Monica Bisbaine loves being a modern girl in the Roaring Twenties. Her job writing a gossip column allows her access to all the local speakeasys in Washington, D.C., where she can dance the night away—and find fodder for her next article. But when the owner of the Capitol Chatter newspaper passes away, Monica wonders what will happen to her job, and the lifestyle she loves.
Max Moore may hold the title of editor-in-chief for evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson’s paper, The Bridal Call, but Aimee calls all the shots. So when Max learns that his great-uncle has passed away, leaving him all his earthly possessions, Max resigns and heads to D.C. Determined to take over the Capitol Chatter, infuse it with his values, and turn it into a respectable paper, Max is soon bumping up against the equally determined Monica Bisbane.
Under Max’s direction, Monica embarks on her most challenging assignment yet: infiltrating and reporting on the Anti-Flirt Society. Though reluctant at first, as Monica meets and mingles with the young women of the club, she begins to question the innocence of her flirtatious lifestyle. And when romance begins to blossom between Max and Monica, she must choose where her loyalties lie: with the young women of the society or the alluring pull of the speakeasy and its inhabitants.
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All for a Story
By Allison Pittman, Kathryn S. Olson
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2013 Allison Pittman
All rights reserved.
I am really only myself when I'm somebody else whom I have endowed with these wonderful qualities from my imagination.
WASHINGTON, DC, 1923
IT WAS JUST PAST DAWN when she hammered the final key on her portable typewriter, finishing up that week's installment of Monkey Business. Good thing, too, because the next sound to be heard above her percolating coffee was the familiar, timid knock followed by "Miss Bisbaine?" spoken in a voice not quite conquered by puberty.
Monica cinched the silk belt of her robe, not wanting to send the poor kid into some kind of preadolescent stroke, and opened the thin door of her small apartment to reveal Trevor Kelly shifting nervously from foot to foot.
"Perfect timing, as always," Monica said, stepping back to allow the boy ample space to walk in without touching her. "Really?" Trevor looked around the room, obviously trying to avoid seeing both the unmade bed and the undressed tenant. "Because I thought I was running late."
"That's why you're perfect, love. I've just now finished. Coffee?"
"No, thank you."
The boy had just turned fifteen and no doubt had been given the tale that the stuff would stunt his growth. She wanted to tell him his fears were unfounded; after all, he loomed a full head above her, but his bony shoulders and scrawny neck testified to a weight that barely topped a hundred pounds.
"Milk, then?" The moment she offered, she realized the chances of finding a clean glass in which to serve it were slim at best.
"Like I said, I'm running late...."
"All right, all right." He was a good kid, this one, but no sense of life. She shuffled over to her typewriter and lifted the foot to release the single sheet on the roller. "Let me give it one last read."
She pulled up the window shade just enough to illuminate the page and let her eyes—still stinging from a late night of smoke and booze—skim the column, making sure she'd given enough clues to attract interested parties but not enough to expose them outright. Satisfied, she gave the piece over to her first reader.
"My guess is upstairs from some shoe repair shop?" Trevor's wide eyes awaited her confirmation.
The kid scrunched his face, thinking. "Maybe instead of saying your shoe broke, something like, 'I had a bit of a problem with my walking paws.' Same number of letters."
"Do monkeys have paws?"
"Do you pay for hooch with bananas?"
"You have a point."
She grabbed a blue wax pencil from the cup on the table, drew a line through the sentence, and wrote Trevor's suggestion in the margin, initialing the page with a flourish before handing it back. "Good job. We wouldn't want anyone getting undue attention."
"No, ma'am." Trevor took the paper and placed it in a cardboard folder which he then tucked into the canvas messenger bag slung around his neck.
Meanwhile, Monica tried to look nonchalant as she riffled through her purse, then the little velvet drawstring bag on her bureau, and finally the preserves jar on her top kitchen shelf in a fruitless search for a nickel. Finding none, she offered a smile instead. "Sorry, kid. Double it next time?"
