Book-a-Day #Giveaway Featuring Author Barbara Ann Whitman

Leave a comment on today’s post and you’re eligible to win this author’s giveaway*. Each day in November that you comment gives you an entry into the Grand Prize giveaway at the end of the month! (Print copies for US residents only, please. If you win and live outside the US, you’ll receive a digital copy of this book.)

Have Mercy

“What’s your book about?” I am asked often. In the beginning, I’d say something like this: “It’s about a girl who grew up in foster care, has turned 18, and is trying to make it on her own, despite the struggles blah blah blah…” It didn’t really matter what followed because all people heard was “grew up in foster care” and they got a queasy look, as if I were telling a story about stepping in vomit. So, I developed a different shtick. I had worked hard developing a title and a book cover that would attract curiosity and interest. Instead of answering like a social worker, I had to think like a potential reader.

Back in my day, there were plenty of coming-of-age books for boys, but not for girls. Have Mercy fills the void. But I can’t say that without expecting eyes to glaze over.

Part of my motivation in writing about Mercy was to educate young adults, and older ones, about the challenges facing foster kids. Each child’s story is different, of course – as different as Mercy and her sister Lily. But there are common themes and experiences that shape the way most foster kids fit in with their classmates, families, and communities. Some of them are things you’d never think of unless you’d been in their shoes.

It is also my wish that Have Mercy be a source of hope to any reader who might be a foster kid, now or in the past. Along with an exciting, fast-paced storyline, there are themes familiar to all of us. Mercy faces difficult choices and must learn to rely on outsiders. Her mother left her with a bitter distrust of authority. Then, there’s Lily. The sisters see the world through two very distinct lenses. Decisions are made and consequences follow. There’s plenty of real-life drama.

Have Mercy puts a real face on foster care for those who are curious or those who find it distasteful. Mostly, it is a story about trust, determination, and resilience. It’s a story about hope and about love. I guess that’s what I need to tell people.

Barbara Whitman

Barbara Ann Whitman is a seasoned social worker with experience as a child abuse and neglect investigator. She has worked professionally with hundreds of foster children. Currently, she is employed by a nonprofit agency that empowers foster children to become successful adults.
Her short story “A Changing Sea” was published in the anthology Shoreline and her poem “Galilee” was featured in the book Under the Thirteenth Star. Follow Barbara’s blog at
She has been a Sunday School teacher, a Youth group Leader, a parenting instructor, a Big Sister and a Girl Scout Leader. Barbara Ann founded a Meetup Group for active seniors in 2015. She is a member of the Old Fiddlers Club of Rhode Island and sings in her church choir. She serves on the board of directors for Gaits of Harmony.
*Have Mercy is her first novel and she is giving away a print copy to one winner.
Hope to see you on Saturday, December 1 at the RI Author Expo!

22 thoughts on “Book-a-Day #Giveaway Featuring Author Barbara Ann Whitman

  1. This book sounds like a great read! Most people know very little about foster care. What better way to learn than from an experienced, knowledgeable author.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An amazing read!!
    And I am lucky enough to have known this amazing author all my life!
    She isn’t done stay tuned for more books!!
    Great inspiration Aunty Barb!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I worked in Famiky Court for years and now focus on poverty law. I also am a mom of teen and pre-teens. Often I think of the girls I see appearing before me and my girls growing up in front of me and the intersection in how they think and feel. I look forward to reading your book to shed some more insight through fiction — but real truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. With all the sad stories regarding the care of children in foster homes or those children that have been reunited with their families where abuse occurred, I do want to see more stories of the good homes and about those children that do make it as adults. More hope and compassion is needed.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thanks to Martha for once again offering this exposure to her fellow authors which in turn helps us readers get to Know new authors. Thank you Barbara Ann for this book.. It sounds like a very loving and compassionate take on what sometimes can be a very misunderstood subject. There is a need for foster parents and there are some very loving people who can fill this void. Can’t wait to read it.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Thank you Martha for your ongoing commitment to sharing these local authors. This one sounds like an important read and the author clearly has so much experience to speak about these topics.

    Thanks again to both of you for your commitment to literature

    Liked by 3 people

  7. My husband and I served as kinship foster parents to three teenagers, for a one year, before they were reunited with their parent. We are still involved in their lives and try to help guide them through this sometimes crazy, but wonderful world. I would love to win a copy of Have Mercy.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. With a son and daughter-in-law who fostered (and later adopted her) a child, I am particularly interested in the topic. Barbara sounds like a woman of great compassion.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Hope and love! Just what the world needs, and it sounds that your contribution of story can surely help fill that void for your readers! Well done.

    Liked by 4 people

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