Saturday, January 19, 2013

Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Janis F. Kearney

Before Christmas last year I had the opportunity to read this book as part of the book tour hosted by I am a reader, not a writer.

Book Summary

Presidential diarist and author Janis F. Kearney transforms civil rights legend Daisy Gatson Bates’ life from black and white, to living color. The author, who interviewed Bates many times; recreates her conversations and interviews to “fill in” places left un-filled, and colors incidents and experiences, to bring Daisy Bates to life. Kearney plums the mysterious murder of Bates’ mother, and the orphan’s childhood; the young woman’s prophetic decision to share a traveling salesman’s life; her non-traditional role as co-publisher of an award winning newspaper; and her leadership role at a time, and place where women rarely led. 

Between a Rock and a Hard Place is Daisy’s “look back” at her life, and…finally, a self-analysis of how, and possibly, why she became the Daisy Gatson Bates for which she is known throughout the world. Author Janis F. Kearney recounts the leader’s many friendships, relationships and associations that helps define who she was in the eyes of the world - from Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton; First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.; Roy Wilson, NAACP President; Thurgood Marshall and Wiley Branton, NAACP attorneys, Maya Angelou and Jackie Robinson… and countless others. 

The author met Daisy Bates in the summer of 1969, at the age of 16. From that moment, the high school student dreamed of working for the woman her father called one of Arkansas’ greatest leaders – black or white.

Many of us in the early part of our lives meet someone who shapes the professional person we become. They are so, influential and important to us as individuals that they go beyond just professional and become friends, confidants and amongst the people we trust.

Daisy: Between the Rock and a Hard Place is essentially a book that is reflective of that friendship and influence between Daisy and the author.

The book starts with the early beginnings of Daisy's life and explains about the issue of Slavery in the south, even with the abolishment of Slavery, Society likes to pigeon people and this period of time was no exception. The book goes on to tell us about the life, determination and achievements of Daisy. How she managed to take all the negative that she felt and turn it into something good. It is the amazing story of Daisy who succeeded and became so much despite the colour of her skin and her background.

It was truly a fabulous read and I am delighted that I had the opportunity to read it and I recommend it!

About the Author, Janis F. Kearney Janis F. Kearney is a publisher, author, and oral historian. She was one of 19 children born to Arkansas Delta Sharecroppers T.J. and Ethel Kearney. She Graduated from the  University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a B.A., in  Journalism, and completed 30 hours in public administration, and Journalism.

She was hired by Daisy Bates in 1987 as Managing Editor of the Arkansas State Press.  In 1988, she purchased the newspaper.  She served as Personal Diarist to President Clinton from 1995 to 2001.  She was the country’s first personal diarist to a U.S. President, and during that time, she also served as White House liaison to the U.S. National Archives.

In 2001, Janis moved with her husband Bob Nash to Chicago, where she began her writing life.  In 2003, Janis, with her husband’s support, founded Writing our World Press/WOW! Books  in 2003.  Her first book, Cotton Field of Dreams: A Memoir was published in 2004.

Her other books include Something to Write Home About: Memories of a Presidential Diarist; Conversations: William Jefferson Clinton…from Hope to Harlem; and Once Upon a Time there was a Girl: a Murder at Mobile Bay, her first fiction. WOW! Books has also published two other authors.

Her next book, Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, is scheduled for publication, December 2012.  Her third memoir, Sundays with TJ: 100 years of Memories on Varner Road,  and her second Once Upon a Time there was a Girl murder mystery are both slated for publication in Spring, 2013.
Tour Schedule 
January 4th Book Blast - Multiple Blogs
January 5th Peace from Pieces - Interview 3Ps in a Pod - Excerpt
January 6th Angler's Rest - Review A Casual Reader's Blog - Excerpt & Review
January 7th Sarah Ballance - Tens List & Excerpt Cuzinlogic - Guest Post or Interview
January 8th MK McClintock - Interview Indie Author How-to - Guest Post & Excerpt
January 9th Book Readers - Review Guerrilla Wordfare - Review
January 11th Aspired Writer - Review & Excerpt Another Step to Take - Interview & Review
January 12th Laurie's Thoughts & Reviews - Author Interview & Excerpt The Ordinary Aunt - Guest Post
January 13th My Devotional Thoughts - Review & Excerpt Bookhounds - Interview
January 14th icefairy's Treasure Chest - Guest Post & Excerpt Nonfiction Finds - Excerpt
January 15th Beck Valley Books - Guest Post
January 16th Crafty Zoo - Guest Post Michelle Pickett - Guest Post
January 17th Scribbler's Sojourn - Guest Post Eugenia Writes - Guest Post
January 18th Books Books the Magical Fruit - Interview Good Choice Reading - Tens List
January 19th Read It All Reviews - Interview & Review
January 20th Bunny's Review - Excerpt Blissful Banter - Review & Interview


  1. Oh wow -- great review. Totally new to me book and author -- sounds wonderful. I don't read a ton of non-fiction, but if I do, it tends toward bios of fascinating women. Thanks for hightling this book!

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