He shrugged. "That's okay."
"Just look extra puppy-dog pathetic when you hand it over to Mr. Moore."
Trevor snorted, and Monica understood. He'd have as much chance getting a nickel from Mr. Moore as finding a cherry blossom in November.
Once he left, she shuffled down the hall to the common bathroom that served the tenants in the four single-room apartments on her floor. One benefit of keeping irregular hours came in having the place to herself at these crucial times. Mr. Davenport, a high school math teacher, had probably left before Trevor took the first step in the stairwell. Mrs. Kinship worked overnight as a janitress and was already tucked in bed. Finally, a girl named Anna. Girl might not be the best word, since she had to be nearly thirty, but she was soft and pale and quiet, eking out a modest living from her job in the back room of the public library. She kept precise hours, leaving the house at seven thirty every morning and returning at six fifteen every evening, Monday through Saturday. When she spoke, she spoke in whispers, and she scowled at those who didn't follow suit.
Monica closed herself inside and sent a silent apology to Mrs. Kinship as the pipes groaned before the onslaught of water. She added a generous amount of sweet-scented bath salts before climbing into the tub, where she ducked her head under the spigot, hoping to wash away the pounding in her head.
When she got back to her room, she set a new pot of coffee to percolate on the electric hot plate and rummaged through her wardrobe and select piles of clothing on the floor to put together an outfit appropriate for the day, finding a relatively clean pair of thick cotton stockings, a long wool skirt, and an argyle sweater. With a pair of sturdy brown shoes she could pass as a college girl, maybe, albeit without the usual accompanying vivacity.
After dragging a large canvas bag from beneath her bed, she began to stuff it with as many garments as she could gather off the floor, draped over the chair, and piled on the foot of the bed. Mr. Varnos would scowl at her, but it was his policy to charge by the bag; she was just clever enough to take advantage.
Barely able to move under the weight of her laundry, Monica lugged herself and the bag down the three flights of back stairs in order to avoid her landlord's office parlor. A bitter wind whipped her face when she turned the corner from the alley to the street. Had it been this cold last night? She couldn't remember. The last bit of warmth from her single cup of coffee disappeared with the mist of her breath. Luckily, Varnos's Laundry was only half a block away, just in time to rescue her with its steamy, soap-scented warmth as she staggered through the door.
"My, it's like heaven in here," she said, trying not to grunt too loudly as she heaved the bag onto the counter.
Mr. Varnos, his thick, black brows joined together in his displeasure, did nothing to assist her. Instead, he stepped back, arms folded across his barreled chest, and stared Monica down.
"New policy," he said and cocked his head toward a neat-looking hand-lettered sign on the wall. "No more bag. By pound now."
"A nickel a pound? Mr. Varnos, that's robbery!"
"Well, not very good business if you ask me," Monica said, trying to regain some of her lost ground through charm. "Why, I'm only ninety-eight pounds myself. You could wash all of me and I'd owe you less than a fin."
Perhaps the line would have worked better were she not bundled head to toe in her favorite knit cap and sturdy gray wool coat, because Mr. Varnos—still frowning—grabbed her bag with effortless resolve and set it on a large scale. The red needle came to a bouncing halt just shy of twenty-two pounds.
A dollar and a dime.
Monica's smile froze. "That's not so much."
Wordlessly, Mr. Varnos scribbled on a little pad, tearing a ticket-size slip from the bottom and handing it over.
"Pick up Tuesday."
"Tuesday," she affirmed, wishing spring would get here a little sooner. Her clothes would be lighter. And if the grumbling in her stomach was any indication, so would she.
A dozen more steps against the biting wind, and she ducked into Sobek's Deli and Bakery, asking the plump, dimpled Mrs. Sobek for two kolache—on account.
Mrs. Sobek responded with her hand on her ample hip in a pose of mock disapproval.
"On account of what?"
"On account of my boss hasn't even paid me a compliment for the past couple of weeks."
