chapter opens in 1993 with the effusive flavor brings light into an otherwise potentially dark life: ‘Radiant in her white wedding gown, as if this were the first time she would be wed, Carmella Russo was not a traditional blushing bride. Camouflaged behind a lacy white veil, her blazing hazel eyes sparked against her apricot skin. Her heart replete with vengeful satisfaction, Carmella rejoiced. Soon I, not Jackie, will be Mrs. Tony Salvucci. Vince Russo, slumped next to his daughter in the white stretch limousine, looked older than his sixty-two years. His wrinkled complexion reflected the toll paid for his heavy smoking, excessive drinking, and the degradation of tolerating the tantrums of the women he lived with. Vince decided it was a dismal day for a wedding. It’s pretty symbolic of this union—Tony and Carmella! Vince prayed the rain would wait until after they entered the church. Carmella would erupt should her wedding attire become the least bit soiled prior to her grand entrance. The limousine turned into the semicircular driveway approaching St. Catherine’s Church. Emerald-green lawns and stately blue spruces scattered among the tall oaks enhanced the elegance of the large stone church, despite the gray shadows and blackened sky. As the car came to a stop, Vince glanced at the threatening clouds. Turning back, he took his daughter’s hand as she confidently stepped from the car. Tony Salvucci leaned against the wall in the vestibule, tapping his foot. His best man, Luke Jackson, stood next to him. Tony’s height, wavy ebony hair, and steel-blue eyes remained striking, even with the ensemble Carmella had chosen for him—a brown tuxedo, white shirt with brown-trimmed ruffles, and a baby-blue cummerbund and bow tie. The white-rose boutonniere on Tony’s lapel provided the only sophistication. Carmella’s fashion sense had never left the 1970s, which did not flatter Luke either. The best man stood almost a foot shorter than Tony and had cobalt eyes, blonde curls, and scattered freckles.’
Denise succinctly crops the plot in her synopsis: ‘ONCE BROKEN is set in Metro Boston between 1970-2009. It's a story about a single mother, Jackie Martin, who has two objectives: First to raise her daughter, Gina with her self-esteem unscathed by her father’s abandonment; Second, to see her daughter’s father, Tony Salvucci suffer for his abandonment. Both objectives come to pass. With lots of twists and turns and memorable characters, Once Broken is an inspirational story about forgiveness vs. revenge and living one's life moving forward, no matter how painful the past.’
This debut novel signals the arrival of an artist with a fine flair for finding the beauty in life we often ignore because of the traumas we face. The characters are well developed, the storyline echoes the lives of many, and Denise’s manner of molding the back-story, the plot arc, and the dénouement are the touches of a remarkable author. Grady Harp, January 18
Jackie Martin, the heroine, is always one step ahead of disaster as she struggles to come to terms with the early loss of her father and the struggles of growing up without him. Of all the men in the world, she falls for a man, who is the epitome of self-absorbed and selfish, Tony Salvucci. Handsome and spoiled from the get-go he’s immature and incapable of accepting responsibility for his actions, but he’s charming and she falls for him. The years fly by, and Jackie becomes a single mother, puts herself through school and struggles to get over Tony.
When life hands you a bunch of lemons, add sugar and this is just what Jackie does as she matures into an independent woman that the reader will cheer for. I think one of the strongest underlying themes of the book is that people change. They may make mistakes, but they can learn from their mistakes and not repeat them. The happy ever after in this book is very satisfying and watching the two main characters change through the years is well worth the read.
Most recent customer reviews
It was a page turner for me.Read more