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Monday, July 13, 2015

Life Goes On

Johnnie Come Lately by Kathleen M. Rodgers was my first military story.  In fact, I didn’t know it was a military story until the story focused on Cade, the son who joined the marines.  Then I remembered that Johnnie’s father died while on tour.     

I turned to the author’s page and read that Kathleen M. Rodgers had written stories and essays that have appeared in military magazines, as well as the regular main stream periodicals.  This is also her second novel. 

There’s nothing different about military stories except maybe if you are a military family you would relate with a deeper emotional level.  But that’s not necessary at all.  I understood Johnnie’s feelings, as a daughter, wife, and mother.  In fact, the author relates to all women.  That’s the beauty of the story.  Johnnie is real. 

The plot itself is twofold.  Johnnie's mother walked out of her life when she was small.  But she's still alive and traces of her are left here and there.  Juxtaposition with Johnnie's missing mother is her own personal life.  And that's what interested me because I could identify with her family life, infidelity, eating disorder, and trying to be everything to everybody.  

What I learned from Johnnie Come Lately:

Grandparents are necessary.
Don’t have sex till you’re married.
Stay faithful to your husband.
The tie between mother and child is in-dissolvable.
You don’t have to go to college to be a success.
You’re never too old to go to college.
Don’t freak out when your daughter dates a jerk.
Be kind to your neighbor.
Support veterans.

This is a good story.  I think young adults will really relate to the situations of Johnnie’s children.  D.J. is in college.  Cade is a recent high school graduate.  Lastly, Callie Ann is still in high school.  I would recommend this novel to high school aged and up.  I did receive this novel from Tribute Books for the purpose of writing a review, but the recommendation is my honest opinion.  It is a good story well worth your while to purchase and read.

Kathleen M. Rodgers' Web Site:

Kathleen M. Rodgers' Facebook:

Kathleen M. Rodgers' Twitter:

Award-winning author Kathleen M. Rodgers is a former frequent contributor to Family Circle magazine and Military Times. Her work has also appeared in anthologies published by McGraw-Hill, University of Nebraska Press/Potomac Books, Health Communications, Inc., AMG Publishers, and Press 53. She is the author of the award-winning novel, The Final Salute, featured in USA Today, The Associated Press, andMilitary Times. Deer Hawk Publications reissued the novel in e-book and paperback September of 2014.

Her second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, released from Camel Press February 1, 2015. Barnes & Noble in Southlake, TX hosted the official launch on February 7, and Kathleen signed copies of both novels for three hours straight. In 2014, she was named a Distinguished Alumna from Tarrant County College/NE Campus.

She is the mother of two grown sons, Thomas, a graduate of University of North Texas and a working artist in Denton, TX, and J.P., a graduate of Texas Tech University and a former Army officer who earned a Bronze Star in 2014 in Afghanistan. Kathleen’s husband, Tom, is a retired fighter pilot/commercial airline pilot, and they reside in Colleyville, TX with their rescue dog, Denton. Kathleen is working on a new novel titled Seven Wings to Glory and is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency.

Johnnie Come Lately
 Book Summary:
Would life have been different for Johnnie if she'd been named after a woman rather than her dead uncle? Or if her mama hadn't been quite so beautiful or flighty? The grandparents who raised her were loving, but they didn't understand the turmoil roiling within her. And they had so many, many secrets.

Why did her mama leave? Would she ever return? How did her Uncle Johnny really die? Who was her father? Now Johnnie Kitchen is a 43-year-old woman with three beautiful children, two of them grown. She has a handsome, hardworking husband who adores her, and they live in the historic North Texas town of Portion in a charming bungalow. But she never finished college and her only creative outlet is a journal of letters addressed to both the living and the dead. Although she has conquered the bulimia that almost killed her, Johnnie can never let down her guard, lest the old demons return. Or perhaps they never went away to begin with. For Johnnie has secrets of her own, and her worst fear is that the life she's always wanted--the one where she gets to pursue her own dreams--will never begin.

Not until her ghosts reveal themselves.

Price/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $9.75 paperback
Military Family, Women's Fiction, Literary Fiction
Camel Press
February 1, 2015

Nota Bene:  The ebook normally retails for $4.95, but until July 31, 2015 the publisher is offering it at the specially reduced price of $2.99!

Amazon buy link:

Barnes and Noble buy link:

BAM buy link:

There is also a $25 gift card/PayPal cash giveaway going on at:


Tribute Books said...

What a wonderful review! Thank you, Faith :)

Kathleen M. Rodgers said...

Dear Faith,

I am in total awe of your review for my second novel. I cherish everything you said, but here are my favorite lines: " I understood Johnnie’s feelings, as a daughter, wife, and mother. In fact, the author relates to all women. That’s the beauty of the story. Johnnie is real. "

I just read your review out loud to my husband while he stood over my shoulder. We are both smiling.
Your have made this writer's day.

I will be sharing your review.

Your are a blessing,


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