It was a routine they'd mastered, a fair exchange of food for cleverness, exhibited with Mrs. Sobek's dropping the warm pastries in a white, wax-lined bag.
"I know you're too skinny, even under that coat. Come back later today for some nice soup." She winked. "On account."
"I will." It was an oft-repeated invitation, and even when Monica had a pocketful of nickels to pay, Mrs. Sobek would wave her off, claiming it was the scrapings from the bottom of the pot, about to be thrown out anyway.
The warmth of the meat and pastry filled her as she made her way to the most important destination of the morning. She was finishing the last bite and stuffing the empty bag into her coat pocket when she came up to the enormous glass window of Capitol Bank and Loan. She studied herself in the reflection, the o in Loan sitting like a halo above her head. She yanked off her hat and ran her fingers through her hair, licking them to tame the static. Inside, the place smelled like wax and wood and money, and she instantly regretted not wearing the little fox-fur collar on top of her coat. At least it had a friendly face.
"How may we help you?" The man at the reception desk, Harmon Peel, was thin and old, the latter explaining why—after more than a dozen visits to the institution—he seemed to have never seen her before.
"I'm here to see Mr. Bentworth," she said, signing the ledger.
Peel took a slip of paper, asked Monica's name—twice—wrote it on the slip, and sent a well-dressed page with the missive. Minutes later she followed that same page through the lobby and into the office of J. Everett Bentworth, the man she had grown up calling "Uncle Ev."
"Monkey ..." He was up and out from behind the desk, drawing out the final syllable of the nickname for as long as it took to draw her into his arms. "What a nice surprise."
"Hello, Everett." The Uncle had been dropped when she'd turned sixteen, in deference to her sense of maturity. "You're looking well."
In fact, he looked exactly as he always had, though his hair was being overtaken by the gray that had always been present in a salt-and-pepper way. His upper lip receded to reveal a row of perfect teeth, and if she ever saw him wearing anything other than a navy-blue pin-striped suit, she probably wouldn't recognize him at all.
"As are you," he said, though when he held her at arm's length, his scrutiny said otherwise. "What brings you here? I wasn't expecting you for another couple of weeks."
"I'm a bit surprised myself." She swallowed hard. No choice but to go forward. "I was wondering, Everett, if there was any possibility I could get an advance on my next allowance." The statement made her feel like a child, and it didn't help that the chair he'd offered her was so deep that, if she sat far enough back, her feet did not touch the floor. So she remained on its edge, her toes tipped in the thick burgundy carpet while Everett settled himself in his own rich leather seat.
"Hmmm ..." He opened a file drawer beneath his desk and brought out a folder. He needn't share the contents; Monica knew exactly what was in there. Her father's will, leaving everything to her mother, and her mother's will, leaving everything to no one. Well, that wasn't exactly true. She left quite a bit to the hospital that had given Dad such excellent care in his final days, and to her own army of nurses and maids, and to the League of Women Voters in honor of her own days as an ardent suffragette. But to her one daughter and only child? Nothing, save a modest trust fund and the monies from her liquidated assets.
"The terms of your mother's will are quite clear," Everett said, studying the papers. "One hundred dollars on the second Wednesday of every month. There's no other account for me to draw on for an exception."
"Really?" Monica steeled her toes and gestured wide about her. "There's nowhere in this great institution that could make for an exception?"
"Is there something in particular that you need, my dear?"
His voice was low and cultured, making her ever more aware of the thickness of her own Baltimore accent. Who would have guessed that she'd ever been exposed to wealth?
"Well, in case you hadn't noticed, it's a bit cold out there, and I read a fascinating article about how food and a roof go a long way in preventing death by hypothermia. I thought I'd test the theory."
Everett's thin moustache—completely given over to gray—twitched. "I'm sure you exaggerate."
"Try me. If I don't show up, send a search party with brandy to my apartment over on Fourteenth Street. I'll be the little blue girl in the corner."
"One hundred dollars a month is quite generous, you know. Many people—even entire families—live on much less."
