Sally Bradley writes big-city fiction with real issues and real hope. A Chicagoan since age five, she now lives in the Kansas City area with her family, but they go back every now and then for important things like good pizza and White Sox baseball. Sally’d love to hear from you and hear your thoughts about Kept and other great fiction.
Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her—all have proven undependable. But Miska has life under control. She runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago’s lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman.
Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father’s sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can’t help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she’s longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again.
When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who’s gone too far and done too much.
QUESTION FOR THE AUTHOR. Why did you decide to write this story? What led to the premise of your story? This story came straight from SportsCenter. (Can you imagine!) I was watching SportsCenter just for Chicago Bears coverage since they were about to play in the Super Bowl, and SportsCenter was doing a series on temptations pro athletes face. One was women who make their living off pro athletes.
They interviewed a woman who made her living that way, by being available to one athlete—and only him—when his team came to town. She was completely silhouetted, except that she had this really uniquely shaped short hairdo.
As the interview went on, she confessed that not only did she do this for one athlete, but for two! And I thought, Honey, I hope you’re wearing a wig. Or they know now.
I could not stop thinking about her. She haunted me. What would make her live that way? She had fallen for so many lies, and I just felt so horribly for her. On top of that, I wondered what would happen to her if those two men did find out? So eventually I had to explore what would make a woman live that way and then give her a happy ending.
And My Review:
Wow! Amazing, Sally Bradley. Kept kept me up until 4:00 am and rarely does that happen for me. Scene after scene drew me in to this excellently crafted storyline with fascinating sub-plots and a spiritual depth that could only come from a Christian who knows Jesus intimately.
Sally, you rocked your debut novel! Totally! Five Stars all the way! Kept is first-class fiction with characters so well-developed that you feel a part of their inner circle…as if you’ve been forever friends with all of them.
Miska–a non-Christian who’s living a scandalous life–isn’t the type of character you’d think you’d instantly love, yet you do. She’s a beautiful, kind-hearted, vulnerable soul who is caught up in a bad lifestyle and truly doesn’t think she’s doing anything wrong. It’s survival. I love that she’s open and honest, real and raw. And the truth, which the reader gets right away, is that she really doesn’t know Jesus–at all. Her past has wounded her in a way that even she doesn’t understand at first.
Miska stereotypes Christians, but asks her new friends questions, even challenges them. She doesn’t easily buy into their odd principles and takes time to understand and weigh these new thoughts as she considers what’s really important in her life.
It’s a fun, frustrating, and heart-tugging walk with Miska. There’s no sudden transformation. She stumbles, falls, gets up and then stumbles and fall again, but you find yourself rooting for her and yes, even praying for her.
Hats off to Sally Bradley for crafting such an incredible novel that covers all the bases; excellent characterization, amazing plot with superb subplots, smooth and beautiful prose, dialogue that fits perfectly to the characters and scenes (even the men), page-turning scenes (never a dull moment), and superbly described locales (I feel like I’ve lived in Chicago). Sally Bradley knows how to draw the reader into the story and hold them there, yes, even until 4 am when you only wanted to read for an hour before sleep.
And one more very important observation: Sally Bradley’s apparent solid, clear, and deep understanding of true Christianity would allow any non-Christian to pick up this book, become completely absorbed, then easily and naturally (along with the characters) be transformed by Christ. There’s no peachiness or shoving it down your throat Christianity in Kept. Even the solid Christians must learn and grow in their faith in this novel. Truly, one of my best reads ever! It’s clear that The Holy Spirit guided the heart and mind of this author in crafting this amazing book. I read literary mainstream fiction and Christian fiction and this novel would fit well in either market.
I sure hope Sally Bradley writes a lot of books because the girl can craft fiction like any bestselling author I’ve ever read.
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