Book Promo Feature–The Girl on Rusk Street by Penny Carlile

YAPC would like to welcome Penny Carlile to the blog. She is here to share some info about her book The Girl on Rusk Street. If this is a book you would like to read, please go get a copy!

Book Description:

Girl on Rusk StreetWhen Lucille Harris, a beautiful young widow, moves into the vacant house on Rusk Street in Marshall, Texas, the lives of ten-year-old Bobbi Rogers and her two best friends are turned upside down.

Neighbors begin to gossip when Lucille accepts a teaching position at all-black Bishop College and married neighbor Jim Tressell starts helping her with her garden.

Bobbi takes piano lessons from Lucille, and they become friends. She also likes Jim because he’s nice to Lucille. When Lucille is murdered, all eyes turn to Jim who has no alibi. Only two people believe he’s innocent–his brilliant but inexperienced lawyer Rufus Cornelius and Bobbi.

Set against the backdrop of the 1960 presidential election and the early days of the civil rights movement, The Girl on Rusk Street is a look back at what is sometimes called a “simpler time”–and it serves as a reminder that simpler times were often anything but simple.

Buy the Girl on Rusk Street:



A large tan car that looked like a tank pulled up behind the moving truck.
Katie, Law and I looked at each other. Must be the new neighbors. We sat down on the curb to watch.
The car door swung open, and a tall woman with long red hair stepped out. She was wearing a white sundress, brown sunglasses and red high heels. Her red lipstick matched the red and yellow scarf she had tied around her hair.
“Who’s that?” Law asked.
“She’s really pretty,” said Katie.
“She looks like a movie star,” I told them.
The two men opened their doors and climbed out of the moving truck. The lady with red hair said something to them and pointed at the house where the Fowlers used to live.
“She must be the new neighbor,” I said.
“How can you tell?” Law asked.
“She’s tellin’ them where to put stuff. See.”
The lady was talking to the movers. They had unlatched the back door of their truck and were starting to unload a wooden table and chairs. I could see lamps, rugs, a mattress and a big piano inside the truck plus stacks of cardboard boxes.
“I don’t see any toys.”
“Me either,” said Katie, disappointed.
“Let’s go talk to her.” I started across the road.
“We might bother her,” said Law.
“I bet we won’t.”
Katie walked beside me. Law followed a few steps behind.
The tall lady saw us and turned around.
“Hey,” I said and gave a little wave from below my waist.
“Hello,” she said with a big smile. “Do you children live around here?”
“In that house with the pink shutters,” I said and pointed toward my house.
Katie said, “I live in that big white house.”
Law was acting shy, but he finally spoke up, “Across the street. Right there.”
“Oh, I love magnolia trees! Is that your house with those beautiful trees?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“What nice manners you have, young man,” she said as she smiled at Law. “My name is Lucille Harris, but your mothers will probably want you to call me Miss Lucille even though I’m only twenty-five.”
“I’m Bobbi,” I said and gave her another little wave. “She’s Katie, and he’s Law. Are you movin’ in the Fowlers’ house?”
“If that’s who lived here before me, I am,” she laughed. “These nice men have been waiting for me to let them in.” She waved to them, and the men smiled back at her. “I guess I better open the door.”
She seemed to glide up the front walk to the door. I had never seen anyone in person like Miss Lucille Harris. She was beautiful. Her skin was very white, and her wavy hair was the color of a fire engine. She took the scarf off of her head. I could tell that the men moving furniture from the truck to her house thought that she was pretty, too. They were staring at her. We followed her to the porch.
“You have any kids?” Katie finally worked up the nerve to ask.
“Oh, honey, I don’t,” she said. “It’s just me. I had a husband, but….”
She stopped in the middle of the sentence like she had forgotten something. Then she said, “My husband died. I came here to teach at the college. I better get to work helping these nice gentlemen. See you around,” she said and waved to us over her shoulder.
“No kids,” Katie said.
“I think maybe she’s a movie star. We never met a movie star before,” I told them. “Let’s go to the fort and watch.”
By late afternoon the movers closed the doors of their truck, climbed back in the cab and drove away. From our fort we could see Lucille Harris through her kitchen window. The window was open, and she was humming as she unpacked a box of dishes.
“Bobbi! Supper!” called Mama.
“See ya tomorrow,” I said to Katie. Law had already left. He was bored watching our new neighbor, so he had gone home to feed Alvin.
“I’m comin’, too,” said Katie as she fell in step with me. “That’s a really big piano for such a little house.”
“I’m gonna ask Mama to bake Miss Lucille a pie. She likes to bake pies for people.”

About the Author: Penny Carlile was born in Marshall, Texas, and grew up, not coincidentally, on Rusk Street. She Penny Carlileand her husband now divide their time between Marshall and Naples, Florida.

Carlile earned her bachelor of arts in English and speech from Baylor University in 1973. She taught junior high school before she co-founded a direct sales company with her husband. Her first book, Points from Penny, was a collection of inspirational messages for the company’s salespeople.

The Girl on Rusk Street is fiction, but many of the events in the book are straight out of Carlile’s own childhood.

Connect with Penny:

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram


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