"They don't have as many shoes to support as I do." He looked unconvinced, so she pressed on. "It's part of my job—you know, dressing up and looking good."
One eyebrow, three shades darker than the moustache, arched high. "And what exactly is this job of yours again?"
If she didn't think she'd fall out of the chair, she would have kicked herself. Her anonymity was important. Not every speakeasy in town enjoyed the spotlight of the Monkey Business column, and if word ever got out that she was the Monkey herself, she'd never get another lead. But it was easy to see where Everett's mind was going with her last comment, and at this moment it seemed far more important to rescue her reputation—such as it was.
"I write a column for the Capitol Chatter. You might not know it—more of a tabloid than a newspaper. Anyway, I go places, clubs and parties and restaurants and such. Some of them public. Others—" she lowered her voice—"more on the private side, if you know what I mean. And then I write about it. What I did, who I saw. People kind of go around with me, vicarious-like."
As she spoke, a slow smile stretched under Everett's moustache, and the indulgent twinkle she remembered from childhood crept into his eyes.
"You're the Monkey behind Monkey Business?"
She twisted in her chair, seeing that no one was passing by the open door. Satisfied, she turned back.
"You read the Capitol Chatter?"
His face dropped back into aloofness. "My wife is a regular subscriber."
"Really? We don't have too many of those."
"Don't they pay you?"
She smiled wryly. "By the word. And my boss is pretty stingy with those, too."
"If your mother knew—"
"She'd die." She didn't feel the slightest pain at the joke. What affection she'd ever felt for her mother had long since callused into nothing more than an acknowledgment of lineage. They'd only spoken with each other a dozen times between the end of the Great War and the end of her life last spring.
"She loved you very much, you know," Everett said with a banker's measure of affection.
"So she disinherited me?"
"Legally, no. She left you a generous sum. And you'll receive the proceeds of the Baltimore house, should a buyer ever be found."
"Doled out in drips and drabs until I'm thirty."
"And then you'll have it all."
"Not the Georgetown house." She unhooked her toes from the floor and let her feet swing listlessly above the roses in the carpet.
"She only had your best interest at heart. I know she worried you might attract the wrong sort of man—one who would love you only for your money."
"And that won't happen when I'm thirty?"
"I suppose by then it might be the only thing that would get you a man at all."
He smiled, inviting her to join him, both of them knowing that must have been exactly what Mom had been thinking when she drafted the document. Monica's boyfriend, Charlie, had no idea about the money or her father's wartime profits that had generated it. Sometimes, though, she wondered if he might not feel differently about her if he knew. Differently enough to leave his wife. Perhaps she'd tell him on her thirtieth birthday. That was just over nine years away. Not quite a decade. She might have to send him a telegram.
"Let me do this," Everett said, pulling a wallet from the breast pocket of his jacket. "A personal loan. From me to you. Would ten dollars help?"
Ten dollars would indeed help. It would be half the rent—enough to sate her landlord for the next few days—or enough to buy the adorable brown velvet hat she'd seen in the window at Marcel's, or to buy a nice steak dinner at a place where she might get a lead on a new club. How to choose? Still, she should put up a bit of a fight.
"Oh, I couldn't." Her feet swung free, alternating. "I wouldn't want to be beholden." Besides, Charlie was good for a steak dinner every now and then.
"Not at all. I would consider it fair trade for just a bit of your expertise."
He said expertise in such a way as to still her feet. "Look, I don't know what you think—"
"Mona and I have an important anniversary coming up. Twenty years of wedded bliss, and I'd like to take her someplace ... festive."
