Book Review & Excerpt - Incidental Daughter – Val Stasik

Friday, May 10, 2013

This is a fictional story which could take place in real life. A woman gives birth to a daughter out of wedlock. She is embittered and never says anything good about this man or any other for that matter. She does tell her who the man is. The daughter, Liz, goes on to become a high powered publicist with a penchant for choosing the wrong men. Then one day a young boy enters her office and her entire world will change. This book is about the journey of healing. I do not want to say much more or it will spoil the book for you. Just know that I loved this book so much that I am going to give it to my Mother to read—This is this author’s first novel and I, for one, will look forward to anything else she will be writing in the future!

From the back of the book:

Freaky Coincidences and Ominous Events

Successful publisher Liz Michaels is done with the past, but the past is not done with her. After her mother’s death seventeen years ago, she firmly shuts the door on her father and his family—who know nothing of her existence. She has moved beyond her failed marriage and desire for a child and pours all her creative energy and passion into her work. When she becomes a suspect in her ex-husband’s death, a series of freaky coincidences and ominous events set in motion the possibility that she may finally fulfill her deepest yearnings for love and belonging. If you like the works of Nicolas Sparks, Stasik’s INCIDENTAL DAUGHTER, a deeply moving family drama interwoven with romance, mystery and a touch of the paranormal, is a must read.

Book Excerpt:

A FAMILIAR BELLOWING in the outer office captured Liz Michael’s attention. She slipped the contract for the purchase of William Penn Press back into its folder and navigated through the precisely-stacked piles of manuscripts to lift a slat of the blinds covering the door and floor-to-ceiling windows that faced the outer office. Addy Payne strained toward Mandy, pounded her desk, and demanded to see Liz. Paper clips, pens, and papers flew off her desk like hard rain.

Liz glanced at her watch. Only 2:17, but the flush of booze had already spread from her ex-husband’s face to his scalp in sharp contrast to his sleek, white-blond hair. This bloated caricature was not the man she had once loved. She shook her head. No, she could not possibly have fallen in love with that.

As he headed for her office, trailed by Mandy, Liz considered escaping through the other door in her office, but she knew he’d keep coming back—best to deal with him now. She whirled back to her desk, sat, and pretended to peruse the documents in the William Penn Press folder. Addy whipped the door open, but held it, and peered at Mandy as though she were the intruder. Mandy’s hazel eyes pleaded with Liz, and she shrugged her plump shoulders.

“It’s okay, Mandy. Call Miriam and tell her I’ll have the contract ready for her before four.”

Mandy scurried out of the room like a rabbit frantic for cover. Addy smiled, shook his head, and closed the door. He removed a stack of manuscripts from a tan guest chair, sat, and adjusted his perfectly pressed pants. “You look well,” he said.

Liz stood, marched to the blinds, and opened them. Mandy glanced up from her phone call to Miriam and nodded her readiness to call security at Liz’s signal. Liz returned to her desk, sat, folded her hands, and calmly stared at him a moment. “What brings you here today, Addy?”

He glanced back at the open blinds, raised his brows, and looked back at her with a slow, feline smile. “What? No ‘How are you? It’s good to see you, Addy.’”

Liz stared back at him, unsmiling.

He shook his head. “Poor sales technique, Lizzie.”

“I’m not selling anything. What do you want? I’m busy.”

Addy glanced at the stacks of manuscripts and nodded. “I can see that. You used to be a lot neater.”

She continued to stare.

He relaxed back into the chair, placed a leg over his knee, and rested his hands on the arms of the chair in one graceful movement. He considered her a moment. “I need money.”

“You’re wasting my time. Get a job.”

His gray eyes darkened. “Pittsburgh isn’t exactly the center of the advertising world.”

“Not my problem. I told you the last time, no more loans―as if I’ll ever see the money I’ve already given you.” She cocked her head to one side. “Tell me, Addy, whatever happened to all of your contacts? Why don’t you go to your family?”

