Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Review-Interview-Sold On A Monday by Kristina McMorris

It is my privilege to bring you my interview with friend and fantastic NYT Bestseller author Kristina McMorris about her latest heartfelt historical masterpiece, Sold On A Monday. Reading our interview you'll get a behind the scenes look at how the book came to be and a bit of fun too, plus I've included my review of this unforgettable soon to be bestseller novel.

ISBN-13: 9781492663997
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: 8-28-2018
Length: 352pp
Source: Author for Review
Buy It: Amazon/B&N/Kobo/IndieBound/Audible
From New York Times bestselling author Kristina McMorris comes another unforgettable novel inspired by a stunning piece of history.


The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.

For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family's dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.

At the paper, Lillian Palmer is haunted by her role in all that happened. She is far too familiar with the heartbreak of children deemed unwanted. As the bonds of motherhood are tested, she and Ellis must decide how much they are willing to risk to mend a fractured family.

Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, Sold on a Monday is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and the unexpected paths that bring us home.


Interview with Kristina:

Kristina, hi! Welcome back to The Reading Frenzy.
I LOVED your new novel, Sold on a Monday. Tell my readers just a little about it, please.
Thanks so much, Debbie. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it!
In short, the story features a Depression-era reporter who snaps a photo of two children being sold on a farmhouse porch, leading to his big break—and devastating consequences for everyone involved.

Your website says that this novel is based on a historical photograph you found and put away for future use. The actual picture is from 1948 but your novel takes place in 1931. Why was 1931 and not 1948 the right time for your story?
Honestly, when I first saw the photo, I assumed—as I think a lot of people have—that it was taken during the Great Depression. I was surprised when I discovered that the picture was actually from 1948. So, that was the first reason; and second, the extreme economic hardships of the 1930s lend a naturally desperate context for the characters in my book, pushing them across moral boundaries that they otherwise might not have crossed.

I have LOVED everything you’ve written and one of the reasons is how I get totally immersed in the story because of how authentic everything feels, with the dialogue, mindsets and landscapes. How do you conduct your research?
That’s so nice to hear, and a compliment that really means a lot to me. As you know, I try my best with every book to be as historically accurate as possible. When it comes to research, documentaries and memoirs are usually extremely helpful, but live interviews and hands-on research have been invaluable—my favorite experiences so far being a ride on a restored B-17, a pilgrimage at an internment camp, and a night tour of Alcatraz (which was just as cool as you’d imagine).

Kristina, your characters Lily and Ellis are very real but also flawed; they have to deal with some pretty big moral issues that aren’t always legal. Did these characters have a mind of their own or were you the one steering the runaway car?
As with every story I write, it was definitely a combination of both. I tend to see my books play out like a movie in my head. In that way, much of the plot is driven by what I’ve envisioned. But every so often, as I’m writing a scene, a character will surprise me with an action or decision that I didn’t plan on, and those can add some great twists to the story.

I also love how your characters reflect the era they’re depicted from yet their individuality shines through too. This is especially true yet tricky for Lily. Is there a line you draw in the sand saying how far her individuality can go because of the timeline of the story or did you just run with what Lily wanted to do?
I knew Lily would emerge as a strong character, especially given her era, but that she would need to confront the guilt and shame she’s harbored from her past in order to truly find her identity and confidence. At the same time, she was always aware of societal constraints, just as we all are, so she chooses her battles carefully.

Kristina, your secondary characters really shine too. Is there one from this story who could have their own tale? Who and why?
Oh goodness, yes. The first one who comes to mind is mobster Max Trevino, who also appeared in The Edge of Lost. as you probably recall. He has such clear moral lines, even as an underworld crime boss, and has always fascinated me with the dichotomies in his flawed but likeable personality.

Let’s get a little personal now. For a year you kept up the family Christmas tree and decorated it to match every holiday during that time. What was this all about?
Ahh, the tree. Ha! It all started because I was on a pressing book deadline and didn’t realize our artificial Christmas tree was still up until almost February. I posted a photo of it on Facebook, jokingly asking if I should bother to take it down or just keep it up for the following Christmas. A slew of friends insisted that we not only keep it up but decorate it for each holiday. So… my family accepted the challenge. It ended up being such a fun and memorable activity with the kids—but I admit, I was glad to have the space in the living room back when the tree finally came down.
The Tree of Many Seasons
4th of July              Back to School                Happy Halloween

Merry Grichmas          Happy Thanksgiving            Happy New Year

Valentines Day              Cinco De Mayo                    Easter
President's Day                      Solar Eclipse 

Tell us the last book you read that was so good you had to share it?
One of my latest favorites is Simone St James’s The Broken Girls, which I had the honor of reading early for an endorsement blurb. It was an eerie, gripping ghost story set in a boarding school for unwanted girls. Need I say more?