Excerpted from All for a Story by Allison Pittman, Kathryn S. Olson. Copyright © 2013 Allison Pittman. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a witty story told with a fresh twist—bad girl vs. good boy. (I find it’s usually the opposite.) The book started a little slow for me, but ultimately kept my interest and the pacing improved. The scenes, set in the roaring 20s of Washington DC, are vivid. The characters, especially Monica Brisbaine, are well developed and will surely charm their way into you heart. Imagine being a self-absorbed, sarcastic, party-girl journalist, gossiping and frolicking around the social scene, simply having a grand ol’ time, when your boss dies suddenly and a new ‘heir’, a Christian, changes everything—your job, thoughts, and focus. Well, that creates a delightful book by Allison Pittman, titled, All For A Story. Publisher: Tyndale Publishers Pages: 381 First Lines: WASHINGTON, DC, 1923. It was just past dawn when she hammered the final key on her portable typewriter, finishing up that week’s installment of Monkey Business. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a Review Copy free from NetGalley I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
All For a Story by Allison Pittman is a very good story that takes place during the Roaring Twenties in Washington, D.C. Monica Brisbane writes a gossip column for Capitol Chatter, a less than stellar newspaper. This job allows her to spend her nights dancing and drinking at the local speakeasys where she gathers information for her column that she writes under the name of Monkey Business. When the owner of the newspaper dies, his nephew, Max Moore, moves from California to take over the leadership of the paper. Max wants to turn the Capitol Chatter into a newspaper that is respectable with Christian values. Max gives Monica a challenging assignment which is to infiltrate and then report on the Anti-Flirt Society. After meeting with the young women in the group, Monica begins to question her way of life. The author has a way of pulling the reader into the story. When I first started reading the story I did not care for Monica but as I kept reading I began to see her in a different light. All the characters came to life on the pages of the book and I felt as if I knew every one of them, some I loved and some I greatly disliked. The scenes that took place in a speakeasy were so well developed that I could almost smell the smoke and liquor. I especially liked the way that the author developed the character of Max. He was a Christian and was determined to turn the inferior newspaper into a paper of value. Probably the best part of the story was watching Monica turn her life around. The book has a satisfactory ending and I would like to see a sequel to read more about Max and Monica. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story that takes place during the Roaring Twenties and that also includes a great deal of history and a little romance. Tyndale House Publishers via Net Galley provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Allison Pittman in her new book, “All For A Story” Book Two in the All For A series published by Tyndale House Publishers brings us into the life of Monica Bisbaine. From the Back Cover: Monica Bisbaine loves being a modern girl in the Roaring Twenties. Her job writing a gossip column allows her access to all the local speakeasys in Washington, D.C., where she can dance the night away—and find fodder for her next article. But when the owner of the Capitol Chatter newspaper passes away, Monica wonders what will happen to her job, and the lifestyle she loves. Max Moore may hold the title of editor-in-chief for evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson’s paper, The Bridal Call, but Aimee calls all the shots. So when Max learns that his great-uncle has passed away, leaving him all his earthly possessions, Max resigns and heads to D.C. Determined to take over the Capitol Chatter, infuse it with his values, and turn it into a respectable paper, Max is soon bumping up against the equally determined Monica Bisbane. Under Max’s direction, Monica embarks on her most challenging assignment yet: infiltrating and reporting on the Anti-Flirt Society. Though reluctant at first, as Monica meets and mingles with the young women of the club, she begins to question the innocence of her flirtatious lifestyle. And when romance begins to blossom between Max and Monica, she must choose where her loyalties lie: with the young women of the society or the alluring pull of the speakeasy and its inhabitants. Max is a man of morals, Monica is a flirt that likes to party and go to the speakeasys. She is even seeing a married man. Max takes over the newspaper that Monica is the gossip reporter for and Max sends her to the anti-flirt society for a story. Monica is a fish-out-of-water trying to learn why these women are trying to live against the very lifestyle that she lives. What do you do when your world is shaken and turned upside down? Allison Pittman is an extraordinary writer and she has assembled a unique cast of characters to bring this highly interesting story to life. Hope, restoration, and change are all brought to the table as Monica works with what she discovers. This is a page-turner as the story is highly interesting and you do not want to miss a moment of what is going on. Allison Pittman knows how to weave a captivating story with wonderful characters that breathe. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to more from this highly talented author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Really should not be in Christian fiction genre at all. Not that the scenes were explicit, but it was beyond my comfort zone. Giving up on this series and probably this author. As I have not read one book by her that I have liked so far.