He looked away from her and studied the awards on one wall and then the print of Cassatt’s The Boating Party on the opposite wall. The muffled ring of Mandy’s phone in the outer office underscored the silence.

“They don’t know, do they? They think you’re still the Great Ad Man, pulling off one outrageous magic trick after another.”

He returned his gaze to her. “I want to start my own agency.”

She gave him a tight-lipped smile and shook her head. “You don’t know you’ve dropped off the edge, do you? You had quite a run taking risks with your accounts. . . . Oh, you had us all fooled. Me. Your clients. We thought your three-martini lunches fueled your success, till your lack of follow-through took everything south. . . . Lay off the booze, Addy. Then go to New York, LA, Chicago. Find a job with an agency where they don’t know you.”

His whole body deflated. “It’s been too long since the last job. Even if I were hired, I’d have to start at the bottom.”

Liz leaned back in her chair. “Screwed everybody who could give you a good reference, huh? Why don’t you try something else? Maybe banking? Or drive a cab? Who knows? You could end up head of the company.”

He looked worse than he had the last time if that was possible. Now that he was sitting across from her, she could see tiny veins were beginning to sprout on his nose. “By the way, as I’ve said many times, AA has quite a history for turning people’s lives around. Why don’t you give them a try? What could it hurt?”

He sprang from his chair and, hands fisted, leaned on her desk. She scowled at the stink of whiskey on his breath. “Look, I’m not some jerk barfly from a dirty Pennsylvania steel town.” His eyes bulged. “You know I come from one of the oldest families in Ohio. I have an MBA from Harvard. I’ve made three different agencies big money. And I know I can create the best ad agency this town that thinks it’s a city has ever seen.”

Liz rose from her desk. “Then I suggest you create a business plan―they did teach you how to write a business plan at Harvard, didn’t they―and take it to the bank for a loan.”

She jerked the hem of her linen jacket. “Now, I have work to do.” She strode to the door, but before she could open it, he grabbed her arm.

“You’ve never forgiven me, have you?

She froze, her face a rigid mask. “Let go of me.”

Addy freed her and she opened the door. He left without another word.

About the Author: (from the back of the book)

Val Stasik shares a home in eternally sunny Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her aging mixed terrier, Sugar, who allows her to sleep in his queen-size bed as well as sharpen her culinary skills by preparing him three graciously accepted meals daily. Stasik spent many years as a writing teacher, helping other writers find their voice and tell their stories, and is a consultant for the Northern Virginia Writing Project. INCIDENTAL DAUGHTER is Stasik’s debut novel.

Contact Stasik at

This book can be purchased at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

All opinions expressed are my own honest opinions. For more information please check my Disclosure Statement. Our giveaways are in no way sponsored or promoted by Facebook.


MzBaker said...

This book sounds very interesting and very much like it could be a true story.

Healy Harpster said...

I would love to read the whole story of this book. Thank's for sharing!

Tamara @ Mommyland said...

This sounds amazing thank you for sharing (and not spoiling it ;)) I will have to add this book to my collection

Chubskulit Rose said...

Very intriguing. Is there really an incidental daughter?

Kelli Avery said...

This book sounds like something I would be interested in. You always give detailed reviews!

Travel Quest said...

Very interesting great reviews by the way.

Cyndie said...

Sounds very interesting to me!!

Melinda Dunne said...

This sounds like another great book right up my ally. My summer reading list is getting to be a long one! LOL!

This and That Reviews said...

Another good book toadd to my list of good reads thank you for the review

April M. said...

interesting book. great book review!

Jennifer Williams said...

I am struggling to keep up with you, lol. I can not wait to read this one.

Mel Cole said...

sounds like a book with lots of suspense. difficult to be in the shoe of the girl. i hope she gets her justice throughout to the end of the book.

nova hedges said...

The synopsis is wonderful, something different from the previous book reviews. I bet this will be a wonderful gift to give

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