Kristina, thank you so much for answering all my nosy questions. Good luck with the book. Are you touring with it?
Thank you for having me! I do have a whirlwind, three-month tour kicking off at the end of August, covering about a dozen states so far. (Yes, I’m insane.) I love meeting readers in person, so I hope they’ll check out details on the Events page of my website at

My Review:

Sold On A Monday
Kristina McMorris
McMorris’s latest is amazing, historical fiction at it’s finest and based on a real photograph that once upon a time shocked America. This fantastic tale takes readers back to Depression Era East Coast America where a sign announcing “children for sale” draws a floundering reporter’s attention and the consequences that follow his taking the picture. Rich with era appropriate dress, attitudes and dialogue the author weaves a story of intrigue, mystery, tragedy and redemption while taking her audience through prohibition era speakeasies, exposing them to the many ethnic “mobs” of the time period and the tragedies children suffer when the ones who should protect them either can’t or won’t. The storyline is accurately imaginative and with a fluent narrative and realistically good-hearted characters that grapple with right and wrong readers will find it hard to put this best-selling-bound novel down. Fans of both historical fiction and literary fiction will fall in love with this offering. Master storyteller Kristina McMorris hits another one out of the park!
A picture that never meant to be published starts a chain reaction of events that leads to tragic consequences.
All Ellis Reed ever wanted was to be a newspaper reporter and when his big break, the photo picturing a mother selling her children, was based on a lie he thought along with the advancements in his career he could live with that. When he learns the picture may have come true he needs to know how that happened and how much he’s to blame. He won’t be able to accomplish this alone and hopes he can convince the pretty secretary who befriended him to help.
Lily Palmer hoped to become the next Nellie Bly but being a single mother in 1931 doesn’t allow for that so to keep her son safe she has to keep him a secret and instead of reporting the news she has to be satisfied working as a newspaper editor’s secretary. It doesn’t mean she can’t give an extra budge to a story she thinks her boss will like but when one such story makes her complicit in a tragedy she knows she has to help make it right, she just has to decide how far she’ll go to go that.

 Connect with Kristina - Website - Facebook - Twitter
Meet Kristina:
Kristina McMorris is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her background includes ten years of directing public relations for an international conglomerate as well as extensive television experience. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her novels have garnered twenty national literary awards, and include Letters from Home, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, The Pieces We Keep, and The Edge of Lost, in addition to novellas in the anthologies A Winter Wonderland and Grand Central. Her forthcoming novel, Sold on a Monday, will be released September 2018. A frequent guest speaker and workshop presenter, she holds a BS in international marketing from Pepperdine. She lives with her husband and two sons in Oregon. 


  1. Lol, I love the tree of many seasons

    1. I know right I have laughed so many times at that tree in all its seasons :)

  2. This is one I want to read. I love the trees!!

    1. Have you read her before Kim? I don't remember senior moment(s) :)
      It was soooo good
      and yes those trees. love the Grinchmas one :)

  3. I am more than intrigued by the story. I've read a few others in Depression Era and want more. Enjoyed the interview getting two know Kristina and her book. The tree... LOL Very creative!

    1. Thanks Sophia Rose, this is right up your alley. Get it if you can
      ps I think you might still be able to get it on Netgalley shhhhh ;-)

  4. Love the interview. I tend to shy away from historical fiction after a few not so wonderful experiences, but this one sounds good.

    1. Yeah I've been there too Nadene. I have to admit hers aren't always happy endings but this one you would like.

  5. Wonderful interview and review as always Debbie. It certainly was an intriguing read and I sure felt for those small children. Wow those trees sure are something!

    1. I know right, those trees, LOL. Thanks Kathryn, Kristina has been a fave for a long time and she's outdone herself as always.

  6. I've seen this cover on several blogs lately and it makes me feel so sad, every time. I just hope this book has a happy ending-- because I'm almost scared to read it otherwise!

    1. This one does Dianna and I know what you mean, but yes you're safe

  7. Thanks again for the lovely review, and fun interview, Debbie!

  8. Great interview and review. I have been wanting to read this book, but having trouble opening the pages to the heart rend of throw away kids. I know it will be a fantastic read, just got to get my courage up.

    1. go ahead and open it up Karen I think you can handle it
      It's good to hear from you :) xo