The Roaring Twenties was an interesting time in American history. Women were coming into their own, and Monica is no exception. She's young, fun, and full of life. As a writer, she enjoys writing about her frivolous ways for the local newspaper. When straight-laced Max comes into ownership of the paper, the two can't find common ground. Monica frustrated me at times because she seemed completely clueless about the consequences of her actions for most of the book. However, I really liked Max and wish readers could have gotten into his POV more. Overall, I enjoyed this tale that captured the era perfectly. Fans of Christian historical fiction will enjoy this book.
I was so looking forward to reading this book as I absolutely loved "All for a Song" the first book of the series (the books are completely independent of each other so you do not have to read in order). I was a little disappointed in this one and it fell a little flat for me. I enjoyed the premise of the book with Monica (the main character) as a columnist for a gossip paper that is having to question her ideas when there is a new owner of the paper with a different set of values. I enjoyed the historical setting (1920s Prohibition) and the historical accuracy of the Anti-Flirt Club but I found myself wanting more from the main character as well as from the ending. The ending was a little too quick and too neatly wrapped up without much explanation or reasoning.
I was a little disappointed with this story. While the plot was interesting and the dialogue was humorous at times, I feel like the ending was kind of rushed. I wished for more time to develop Monica's faith and Max's place in her life. That being said, I did enjoy the story overall. Monica Bisbaine is a rare character in the Christian fiction world. Most books I've read, at least lately, focus on the guy being the one that's "loose" and "fast," but not this one. I liked that the author did not try to sugar coat Monica's lifestyle and her choices. I also enjoyed Max Moore's character. He was written with the mind of a real life man. The author didn't try to gloss over his imperfections and his human nature, in favor of making Max a "larger than life" hero, which I truly appreciate. It makes the characters easier to relate to. The theme, I think, was based on Phillipians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." The author does a good job of bringing this point home, especially in Monica's life. We can see, throughout the story, her mind slowly but surely changing. Despite the fact that I feel the ending was a little rushed, I appreciate the author not wrapping everything up in a neat little package, but giving us enough of a hint to know what would eventually happen. It gives the story a more realistic feel. Overall, I enjoyed the story and will definitely be reading more by this fabulous author!
I found "All for a Story" hard to read. The Christian aspect of prayer and seeking God's will seemed stuck in as an afterthought, and the plot seemed muddled.
This was rather disappointing. There wasn't a good plot, just a girl going from speak-easy to speak-easy during Prohibition and then a Christian man falling in love with her at first sight. While God was brought into the picture, it didn't seem to be as much about a personal relationship as an acknowledgement. Max acts like she will have to become a Christian before he will officially date her, but in the end confesses his love to her even though she admits she didn't necessarily have a spiritual awakening. So far, I really haven't been too impressed with book by this author. I have one more I will likely read this summer yet. See if that one is any better.
This fun story features Monica Brisbaine, a gossip columnist during the Roaring 20s. When Max Moore inherits his uncle’s tabloid newspaper, he is determined to change the Capital Chatter into an upstanding newspaper. His desire is to fill it with positive, uplifting stories, which brings him in direct conflict with Monica, the “little Monkey’ who secretly visits speakeasies, looking for dirt for her next column. This is a delightful story with a wonderful Christian message and was a finalist for a prestigious Christy Award. I highly recommend this book as an entertaining read.
A story about a young woman journalist and her newspaper family, set in Washington, DC during the 1920's. The story is delightful, what an adventurous era.
A poor excuse for Christian fiction <p> A terribly disappointing story. This book claims to be "Religious", "Christian fiction", "Inspirational." It is none of those. While the writing itself is decent, the story felt like Christianity was an after thought, something included to get particular people to read it. In theory, the book is about trying to make a tabloid a place for inspiration for a good life, but the truth is the novel glamorizes what it claims to condemn. In fact, the story would probably be more compelling outside of the Christian genre, because then the poor choices made fit into the worldview instead of knowingly making bad choices - and receiving good as a consequence. Because of these glaring inconsistencies I cannot recommend this book. </p>
I think I can honestly say that this book was unlike any other novel that I have ever read – in a good way. Monica is a gossip reporter who frequently visits speakeasies and writes about them in her column “Monkey Business”. Max has just inherited the paper she writes for and has left his job as an editor for an evangelist’s magazine to manage it. When he arrives, he begins making significant changes to the content of the paper, especially to her column. But will she survive swapping the glamour of the nightlife scene for reporting on a club of women who are opposed to flirting? The contrast between the two main characters and the situations that result from the clashes between them were highly entertaining. Personally, I found it refreshing to see a departure from the typical “bad boy meets good girl” storyline. Ms. Pittman uses snappy dialogue, sympathetic characters, and a unique cast of supporting characters to weave a quirky story that stands out. While not afraid to address serious subject matter she does so with great tact. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes unique historical fiction, and I look forward to reading the next installment in the series!
Monica is a thoroughly modern girl in the 1920’s in Washington DC. She drinks, sleeps around, and works as a newspaper columnist – but she doesn’t smoke. When her boss dies his nephew takes over the tabloid and wants it to become more pure, lovely, honest, and just. Obviously, they clash! But as they get to know each other better they are drawn to each other – she to his calm faith and he to her liveliness. It was interesting to learn a little more about speakeasies and the changing of values in the Roaring Twenties.
This is an interesting story of a thoroughly modern girl Monica who works for the newspaper in the roaring 1920’s when there were speakeasies where people could meet and drink the night away unless there was a police raid. The editor of the paper died suddenly, leaving the paper to his nephew who was working for a Christian evangelist. Max and Monica were bound to clash! Still, Monica needed the job and Max was fascinated by her beauty, personality, and love of life. How Max loosened up and Monica saw how some of her comments in the paper were hurtful and both learned to appreciate each other made for an interesting story with many twists and turns you would never suspect.
This is the second book in this series. All for a Song was the first. While the story line kept me reading, there were parts of it that just didn't measure up. Set in the roaring 20's, during prohibition, Monica was writing undercover for a newspaper. She visited all the end ground nightclubs and wrote using the pen name Monkey Business. Max from the first story, takes a more prominent place in this book. He leaves the ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson, and takes over his late uncle's newspaper. Max wants to turn the Capitol Chatter into a newspaper that is respectable with Christian values. He's got his work cut out for him! I wanted to shake Monica. She was so flippant. Everyone loved her and allowed her to continue on as she was. I suppose they wanted to love her unconditionally in hopes they could change her. Max challenges her to go undercover in another way. He sends her to infiltrate the Anti-Flirt Society. After meeting with the young women in the group, Monica begins to question her way of life. Her "change" of heart, which she admits may not be the type Max wants, is all it takes for him to profess his love. I struggled with how that was all that was needed for this man of Christian values to be so easily swayed. Why didn't Monica have a time of growing and changing? Why didn't we see Monica's faith develop BEFORE Max swoops in and carries her off into the sunset? Yes she was softening. Yes she was moving in the right direction. But she herself said she didn't have an religious experience and Max says, he loves her just as she is. They kiss. Period. The end. Not what I wanted or hoped for out of Monica nor Max.
Monkey Business Monica anonymously writes a column for the newspaper that allows her to visit the speakeasys in Washington DC so she has something to write about. Max inherits the paper from his estranged uncle after he suddenly passes away. Their first meeting is at the funeral of the uncle/boss and Max can't get her out of his head even though she is everything that is wrong for him and he is now her boss. Even though I guessed how the relationship would end up it was interesting reading a book set during the roaring twenties
All for a Story was well-written, but I found it was too predictable. I could tell what was going to happen from the very beginning of the story. It is a called a Christian fiction book, but as a Christian, I didn't agree with some of the messages from the book. The hero Max falls in love with a wild woman Monica. She leads him to trouble like drinking when it is against the law. And he finds excitement in her wild living. He keeps pursuing her, against his better judgment, and in the end, she turns around and all is well and happy. It was just too unrealistic for me to swallow.
Beautiful, Sweet, Gentle, and Fun. This is a wonderful story, written with tongue-in-cheek humor and lovely descriptions. The main character gets into intricate dilemmas, and there are unexpected turns in the plot. I was so involved that I didn't want it to end. Allison Pittman has a sweet, entertaining writing style, and a skilIful vocabulary. She describes the era quite convincingly. The ending seemed sudden, but it was fitting. I enjoyed this book very much.
I wish the novel had been a bit more intriguing. It did not captivate my imagination or interest from the beginning. I didn't get involved with the story as much as I usually do. But overall it was a good read.
All For a Story is kind of the second book in this "all for a" series by Allison. They all feature Aimee Semple McPherson in some way and are set in the roaring twenties. I love the setting for these books and I love that Allison is portraying Aimee in a correct light. She was no saint although many did come to the Lord through her ministry. In this one Monica Bisbaine is a writer who writes under a sudo name, "Monkey". She visits the speakeasies and parties all the time. She writes covertly about the different clubs and what she wears and such. When the editor of the newspaper dies, however, his nephew takes over. Max (the nephew) was the editor for the Bridal Call, which was Aimee's magazine, so obviously he is a Christian and wants to change the face of the tabloid style newspaper. But how will Monica handle this change? This book continues in the wonderful writing style I've come to expect from Allison. Like I said above, I really enjoy this time period and I love the interplay of the illegal with the good. This books is a great read and would make a great beach book. I can't wait to read the last one in this "series" All for a Sister, review coming soon. :)
I truly enjoyed this novel. The story takes place during the Roaring 20s. Monica is a reported who writes under a pseudonym, visiting speak-easies and other gatherings then reporting about them in the newspaper. When her boss dies, his nephew from California takes the helm. Sparks fly when the 2 meet and the romance begins. The author writes very well and I could picture the people and places well. Highly recommend this book to those who enjoy a great faith based romance.
Allison Pittman is one of my very favorite authors! She writes intriguing stories that I jump at the chance to read. Her characters seem real; flawed but likeable, people I'd like to be friends with. All for a Story is actually the third in a series of books that take place during the flapper days after World War II. ("Lilies in Moonlight" is the first in the series but they don't need to be read in order--they feature only the same time period; not the same main characters or even the same setting.) I've been reading good historical Christian fiction for about the last 7 years but had never read anything that took place during the 1920s before discovering this series... and it was such an exciting and interesting time period in our nation's history! The heroine of our story is Monica Bisbaine, who loves being a modern girl in the Roaring Twenties. She's feisty, classy, and clever with a zest for life. She loves to party and seems to thrive around people. I could totally relate to her--Monica before Christianity was a lot like me before I was living for God, and Monica after Christianity is a lot like I am now. We would've been friends. There's some mystery in the story, which is always an added bonus for me. Chapter 1 ends with the owner of the newspaper which Monica works for passing away. The newspaper is passed down to Max Moore, a guy with values who ends up becoming Monica's love interest and her boss. She ends up researching and writing from a much different angle! There's a battle for her--does she want to give up her exciting party girl life? Or doesn't she? Another important character in the book is real-life Amy Semple McPherson who began the Four Square Church in the 1920s. She's a very interesting person, quite a phenomena, and I was intrigued to know more about her. She certainly did great things in her lifetime, though much of her life was quite colorful, to say the least. The author definitely weaves a wonderful story that grips the reader from the first chapter. I was hooked immediately, as I always am with this author's books! I enjoyed this read very much but my favorite is still Lilies in Moonlight!
This is definitely not a book I plan on reading again. It was realistic, but that is about all the good I have to say about it. I prefer to read books about the best in people, not the worst.